Navigating your treatment for fibroids can sometimes feel overwhelming, but there are doctors (like me!) who take special care to ensure a safe and secure space where you can talk openly about managing your symptoms and healing. Keep reading to find out how Pelvic Floor Physical Therapy can help you treat symptoms of and heal from fibroid-related treatments.
What are fibroids?
Before we dive into treatment talk, let’s first talk about fibroids and what they are exactly. To put it simply, fibroids are noncancerous, but often bothersome, growths that develop in the uterus. Fibroids can affect anyone assigned female at birth, regardless of gender identity. They can vary in size and location, causing symptoms such as heavy menstrual bleeding, pelvic pain, and pressure.
How Pelvic Floor Physical Therapy Helps with Fibroid Treatment
Pelvic Floor Physical Therapy can play a crucial role in treating fibroids by addressing the associated symptoms and promoting overall pelvic health. Here are some key reasons why pelvic floor therapy is important in managing fibroids:
1. Pain Management
Fibroids can cause pelvic pain, discomfort, and pressure. Pelvic floor physical therapy focuses on identifying and addressing the specific muscle imbalances or tension that may contribute to pain. Therapists use various techniques, such as manual therapy, stretches, and exercises, to alleviate pain and promote muscle relaxation.
2. Bladder and Bowel Function
Fibroids can sometimes affect bladder and bowel function, leading to urinary urgency, frequency, or constipation. Pelvic floor therapy includes strategies to improve the coordination and strength of the pelvic floor muscles, which can enhance bladder and bowel control. Therapists may teach you techniques such as pelvic floor exercises and breathing techniques to promote better control and relieve symptoms.
3. Preparing for Surgeries
In some cases, surgery may be necessary to remove fibroids. Pelvic floor therapy can help prepare your body for surgical procedures by optimizing pelvic muscle function. Strengthening the pelvic floor muscles before surgery can aid in faster postoperative recovery and better surgical outcomes.
4. Postoperative Rehabilitation
Following fibroid removal surgery, pelvic floor therapy can support your recovery process. The surgery and anesthesia may cause muscle stiffness, scar tissue formation, or changes in sensation. Pelvic floor therapists can help manage these issues through manual therapy, gentle exercises, and self-care strategies to promote healing, reduce pain, and restore normal function.
5. Hormonal Balance
Hormonal fluctuations can impact fibroid growth and symptoms. Pelvic floor therapy can complement hormonal treatments by improving circulation and promoting hormonal balance within the pelvic region. Through exercises and relaxation techniques, pelvic floor therapy can help regulate blood flow and hormone distribution, potentially reducing the severity of fibroid symptoms.
6. Emotional Support and Education
Dealing with fibroids can be emotionally challenging, and pelvic floor therapists provide a supportive environment where you can discuss your concerns and receive education about your condition. They can offer guidance on self-care practices, lifestyle modifications, and pain management strategies. Emotional support is an integral part of pelvic floor therapy, ensuring you feel empowered and equipped to manage fibroids effectively.
7. Holistic Approach to Wellness
Pelvic floor therapy takes a holistic approach to pelvic health. Therapists not only address the physical aspects but also consider the emotional, mental, and social well-being of individuals. By promoting overall wellness, pelvic floor therapy supports your body’s natural healing processes.
Discussing Your Gender Identity and Healthcare Goals
Open communication is key when working with any healthcare professional. Don’t hesitate to discuss your gender identity, pronouns, and any concerns or goals you have related to your pelvic health. A supportive therapist will listen to your unique needs and tailor their approach to ensure you feel comfortable and respected during your sessions.
For some transgender and nonbinary individuals, pelvic examinations, like those often recommended in fibroid treatment, can trigger feelings of dysphoria or discomfort. It’s important to also have an open dialogue with your therapist about your specific needs and boundaries so they can help you navigate any potential triggers, offer alternative approaches, or modify techniques to ensure your comfort and emotional well-being.
Ready to treat your fibroid symptoms? Let’s chat!
If you’re dealing with fibroids, working with a pelvic floor physical therapist (like me!) can be a game-changer in your journey towards effective management and improved well-being by offering a holistic approach to treatment — from managing pain, improving bladder and bowel function, preparing for surgeries, supporting postoperative recovery, promoting muscular balance, and providing valuable emotional support and education throughout your treatment process.
I always strive to create a safe and comfortable environment for my patients to ask questions, share concerns, and receive the care they need.
Want to work together? Book a virtual or in-person session with me to receive a specialized, unique-to-you treatment plan to get the healing you need.
Looking for additional resources on pelvic health? My YouTube channel holds dozens of videos where I offer free pelvic floor training, yoga exercises, and more. My instagram page takes a little bit more of a light hearted approach while still providing educational content. And of course, if you have a specific pelvic floor subject you’re looking for more information on, a quick search of my blogs may give you the answers you need.
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