The pelvic floor, an unknown bug

Posted by Pascale de Montigny on

The pelvic floor is a group of muscles located at the base of the pelvis, attaching from the pubis to the coccyx. It has 5 very important functions:

1) Organ support (bladder, rectum, uterus, etc.);

2) Helps with urinary and fecal continence (closure of the urethra and anus);

3) Important implication at the level of the sexual stimulus;

4) Helps stabilize the pelvis and trunk.

How to prevent urinary leakage?

It is important to ensure that you have good control of the pelvic floor and know how to release it. The practice of pilates and yoga as well as perineal massages can help. There are, however, many factors that can have a significant impact on tears other than the pelvic floor. After childbirth, creams can preserve the elasticity of the perineum.

What are the signs that lead us to consult?

You may be recommended to consult a physiotherapist practicing perineal and pelvic rehabilitation for many reasons. Whether it is for vulvar/anal pain, pre-post birth monitoring, urinary leakage , change in bladder function (i.e. abnormally high urinary frequency), organ descent (bladder, uterus, rectum), diastasis of the rectus abdominis, a preventive visit and so on, it is beneficial to contact these professionals in order to understand your condition and to have all the tools necessary for the management of your condition.

For reasons of embarrassment, shame, the hope of a spontaneous resolution or a lack of knowledge on the subject, the majority of women wait a long time before seeking professional advice for problems related to the pelvic floor. These conditions, however, have significant adverse effects on quality of life by affecting several facets of the lives of affected women, such as reduced social interactions and social participation as well as a decrease in the quality of intimate and sexual interpersonal relationships.

1, 2, 3... Go, I make up my mind! What should I expect?

An assessment and physiotherapy treatments are always done in a closed room by the physiotherapist. This will begin with an in-depth discussion of your situation. You will be asked several questions about your pain/condition, your lifestyle habits, your medical history, your bladder/intestinal function, etc., depending on your level of comfort.

Subsequently, the appointment will continue with a physical examination, in the context that you consent to its conduct. This may include an assessment of your posture, back/hips/abs, breathing, etc. When relevant, a vaginal and/or rectal examination will be offered to you. The internal examination allows us to identify dysfunctions of the pelvic floor (ex: are the muscles too weak, stiff, painful, are they able to contract and relax). This evaluation takes place at your own pace so that you are as comfortable as possible. No speculum and stirrups are used.

Once the assessment is complete, you will be presented with a discussion of the results and a treatment plan based on your goals. It is also a good opportunity to ask all your questions.

The goal of physiotherapy is to improve your condition and function/quality of life by regaining mobility, strength, muscle coordination, etc. Treatments therefore often involve pelvic floor exercises (relaxation, strengthening, coordination, etc.) as well as changes in your lifestyle (depending on the case). We give you the knowledge you need to return to your activities safely.

Consult a professional practicing perineal rehabilitation in Gatineau. Marylène Charette, M.Sc Pht., is a physiotherapist in perineal and pelvic rehabilitation.

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