What an Initial Women’s health assessment involves:
If you have just had a baby or have been referred to us by your GP for a pelvic floor/women’s health assessment you might be wondering what this assessment involves.
Obviously all assessments will be slightly varied depending on what symptoms you present with, however in general these appointments are 1 hour in total, they will begin with a 15-20 minute chat to get a thorough history from you.
This chat will involve a lot of questions about your bladder, bowel and sexual health. There will be a discussion around what you drink and eat as this may impact your bladder and bowel health. We will also discuss your birth history, whether you have had any previous surgeries or if you are on any medications.
From this information we can shape some ideas about what might be going on and what physical examination tests we might need to focus on for you specifically:
General overviews of the objective/physical assessment we do include are:
Posture check: in standing
Abdominal assessment: To see how you use your tummy muscles, check for any diastasis if you are postnatal, check any scars or tenderness
Breathing assessment: look at how you breathe naturally, whether it is a diaphragmatic pattern or not and whether you can coordinate the breathe with pelvic floor
Range of motion/muscle check of spine and joints: mix of standing or lying and shaped by your presentation of pain if any (e.g. pregnancy related pelvic girdle pain)
Functional movements: understanding how you move, how movements aggravate your symptoms and how your muscles work during these movements
Pelvic floor check: an internal vaginal examination to check any scarring, pelvic floor muscle tone, activation, strength, coordination, signs of prolapse, or potential risk of developing prolapse
Based on these findings, we will come up with a management plan and implement any treatment necessary. This could include manual therapy, pessary fitting, an individualised exercise program, advice and education on diet, lifestyle, movement and exercise.
Also, remember it’s never too late to get a pelvic floor assessment and to begin treatment of any pelvic floor dysfunction, so if you have any symptoms or concerns please don’t hesitate to contact us to arrange an appointment.