Your Guide to Pelvic Floor Therapy: What to Expect from Your First Visit

Karen Hoskinson PT, DPT

Hi there! I’m Karen, Lifeline’s Pelvic Floor Physical Therapist, and I want to give you a heads-up on what to expect during your first visit to pelvic floor therapy. It’s not scary, I promise. You have a pelvic floor, just like everyone else. The pelvic floor consists of muscles that create a “basket” and support our organs. These muscles also play a role in defecation, urination, and sexual function. The best part is, you have control over these muscles. You can contract and relax them at will. Sometimes these muscles become too tight or weak, or they don’t coordinate well with each other. This can lead to pain during penetration or general discomfort “down there.” You might also experience urine leakage when you cough, sneeze, laugh, run, or jump, or find yourself visiting the bathroom way too frequently. Although these issues are common, they are not normal. That’s where pelvic floor therapy comes in to help you.

When you visit a pelvic floor therapist, you’ll gain control over your situation. Generally, an internal exam is done to assess how your pelvic floor muscles are functioning. This exam is similar to evaluating muscles in a painful shoulder or knee. However, since the pelvic floor is an intimate area, we ensure that you feel comfortable during the exam and/or treatment. Rest assured, it’s not like going to the gynecologist. During the internal exam, the therapist will use one finger as a tool, wearing a glove, and using a water-based lubricant. You are in control of the exam. You are the captain, driving the bus. Nothing needs to be done unless you want it to be done. My goal is to do everything possible to make you feel at ease. If you prefer, you can bring a support person with you. While treatment plans can be created without an internal exam, it might involve more trial and error. Many people experience symptoms such as urinary leakage, urgency, pelvic pain, or a sense of heaviness. Pelvic Floor Physical Therapy can address these issues and help you find relief.

So, if you’ve been experiencing any pelvic floor-related concerns, don’t hesitate to consider pelvic floor therapy. Your first visit might involve an internal exam, but remember, you have full control and your comfort is the priority. Let’s work together to improve your pelvic floor health and overall well-being.  Contact us today to schedule an appointment!

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