Women’s Health

What is women’s health physiotherapy?

Women’s health physiotherapy is a non-surgical treatment for a number of women’s health problems such as pelvic floor weakness and continence problems, pelvic organ prolapse, ante-natal and post-natal pelvic girdle pain and Rectus Diastasis Abdominis (tummy gapping).

The women’s health physiotherapy service at EH Physio is tailored to your specific needs, the positive outcome of which can be life changing, whether that includes taking control of your bladder symptoms, reducing prolapse symptoms, returning to higher level exercise or relieving your pain.

What to expect at your first Women’s Health Physiotherapy session

Your assessment and treatment will be by a female physiotherapist, it will take place in a private room where a detailed history and assessment will be completed. If you have a history of bladder incontinence then you may be asked to complete a bladder diary to help determine the type of urinary incontinence that you have, Click here to download the Bladder Diary.

If required, an internal assessment of your pelvic floor will be completed within your initial session. An internal examination of the pelvic floor is the best way to assess your pelvic floor function and to optimize your treatment plan, please see the information below for more details on pelvic floor. You are welcome to bring a chaperone with you to the internal assessment if you would prefer. You will always need to give consent prior to performing an internal investigation, Click here to download the consent form.

All treatment options specific to your circumstances, will be discussed, you will be able to ask any questions regarding your problem or planned treatment. Treatment may include:

Individualised pelvic floor strengthening program including Hypopressive training
Specific exercises and advice to target ‘tummy gapping’
Manual therapy to help correct spinal or sacroiliac joint dysfunction
Postural re-education and back care advice
Soft tissue release to aid pain relief, muscle tension and movement correction
Acupuncture for muscular pain or symptoms of overactive bladder
Bladder and bowel re-education
Dietary and lifestyle advice, including how to exercise without aggravating symptoms
Prolapse management advice including the prescription of Hypopressive exercises
Electrotherapy to aid Pelvic Floor strengthening

What is the pelvic Floor ?

The pelvic floor is a group of muscles that are positioned like a hammock between your legs, they stretch from the coccyx at the base of your spine to your pubic bone. They are essential in supporting your trunk and pelvic organs, in addition to controlling your bladder and bowel function.

For further information on how to prevent Urinary Incontinence download our factsheet.

For Further information on Self Assessment of Pelvic Floor download our factsheet.

For details on how to strengthen your Pelvic Floor download our factsheet.

Why do pelvic floor muscle exercises?

There are a number of different circumstances, which can cause the pelvic floor muscles to not function properly; this can include pregnancy, childbirth, menopause, following gynaecological surgery, a history of chronic cough or constipation. In these cases your muscles may be damaged, stretched or you may simply not be using them correctly causing a weakness in the pelvic floor.

Weakness in the pelvic floor can cause problems such as urinary and bowel incontinence, reduced sensitivity during sex or a reduction in the support of the pelvic organs (bladder, bowels and womb), which can cause a pelvic organ prolapse (POP).

Pelvic floor exercises and Hypopressive exercises will aim to strengthen your pelvic floor.  A strong pelvic floor will prevent and reduce symptoms of incontinence, increase sensitivity during sexual intercourse and also support the pelvic organs better thus reducing the symptoms of POP. The stability through the lumbar spine and pelvis will also be optimised which will help prevent movement dysfunction and associated pain.

Pelvic floor muscle training is recommended in government guidelines to be the first line of treatment for urinary incontinence.