Pelvic Floor Conditions

Physiotherapy 

Specialist physiotherapists provide advice, education and treatment techniques for a range of conditions including: 

Pelvic Floor Weakness 

A weak pelvic floor can lead to involuntary loss of urine or incontinence. It may only happen occasionally and may only be small amounts, but it can still affect your confidence and stop you doing everyday things such as travelling or taking part in sports.  

Women of all ages suffer from embarrassing urinary incontinence symptoms at some point in their lives. A number of factors can lead to weak pelvic floor muscles including childbirth, heavy lifting, persistent constipation, a chronic cough or being overweight. It can take some women up to 10 years to seek help for continence problems, either because they are too embarrassed, they don’t want to bother their GP or because they think its normal. (1) So, if you are among them, you are definitely not alone. 

  • Urinary incontinence
  • Faecal incontinence – this may be due to trauma following childbirth particularly after tears or damage to the anus.
  • Post operative treatment and advice following gynaecological surgery
  • Pelvic pain - this can be due to pressure on the pelvic nerves i.e. sciatica or supra pubic dysfunction (SPD)
  • Sexual dysfunction - this can occur following childbirth, pre and post surgery and can be caused by pain, incontinence and general pelvic discomfort. 

Advantages of pelvic floor treatment 

Many women do not realise that a weak pelvic floor may be successfully treated through physiotherapy. In fact, research shows that pelvic floor muscle exercises, electro stimulation and biofeedback improve urinary incontinence in 79% of patients to the point where they don’t need surgery. (2) Bowel research shows that pelvic floor exercises can also play an important part in the treatment of faecal incontinence. (3) 

Reasons to see a Women’s Health Physiotherapist for Pelvic Floor Treatment 

  • Leaking of urine when coughing, sneezing, or changing position
  • A sudden strong need to empty your bladder
  • Urine leakage if you can’t get to the toilet in time
  • Needing to empty your bladder more than 6 or 7 times a day or once or twice at night
  • Urine leakage during intercourse
  • Difficulty inserting or keeping a tampon in place 

Postoperative treatment 

Physiotherapy intervention varies from patient to patient following gynaecological surgery and depends on the procedure that the patient has undergone.

All inpatients are taught abdominal and pelvic floor exercises. Advice is also provided regarding posture, lifting and handling, toileting and potential continence problems. 

All patients are encouraged to attend physiotherapy as an outpatient, six weeks post-surgery. However, patients can contact the department at any stage to discuss exercises and or concerns. 

Pregnancy 

Assessment and treatment of pelvic pain, supra pubic dysfunction and back pain, is available during pregnancy and following delivery. (4) 

The Specialist team of Women’s Health Physiotherapists can be contacted on 0161 495 7034 option 2. 

Please click here to do the validated ICIQ-SF questionnaire to assess continence. 

References: 

1. NICE Guidelines October 2008
2. Bond E, Dorey G, Eckford S and McDonnell K (2004).  The role of pelvic floor muscle exercises in reducing surgical management in women with stress incontinence: a clinical audit.  Journal of the Association of Chartered Physiotherapists in Women’s Health Vol 95, pages 66-70
3.http://www.thefreelibrary.com/Relevance+of+physiotherapy+in+the+management+of+faecal+incontinence-a0190793599
4. www.continence-foundation.org.uk/in-depth/baby-bladder-bowels.php#a