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The Pelvic Floor

The pelvic floor is made up of many muscles, ligaments, tendons, connective and neural tissue. The primary role of the pelvic floor is to act as a hammock to support all the organs in the pelvic girdle. 


Who is Affected?

It is estimated that one third of women are affected by a pelvic floor disorder or dysfunction[1].  These pelvic floor problems often have a negative impact on many aspects of day to day life.  These pelvic floor conditions can include:

  • Incontinence (urinary and fecal)

  • Urinary and fecal urge or frequency

  • Pelvic organ prolapse

  • Pregnancy related pelvic girdle pain

  • Diastasis recti, scar tissue and pain postpartum

  • Painful sex

  • Pelvic pain

  • Tailbone pain

What Causes Pelvic Floor Dysfunction?

There are many potential causes of pelvic floor disorders like childbirth, menopause, hormonal changes and muscle imbalances etc. Although some of these causes are a normal part of life, pelvic floor conditions and their associated symptoms should not be accepted as your new normal.

Pelvic health physiotherapy can help!


After taking a complete history and performing a comprehensive physical assessment, the physiotherapist will create a personalized pelvic floor treatment plan that may include:


  • Patient education

  • Stretching and strengthening

  • Bladder/pelvic floor training

  • Lifestyle and behavioral changes

  • Pain control techniques

  • Home exercise programs

  • Labour and delivery prep




Can all physiotherapists perform internal pelvic floor treatments?

As your pelvic health physiotherapist, Aly MacLean is specially trained to do internal exams as part of your pelvic floor assessment and treatment.


What can I expect from my first visit?

You will be in a private room for your assessment and subsequent treatments. Your physio will start by taking a detailed history about your current problems and any relevant medical history. The main part of the assessment will typically include an internal exam (the internal exam is the gold standard for assessing the pelvic floor however it is not mandatory. Your physio will always ask for your consent before starting any assessment or treatment. You may withdraw your consent at any time.) Once the assessment is complete, your physio will discuss the treatment plan and any exercises that should be done at home.


What if I am on my period, do I need to cancel my appointment?

No, you do not have to cancel your appointment. We can assess and treat while you are on your period as long as you are comfortable with that.


Is there anything different about the assessment or treatment if I am pregnant?

If you are in your first trimester or if you have been advised by your doctor to abstain from intercourse, we will not complete an internal exam. Otherwise the assessment and treatment will be the same.


How long do I need to wait after having my baby before I can come for an assessment?

Generally you should wait 6 weeks after delivery (vaginal or c-section) to allow for sufficient tissue healing before coming in for a pelvic floor assessment. You can also ask your doctor or OBGYN if you have any specific concerns.


How do I know if I could benefit from pelvic health physio?

You can call us to book a quick information session provided by our pelvic health physiotherapist to learn more about this type of physio and together you can decide if this type of physio is right for you. 

*Please note that we are only able to treat cis-gender female patients (18+) for pelvic floor physiotherapy at this time.


[1] Reference: Nygaard, I., Barber, M. D., Burgio, K. L., Kenton, K., Meikle, S., Schaffer, J., et al. (2008). Prevalence of symptomatic pelvic floor disorders in U.S. women. JAMA, 300, 1311-1316.

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