Pelvic Floor Assessment

Why should I have one?

Having a pelvic floor assessment can be daunting for a lot of people. It is however a crucial part of your core and pelvic floor care.

It is the only way to actually know what state your pelvic floor is in, what you specifically need to work on AND if you’re contracting and releasing correctly. Some people will have an overactive pelvic floor and struggle with releasing it, some will have a prolapse, some an avulsion,  others will need to improve tone and then there are the extra special people (like me) who have a combination of those things. The only way to know is to have someone check it out #CheckYoselfBeforeYoWreckYoself

You may think that you are lifting and releasing correcly when in actual fact you may be  bearing down (if your symptoms feel worse after doing C+F, this is probably you). 

So ditch the nerves (everyone has a pelvic floor, and people who assess them do so all day long #YouAreNotUnique)  and make a booking to get your floor assessed. 

Who assesses them?

In Australia, typically a Physiotherapist trained in pelvic floor health (often referred to as a women’s healthy physio) will do them. In the USA and Canada they are called Physical Therapists. 

Some Osteopaths and Chiropractors may however in Australia this is quite rare. 

Your GP can but a person specialised in pelvic floor health is ideal (as this is their jam!) 

Check out my Directory to see if there is a recommendation near you. 

What should I ask before booking an assessment?

You can actually call a health professional  prior to booking with them and ask about their service before booking in. You’re allowed to do that.

You want to know if they do the following: ​
​* A thorough assessment of the pelvic floor (their fingers in your vagina and them looking at your vulva) and core whilst laying, sitting AND standing.  You should be asked to contract and release, contract and hold, bear down and cough. 
​* If you’re comfortable with it, a thorough assessment whilst lifting something heavy i.e. your babe/weight whilst they are feeling and watching what is happening to your pelvic floor 
​​* A check of what your pelvic floor does when you activate your core (this is because when many of us coactivate, aka lift and wrap, we bear down with the pelvic floor as we wrap). 
​* The use of ultrasound for assessment, diagnosis and feedback of core and floor issues (please know this shouldn’t be the only tool used as its only one piece of the puzzle and doesn’t identify all issues such as a hypertonic pelvic floor. It is a really cool feedback tool though) 
* If they fit pessaries if you need one and who they refer to if you need further care/management by someone that is more skilled or skilled in a different area. This is an important part of healthcare work and not a sign that someone is deskilled or not adequate to provide you with care. It’s actually a sign that they are reflective, progressive and an epic human because they want to learn more.​

In these videos Dr Kathryn Johns from Eastern Osteopathy undertakes a full pelvic floor assessment on me. This is a very thorough assessment and she also performs some osteopathy during it. This is not typical of what happens in a pelvic floor assessment but it gives you an idea of what osteopathy is like. You may also not have all of this completed in one assessment. Often you have to give a full history and tell you story in your first appointment, limiting the time you have for an assessment. Its quite normal that an assessment this thorough may spread over a couple of appointments. 

Each care provider also practices differently. Your assessment may look a little different to this. If you are not happy with how your assessment went, please get a second opinion.

The lube used in the videos is also linked below. Both are amazing Australian owned small businesses – the Olive and Bee was my fav simply because it was sooooo smooth and has no chemicals, it was like using butter in my vagina! #yourewelcome