Frequently Asked Questions

Pelvic Floor Physiotherapy FAQs

What should I expect at my first visit?2024-02-21T11:18:11-05:00

Your Pelvic Physiotherapist will start off by collecting a detailed history of your symptoms. She will then ask about many other potential symptoms that often go with pelvic floor dysfunction. These include questions about sexual function, bladder, bowel, low back, hip and tailbone symptoms. These questions may seem very personal and unrelated, but if there are problems in any of these areas, it is important to tell your therapist as they are often related to pelvic floor dysfunction. Your Pelvic Physiotherapist may ask you to fill out further questionnaires which will give her a better idea of what is contributing to your specific symptoms.

Once your Pelvic Physiotherapist has gathered information about your condition, she will begin a physical assessment. These may vary depending on your symptoms, and may not all be completed on the first visit. The physical assessment may include assessment of your low back, SI joints, connective tissue of the abdomen and thighs, and a pelvic floor assessment. A pelvic floor assessment involves an internal exam looking for trigger points in the pelvic floor, and assessing the strength of the pelvic floor.

Once your Pelvic Physiotherapist has completed her examination, she will explain her findings to you. She will give you exercises or other homework to do, and explain how often you should return for treatment. She will explain what changes you should expect to see, and how long you should expect your treatment to take. She will give you time to ask questions.

Is an internal examination required?2024-05-08T14:22:49-04:00

An internal examination is the gold standard for assessment and treatment of conditions related to the pelvic floor. Without feeling the muscles, your pelvic floor physiotherapist will be unable to identify if you have trigger points, or if you can contract your pelvic floor effectively.

That being said, there are generally many parts of the assessment and treatment that can take place without an internal exam. Some patients have been treated successfully without ever doing an exam.  Though the most benefit will be derived if your pelvic floor physiotherapist completes an internal exam, you will still benefit from pelvic floor physiotherapy if you are uncomfortable with or unable to have an internal exam.

How many sessions are required?2024-02-02T09:31:03-05:00

This will depend on your condition and its complexity. In general, for simple incontinence or prolapse (without any exacerbating factors), you will require 6-12 treatments. If you have a complex pain issue, this will likely take longer.

Is there homework to do between sessions?2024-02-02T09:31:23-05:00

Yes, there is homework. Some examples of homework you may have include stretches, strengthening exercises or tracking things like bladder or bowel habits, diet, and fluid intake.

What if I already tried doing Kegels and they didn’t work?2024-02-21T11:19:07-05:00

Pelvic floor physiotherapy is so much more than just Kegels (pelvic floor muscle training). If you have tried doing Kegels in the past but have not noticed any improvement, there could be many reasons.

Firstly, up to 30% of women are unable to do a Kegel when asked. Many women instead contract their abdominals, glutes, or adductors. Or they bear down (push). If this is the issue, you may have been attempting to do Kegels, but you have actually been strengthening the wrong muscles. A pelvic floor physiotherapist will check vaginally or rectally so they can actually feel your Kegel, and teach you how to locate and contract your pelvic floor.

If you have been doing Kegels with no effect, the problem could be that your pelvic floor is actually too tight, or has trigger points. For a muscle to be effective, it needs to have strength, but it also needs to be able to relax. For instance, if you can’t open your fist, strengthening your hand is not going to help. In this case, doing Kegels may have actually made your symptoms worse. Instead, your pelvic floor physiotherapist will release the tension or trigger points in your pelvic floor muscles, and give you stretches or other exercises to do at home. Your pelvic floor physiotherapist will also help you determine what other factors may be contributing to the tension or trigger points in your pelvic floor.


Does EMSELLA actually work?2024-02-02T09:33:28-05:00

This is by far the number one question that we are asked multiple times every single day. They answer is yes! It’s ok to be skeptical, we were at first as well. But as we researched this new technology, read all the available studies, and peppered BTL (the developer and manufacturer of EMSELLA) it became clear that we had to make this technology available to our patients. We have used EMSELLA ourselves and the results have been amazing.

