Women can present with a number of different conditions relating to their pelvis and pelvic floor. For example, women that have a prolapse may also notice bladder or bowel symptoms or may also have a history of low back pain. The pelvis and pelvic floor are intrinsically linked with the lower back and hips as well as our breathing. For example, in strengthening their pelvic floor women may notice their back pain resolves or becomes much more manageable. The conditions listed here can occur at any time in a women's life and are treatable at any stage.
Bladder problems can include leaking with coughing, sneezing or exercise; not getting to the toilet on time, and needing to empty the bladder with increased frequency or urgency. One in three women will experience leaks of urine after giving birth, but they can also occur in women who have not had children, especially later in life. Sadly, the lack of information around this problem means many women accept this as normal. On the contrary, neither normal nor difficult to treat, more than 80% of women will stop leaking after attending physiotherapy.
Bowel problems can include leaks of faeces, a sudden urgency to pass a stool or constipation. One in ten women will suffer from leaks of faeces after having a baby. Sadly this is a common condition, but is not normal and hugely impacts a woman’s physical and mental health. Women do not have to suffer, there is help available. Physiotherapy will decipher the cause and devise a treatment plan that will improve or eliminate the leaks.
Pelvic Organ Prolapse
Pelvic organ prolapse means the pelvic organs (bladder, womb and bowel) are leaning into the vagina or vaginal walls. The pelvic organs are supported by the pelvic floor muscles. Pelvic organ prolapse is an under-recognised condition and symptoms include dragging, heaviness or a bulge in the vagina. Pelvic organ prolapse is experienced by one in three women after having a baby but it can also occur in women that have not had a baby. Some women notice prolapse symptoms during the peri-menopause and beyond because the tissues surrounding the pelvic organ become thinner due to the reduction in oestrogen that occurs during this time.
The information on pelvic organ prolapse available online can be conflicting and confusing, making women fear movement and activities and can ultimately affect their mental health. Women’s Physiotherapy Reigate provides a full assessment of the prolapse and expert guidance so women can fully understand and manage a prolapse and return to the hobbies and sports they enjoy without anxiety.
Women can experience different types of pelvic pain including painful intercourse (dyspareunia), vulval pain (vulvodynia), vaginismus (sudden tightening of the vagina when something is inserted into it), painful bladder syndrome (interstitial cystitis) as well as pain from conditions such as Endometriosis and Adenomyosis. Pelvic pain is debilitating with a variety of causes. For instance, the muscles of the pelvic floor may be overactive and struggle to relax. There are a number of different ways to resolve pelvic pain, and the chosen approach would depend on the source of the problem.
As experts in movement, rehabilitation and hands on treatment, women’s health physiotherapy can be an important part of management during and after treatment for gynaecological cancer. It can help restore strength in muscles such as the pelvic floor which may have become weakened or overactive after cancer treatment. It can also help with the impact some cancer treatment such as radiotherapy can have on the tissues such as those of the vagina. Physiotherapy can help women return to the life they want to lead.
Having rehabilitation before and after gynaecological surgery is vital to optimise surgery and ensure women return safely to hobbies and sports. Common types of gynaecological surgery include hysterectomy, prolapse repair and incontinence surgery. A full assessment and treatment plan at Women’s Physiotherapy Reigate will help provide the best outcome of surgery.