Understanding the Pelvic Floor
For many people, there comes a time in your life where you may start experiencing symptoms that lead you to questions such as “Do I need pelvic floor therapy?” or “Will physical therapy help my symptoms?”
Whether you were told by your primary doctor that you may need pelvic floor physical therapy, or perhaps you’re curious after researching your own symptoms online, you may still be hesitant or confused on how to proceed. That’s okay! This guide will help you decide if you may need pelvic floor therapy, and provide lots of resources on how to get started (or answer further questions).
To figure out if you need pelvic floor therapy, it’s important to understand your own symptoms, and that issues arising from the pelvic floor can vary greatly. After all, the pelvic floor is an essential part of your body that wears many hats!
Before you find your answer to “Do I need pelvic floor therapy?” you need a quick anatomy lesson. Otherwise, you won’t really understand where the problem is originating and where symptoms can occur!
Your pelvic floor is an important group of muscles (pictured above) that allow you to do many things in life. That includes using the restroom, picking up objects, enjoying sexual activities, and much more. Without you even noticing, your pelvic floor supports your inner organs, maintains your body’s stability and balance, and supports your body throughout the day!
Sometimes, those important muscles begin to not work the same way they did before. This can be a result of a variety of things, but there’s no need to panic! While pelvic floor dysfunction is actually pretty common, it is something that many providers, such as Dr. Laura Meihofer, specialize in! If you decide after reading this guide that you should pursue pelvic floor therapy, a provider will be better able to identify your specific case’s causes and possible treatments.
So, let’s jump right in!
“Do I Need Pelvic Floor Therapy?” Let’s Find Out!
Because the pelvic floor does so many different and important tasks for you every day, the symptoms can vary pretty widely! With that in mind, look through the following questions to identify how many symptoms you are actually experiencing. Keep note of the number of questions you answer “yes” to!
- Do I have general pelvic pain?
- Do I experience pain in my tailbone, genitals, perineum, hips, or groin?
- Have I experienced a decrease in arousal?
- Do I have pain with intercourse?
- Do I have difficulty when inserting menstrual products, sexual aids, or suppositories?
- Do I have difficulty with pelvic examinations?
- Do I feel as though something is “falling out?” (rectally or vaginally)
- Do I experience leaking?
- Do I feel urgency or the need to urinate frequently?
- Do I have difficulty starting urination or completely emptying my bladder?
- Do I experience pain with urination?
- Do I experience constipation often?
- Do I strain while making a bowel movement?
- Do I experience pain during bowel movements?
- Do I make bowel movements less than three times a week?
- Am I unable to completely empty my bowels?
- Do I experience loss of bowel control?
- Do I experience bowel leakage?
Analyze Your Results
So now that we have answered the above questions, we can answer the main question, “Do I need pelvic floor therapy?” If you answered “yes” to three or more of those above questions, chances are you will need some form of pelvic floor physical therapy.
This means you may need to visit a provider that specializes in the pelvic floor in order to receive proper care. Pelvic floor physical therapy can help ease your symptoms tremendously, as well as help you identify what factors in your life could be exacerbating your symptoms. If you’re interested in speaking with a professional, Dr. Laura Meihofer offers multiple types of treatment sessions to best meet your needs!
It’s important not to ignore your symptoms, as some of them may worsen if not addressed! Additionally, trying to solve your symptoms at home can also exacerbate your symptoms. This is because symptoms in the pelvic floor arise from a few different situations.
For example, your pelvic floor muscles may have become too tight and strained, or maybe you have lost the ability to control them consciously. Therefore, if you’ve been wondering “Do I need pelvic floor therapy in order to ease my symptoms?” you definitely will want to double check with a professional. A professional will be able to determine where the problems lay, and therefore give an appropriate care plan for your diagnosis.
In some cases, you may not be necessarily looking into pelvic therapy because of certain symptoms, but perhaps because of a specific situation. For example, you could be wondering:
- “Do I need pelvic floor therapy after a hysterectomy or prostatectomy?”
- “Do I need pelvic floor therapy after giving birth or having a c-section?”
- “Do I need pelvic floor therapy before or after genital reconstruction surgery?”
For many situations, pelvic floor physical therapy can be an incredibly beneficial practice for your body’s health and its ability to return to what feels “normal” to you. Especially for these situations, it’s essential that you consult with a professional who can create a proper plan of care for you!
Helpful Resources for Your Questions
It can be intimidating to get started; and you may now have even more questions…”How do I find a provider?” “Does pelvic floor therapy really work?” ”How often do I need pelvic floor therapy appointments?” Don’t worry, you’re in the right place! Here we’ll provide lots of sources to answer all your questions.
Pelvic floor questions (find information about urinary incontinence, pain with sex, postpartum health, erectile dysfunction, and much more!)…
More about pelvic floor providers…
For general questions about pelvic floor physical therapy…
- Your Path to Pelvic Floor Recovery
- Your First Pelvic Floor Physical Therapy Appointment: What To Expect & How To Prepare
- Communicating With Your Partner About Your Pelvic Floor Concerns
- How to Talk to Your Insurance and Self-Advocate
Resources for services with Laura…
Final Word: You Got This!
In conclusion, if you answered “yes” to “Do I need pelvic floor therapy,” don’t worry! Throughout your pelvic floor journey, it’s important that you stay positive and never give up on receiving proper care. Sometimes it can be confusing for your body to not behave in the way you expect, but there is hope! Pelvic floor physical therapy has proven successful for many, many people. It can provide a path back to normalcy for you, but you have to persevere and put in consistent effort towards your health goals! You got this!