Is EMSELLA safe?2024-02-02T09:33:51-05:00

EMSELLA is an US FDA and Health Canada approved medical device. The technology uses a non-ionizing electromagnetic energy to stimulate the contraction of muscle cells. This technology does not have a thermal effect on the body.

What does EMSELLA feel like?2024-02-02T09:34:39-05:00

The second most common question that we are asked is, “what does it feel like?” This is a little bit more difficult to answer because the sensation is very new and different. It doesn’t hurt and it’s neither pleasant or unpleasant, it’s just very different. If we had to describe it we would say that it feels like a strong buzzing in your perineum with occasional slower deep pelvic floor muscle contractions. The feeling is the most intense during the first visit when it’s new and you’re not sure what to expect. By visit number six, it’s comfortable and familiar.

Does EMSELLA help men?2024-02-02T09:35:15-05:00

Yes, EMSELLA benefits men and male pelvic floor anatomy. Men who are experiencing urinary leaks, feelings of urgency, excessive frequency and waking at night can expect to see an improvement with EMSELLA. EMSELLA has also been shown to help men with erectile dysfunction related to pelvic floor dysfunction. Men also report improvements in sexual satisfaction such as more pleasurable orgasms and improved volume of ejaculate.

Does EMSELLA help women?2024-02-02T09:35:44-05:00

Yes, EMSELLA benefits women and female pelvic floor anatomy. Women who are experiencing urinay leaks, feelings of urgency, excessive frequency and waking at night can expect to see an improvement with EMSELLA. Women may notice increases in sexual pleasure, confidence, lubrication, intensity of orgasms and overall sexual satisfaction after EMSELLA treatments.

Do I take my clothes off for an EMSELLA treatment?2024-02-02T09:36:10-05:00

Not at all! This is one of the benefits of EMSELLA technology. You sit down in the clothes you wore to your appointment and in 28 minutes you’re ready to go. Treatment is completely non-invasive.

What is one thing that surprises every EMSELLA patient?2024-02-02T09:36:54-05:00

The sound! No one is expecting the sound. EMSELLA uses a powerful electromagnetic force to depolarize the muscle cells of your pelvic floor and trigger them to contract. If you’ve ever had an MRI you know that a powerful electromagnet doesn’t work silently. You can expect to hear some tapping and buzzing during your EMSELLA treatment. It’s much quieter than an MRI, but it’s still louder than anyone expects.

How long is an EMSELLA treatment session?2024-02-02T09:38:39-05:00

Each EMSELLA treatment sessions last 28-minutes. Allowing a few minutes to remove your jewelry and get comfortable, you can expect to be in and out in 35-minutes. There is no downtime and you can return to all your normal activities immediately. A course of EMSELLA treatment consists of six visits, or two visits per week for three weeks.

How quickly will I begin to feel results?2024-02-02T09:39:04-05:00

This varies from person to person but it is not uncommon for patients to report that they begin to notice improvements after their first visit.

How long will my EMSELLA results last?2024-02-02T09:39:40-05:00

As with any exercise program, the saying “use it or lose it” also applies to the muscles of the pelvic floor. EMSELLA strengthens your muscles but some maintenance is required to keep your muscles in top form. You can complete 3-4 EMSELLA maintenance visits per year or actively complete your Kegel exercises or some combination of both. With proper maintenance, EMSELLA results are long lasting.

Are there any side effects to EMSELLA?2024-02-02T09:40:29-05:00

The side effects of EMSELLA are very minor and in most cases are similar to what you might expect from beginning any new exercise program. Most commonly reported is an increased awareness of the muscles of the pelvic floor and some very minor discomfort of tendons. Typically, this is most noticeable after the first visit and only lasts for a couple of hours. The manufacture of the EMSELLA chair notes that side effects may include muscular pain, temporary muscle spasm, temporary joint or tendon pain, temporary increase of local circulation, increased sensitivity during intercourse, and local skin redness.

Are there any contraindications to EMSELLA?2024-02-02T09:40:58-05:00

Yes, EMSELLA is amazing but it is not for everyone. If you are pregnant, have implanted electronic devices, or have metallic implants you cannot receive EMSELLA treatment. However, you can still benefit from treatment with a pelvic floor physiotherapist.

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