What is Women’s Health Physiotherapy?

Women’s health physiotherapy focuses on all problems relating to the pelvis and urinary dysfunction. A women’s health physiotherapist not only treats women through pregnancy but also helps support the high-level athlete. This may include urinary incontinence, an overactive bladder, pelvic girdle pain, pelvic organ prolapses or sexual dysfunction. These are all areas that can be helped by this very specific area of physiotherapy.   

What is classed as Urinary Incontinence?

There are so many different types of urinary incontinence. The most common is stress urinary incontinence which is the involuntary loss of urine on effort or physical exertion, such as when coughing or running. More than half of all incontinence issues happen due to some form of ‘stress’. This is also the most common symptom that many women think is ‘normal’ and push these symptoms to one side.   

What is classed as an Overactive Bladder? 

Overactive bladder is the need to go to the toilet throughout the day. This may involve having to go to the toilet to relieve these symptoms or it could also involve leakage. By strengthening your pelvic floor and understanding the driving factors for this, women’s health physiotherapy can help overcome this problem.   

How do I know if I have Vaginal Prolapse?

A pelvic organ prolapse is the dropping of part of the vagina or uterus. This can happen both gradually over time or post pregnancy or surgery.  Symptoms can include the feeling of pressure, heaviness, lower back discomfort. You may also have the feeling of never fully emptying your bladder or bowel, feeling overactive with your bladder or discomfort with intercourse. 


What will a Women’s Health Assessment and Treatment Involve?

A women’s health assessment will start off by understanding your problem and the reason behind bringing you to this session. Your physiotherapist will ask you a lot of questions regarding your symptoms and history but also your bladder, bowel and sexual function. This is to determine the source of your pain or problems so an individual and specific goal orientated treatment programme can be made.   

The session, like any other physiotherapy appointment, will involve an objective assessment. This can include an assessment of your abdomen, neurological function, vagina and potentially the lower back and hips.   

The treatment will involve a strengthening programme of your pelvic floor. However, your session may also include massage, stretching, functional movements such as squats, lunges, running drills and general abdominal strength. Whatever your goals may be, your physiotherapist will help construct a treatment programme to support your individual needs.   

Please note: A women’s health appointment does not have to include a vaginal assessment. This is something you can choose to exclude if you do not feel comfortable.

Initial Assessment (60 mins)Follow-up Appointment (30 mins)Follow-up Appointment (45 mins)Follow-up Appointment (60 mins)