Home > What to expect > Frequently asked questions
No. To be able to practice in this highly-regulated profession, our therapists have completed extensive post-graduate training in this field to gain the knowledge and clinical skills necessary to treat this complex clinical area. Our therapists study through The Women’s Health Training Associates and Melbourne University, as they offer a comprehensive training for Physiotherapists in this field. To be competent to work in this area, our therapist’s professional development has included hundreds of hours of theory and practical study, and multiple workshops, courses and monthly peer review meetings with other trusted colleagues in this field. Although our therapists can treat musculoskeletal injuries like ankle or shoulder sprains, they focuses on treating those with pelvic floor dysfunction, rather than standard injuries, but take a whole body and mind approach to treatment.
While we strive to be family-friendly it can be beneficial for Mums if children are not present, so they can focus completely on the treatment. There is often a lot of new information to absorb and if internal treatment is required we want you to be as relaxed as possible. However, we will do our best to accommodate the needs of your family.
No. You can make your appointment without a referral. ACC and private appointments are available. If you do have a referral from your doctor or health care provider, then they will send it to Pelvic Solutions directly. To book now click here.
A Pelvic health assessment will help us understand your current situation. Based on what we find we will give you the needed tools to strengthen the pelvic floor for post birth, learn to relax it at the needed times, teach mobility exercises to improve mobility for birth, teach breathing techniques and teach techniques to protect the abdominals and the pelvis and spine for the future.
There are a variety of techniques for perineal massage. Our therapists can teach you the needed techniques as apart of your consultation.
Some results can be felt immediately after the first session, however for permanent changes to be made it usually takes longer. Usually 3 treatments are indicated initially one week apart, then usually a follow-up anywhere between 2-4 weeks later, and then further treatments less often as required. This is due to the complex nature of most cases our therapist treats, and usually the problems are chronic, meaning it takes time to change behaviour, and strengthen muscles and co-ordinate body systems to improve function. We will strive to resolve your problem in the minimum number of treatments; the greatest success occurs when you are an active participant in your treatment program, and follow the advice given. Our therapists communicate directly with patients outside of appointments and are always available by email or phone to discuss any problems or concerns you may have with your program.
For our out of town clients, it may be difficult to get to the follow up appointments. We will discuss with you the suitability or an online follow up, if you are unable to make it in person.
**Due to high demand we encourage all new patients to book their initial and two follow up appointments two weeks apart to ensure you get the most out of your treatment.
Most people feel fine after an internal vaginal examination, no different than after a pap smear test usually. If treatment involves extended internal body work, releasing the pelvic floor muscles and trigger points, then some people can experience some aching after treatment (like after a massage!), but this generally resolves within a few hours. Some people can feel thirsty, have headaches, and feel tired after internal body work, especially if the muscles are chronically tight. Listen to your body and rest as you need to. It is important to hydrate with plenty of water. It is recommended that after an internal examination you drink a large glass of water, and empty your bladder as standard care. You will be provided with detailed aftercare instructions after your treatment.
If you have any concerns about how you are feeling after internal body work then please get in touch with us by email here.
Our therapists have backgrounds in exercise prescription and sports science and will work with you to create a one on one exercise program that is tailored to your needs.
There is strong evidence that treating prolapse (Grade 3 or less) conservatively with Pelvic Floor Physiotherapy (for up to 6 months) can significantly improve or even reverse prolapse and symptoms. Grade 4 prolapse (outside of the vagina completely) usually needs surgical intervention to resolve.
Diastasis (tummy muscle separation) is a condition our therapists treat regularly. It is all about getting the system to work as a whole and in the correct alignment. Our classes are tailored to support anyone with a diastasis and will give you the needed tools to support it across the lifespan.
Yes! We can assess for muscle tone which can play a role in perineal trauma and give you so many helpful tips and tricks to support you pre, during and post birth.
Our instructors are trained pelvic health physiotherapists and exercise scientists. We ensure you attend a screening session with us before the classes begin that way we have an understanding of your prolapse and can adapt the exercises as needed.
The majority of the time we will not need to examine the prostate internally.
The majority of assessment and treatment can take place with the clothes on, or through the underwear.
Physiotherapists are experts at working with the musculoskeletal and neuromuscular systems of the body. With their additional specific training, Pelvic Floor Physiotherapists are well-placed to assess and treat muscle groups, including the pelvic floor. The muscles of the pelvic floor are found at the opening of the vagina (in women), urethra, and rectum. Thoroughly assessing the function of the pelvic floor is possible with an examination performed with one finger (gloved) inserted into the vaginal or rectal canal. There is a strong anatomical basis for this seemingly unconventional exam. Pelvic Floor Physiotherapists train in both internal and external evaluation and treatment techniques and current medical research backs this approach.
