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Pelvic floor and continence

Continence and pelvic floor physiotherapy is a specific field of physiotherapy. Many staff elect to complete post graduate qualifications for this highly specialised and sensitive discipline. The focus is on the treatment of pelvic floor related disorders like incontinence and prolapse by restoring muscle function to the pelvic floor. Mo offers discrete treatment for both women and men.

Continence physiotherapy for women

With more than 40% of women living with bladder control problems, continence physiotherapy is an ideal way for women to regain control of their pelvic floor.

Based on your physio’s detailed diagnosis, you’ll be provided with tailored pelvic floor exercises. Your physio will provide close instruction to master your technique and assistance to steadily advance your progress until your symptoms reduce.

We’ve found our pelvic floor exercises to be highly effective for:

  • Bladder / bowel control;
  • Stress and urge incontinence;
  • Mixed incontinence;
  • Prolapse;
  • Overactive bladder symptoms;
  • Vaginal, vulvar pain / vulvodynia or sexual pain;
  • Anal pain;
  • Vaginismuses / anismus;
  • Defecation difficulties.

You may also benefit from other therapies such as electrical muscle stimulation or biofeedback machines. These assist in strengthening weak muscles, helping patients complete a correct contraction and assist those who suffer from overactive bladder symptoms.

For more severe issues and referred cases, our qualified female continence and pelvic floor physiotherapists provide professional treatment in a friendly and comfortable environment. Find out more about this specialised service here.

Some of the common causes of pelvic floor muscle weakness are:

  • Childbirth – particularly following delivery of a large baby or prolonged pushing during delivery;
  • Being overweight;
  • Constipation (excessive straining to empty your bowel);
  • Persistent heavy lifting;
  • Excessive coughing – causing repetitive straining;
  • Changes in hormonal levels at menopause;
  • Growing older.

Continence and pelvic floor physiotherapy for men

While common among women and also men, many men suffer pelvic floor disorders in silence. Some common pelvic floor disorders that men can experience are as follows:

  • Incontinence following prostate surgery
  • Incontinence following bladder / bowel surgery
  • Faecal / wind incontinence
  • Erectile dysfunction
  • Chronic pelvic pain including penile, testicular or anal pain

Symptoms of pelvic floor disorders or dysfunction are as follows:

  • Leaking urine/faeces when you cough / sneeze or exercise
  • Leaking urine on the way to the toilet
  • Urinary / bowel frequency and / or urgency
  • Difficultly holding onto wind
  • Pain with intercourse

Physiotherapists who specialise in this field have completed Post Graduate qualifications in order to assess the pelvic floor function and prescribe an appropriate, tailored exercise program for clients.

How our physios can help

For more severe issues and referred cases, your physio will complete an extensive and confidential assessment. This involves being asked various questions about the nature, type, and duration of your symptoms to assist with a diagnosis and the treatment of your condition. 

In most cases, an internal examination, (either vaginally or rectally) will be recommended to accurately assess the pelvic floor muscles, diagnose prolapse and provide information for the treating physiotherapist in order for them to accurately form a diagnosis and provide a treatment plan for you. Importantly, an internal examination will only be undertaken with your consent. Internal examinations provide the most amount of information about the pelvic floor and its function and are thus the most beneficial assessment tool.

Alternatively, a real time ultrasound can be utilised to image the pelvic floor. Whilst a great tool, the Real Time Ultrasound use does not give the Physiotherapist as much information as an internal examination as as such, has its limitations which you can speak with your Physio about.