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Why we do an internal examination

Posted 1 month ago

Many of the conditions for which you might seek the advice and treatment of a pelvic floor physiotherapist can be directly linked to the musculature of the pelvic floor.  The muscles of the pelvic floor are very deep and the only way to know what they are doing (contracting, relaxing, how strong they are, how tight they are) is to palpate (feel) them.  The only way to feel them is vaginally or rectally.  When your pelvic floor physiotherapist is palpating (feeling) your pelvic floor muscles she is determining if they are:

  • Shortened, tight and/or tender/painful
  • Weak
  • Have low endurance
  • Have poor timing or coordination

The treatment for each point above is different.  If the pelvic floor physiotherapist doesn’t know what your specific issues are she can’t treat them as effectively and you may get frustrated due to lack of results or aggravate your condition further.

While internal assessment and treatment of the pelvic floor muscles is an important part of pelvic floor physiotherapy there are many other components to success.  Your pelvic floor physiotherapist may or may not recommend an internal examination on the first visit or during the first few visits, she will discuss this with you.  If you are uncomfortable with the internal component of your exam or treatment please let your pelvic floor physiotherapist know.  She will be very happy to explain the examination or treatment to you in more detail, answer any questions that you have, and discuss other options with you.

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