An internal assessment is the “gold standard” for a comprehensive assessment of the pelvic floor. Some patients may be hesitant at first but then choose to go ahead with internal assessment. However, for patients who are not comfortable with internal examinations, there is no obligation to have one. Pelvic Floor Physiotherapists can assess the function of the pelvic floor by using external observation and cueing. A surface EMG (electromyography) biofeedback test can be used to assist this examination.
During your initial appointment extra time is allocated to gather detailed information about your presenting complaint, bladder and bowel function, medical, gynaecological and surgical history, birthing history, sexual function, dietary habits, toileting behaviours, and lifestyle.
A thorough physical examination is then performed which includes assessment of posture, breathing mechanics, musculoskeletal testing, and if appropriate may include an internal vaginal or rectal examination. This examination is performed by observing and/or palpating the perineal region including the vagina and/or rectum. This evaluation will assess skin condition, reflexes, muscle tone, length, strength and endurance, scar mobility and function of the pelvic floor region (note: your therapist will explain the procedure completely and only proceed with your consent).
This allows us to form a working diagnosis. Your Pelvic Floor Physiotherapist will explain the diagnosis to you and discuss the different treatment approaches which may be appropriate. In some cases, referral back to your GP or another practitioner may be required.
Up to 60 minutes is allowed for the initial consultation. This allows for a thorough understanding of your condition and for initial treatment to take place.
Follow-up appointments will likely be required to achieve best results. Return appointments are up to 30 minutes. Extended 45 and 60-minute appointments are available for more complex and chronic problems. Your progress is reviewed at every appointment and the treatment adjusted accordingly. Some conditions may improve quicker with a prescription of specific exercises: your Physiotherapist will advise you.
Expect improved control, higher self-esteem, better sex, improved continence, increased confidence, better natural lubrication, improved sensation in the vagina and much more!
Before attending the pregnancy class we recommend you attend a 1 on 1 consult with one of our therapists to assess the pelvic girdle or back pain. That way we can tailor the class and exercises to your needs.
To help patients achieve optimal health, Physiotherapists usually work very closely with surgeons. Surgery can repair a structural problem, but it is equally vital to restore muscular control and function to accomplish the best results after surgery. Research has shown that physiotherapy prior to and after surgery improves patient outcomes, as well as reducing the need for future surgery. Pelvic Floor Physiotherapy can also help after procedures such as vaginal botox, to help with restoring muscle function, retraining of the complex core system including the breath, and optimising sexual functions.
Pelvic floor/perineal injuries covered by ACC are usually only after instrumental deliveries (forceps and ventouse), or trauma caused in an accident e.g. broken pelvis. Generally, ACC will only cover treatment within 12 months of the date of injury. If an ACC claim has expired there is a possibility it could be reactivated. Your practitioner can discuss this with you.
If you have sustained a musculoskeletal injury due to an accident and it has affected your pelvic floor function, in most cases you will be able to lodge an ACC claim at the time of your appointment. If you have lodged a claim with your GP, or have had ACC-covered treatment from another therapist (e.g. Osteopath, Physiotherapist, Chiropractor or Acupuncturist), please bring the relevant information, such as claim number and date of claim, to your appointment.
ACC will only cover part of the cost of treatment, so there will be a balance to pay. Please click here for treatment rates. You will be required to pay the full private fee until you have provided the relevant claim information and it has been confirmed by ACC to be valid. If you need assistance understanding whether you are eligible for ACC, please get in touch with us.
Yes it is possible to bring your baby to the postnatal classes if they are young enough that they are not crawling or walking yet. You are more than welcome to attend to your baby throughout the class. Babies are always welcome and we will accommodate your needs, however, we find mum’s relax more and enjoy the experience if they can focus on themselves.
There is no evidence that internal vaginal examinations during pregnancy cause miscarriage, however due to the higher risk of miscarriage in the first 12 weeks, Pelvic Floor Physiotherapists may not examine internally during the first 12 weeks of pregnancy if there is a history of unstable pregnancy or miscarriage.
This is a very common misconception. Urinary incontinence is a failed system, not just a failed muscle. Having a strong muscle does not necessarily mean it is coordinated. To remain continent, people need a fully-functioning system including muscle groups which are strong but flexible, and which can coordinate how to tighten when they need to and relax when they need to. Assessment with a Pelvic Floor Physiotherapist involves looking at these muscle groups, including the pelvic floor muscles, abdominals, hip muscles, lumbar spine and diaphragm, as well as breathing mechanics, and how they function as an integrated system. Sometimes pelvic floor muscles can be shortened and irritated, and this can also lead to incontinence just as much as having a weak pelvic floor. Your Pelvic Floor Physiotherapist will advise you of the individualised exercises that are required to help your specific problem.
Yes! The classes are a mix of yoga, pilate’s, and general strengthening exercises. Because you would have had your initial assessment with us we will understand the level you are at and can adapt the exercises as needed.