A women’s health physiotherapist is a physiotherapist with a specialist interest and an additional qualification in pelvic health. They can provide support to women at any time in their lives to help with the management of a wide range of conditions.
1 in 3 women experience problems relating to their bladder, bowel or pelvic floor at some point in their lifetime but are either too embarrassed to seek or help or do not realise that help is available. This can result in problems such as incontinence, vaginal prolapse, pain on sexual intercourse or constipation. Many women experience pain in their pelvic joints during pregnancy that can be debilitating. A consultation with a Women’s Health Physiotherapist can help to alleviate these problems. With the correct assessment, advice and treatment techniques these problems can be managed.
When the pelvic floor muscles and ligaments are stretched and weakened and no longer able to support the uterus, (womb) this can result in pelvic organ prolapse (POP). Symptoms include the bladder or bowel bulging against the vaginal walls, lower back pain or difficulty emptying the bowel as well as bladder problems. There are many causes for this weakness including frequent heavy lifting, constipation, pregnancy and childbirth, obesity, abdominal or pelvic surgery or as part of the ageing process.
Mild to moderate prolapse can be treated with a tailored pelvic floor exercise plan following a careful assessment by a Women’s Health Physiotherapist.
- Women’s health physiotherapy is for all women, but can be particularly helpful for women who;
- Have undergone gynaecological surgery
- During and after pregnancy and childbirth
- Suffer with stress incontinence or other pelvic dysfunction
- Have increased urinary frequency or urgency
- Pelvic floor weakness
- Pelvic pain – including pain when having sexual intercourse