Signs You Might Need to See a Pelvic Floor Physical Therapist—By Michelle Musial, MPT

By Michelle Musial, MPT

What is a pelvic floor physical therapist?  Are they covered by insurance?

“A pelvic floor physical therapist is commonly referred to as a Women’s Health Physical Therapist.  We undergo specialized training regarding vaginal and rectal treatments for conditions of the pelvic floor and have a greater appreciation for the roles in core coordination and how scar tissue affects the body. Treatments are typically covered within your normal “therapy” benefits from insurance. This coverage varies from insurance network to network, at times requiring a copay, co-insurance, and funds toward deductible.”

How do I know if I should see a pelvic floor physical therapist?  Can I go when I’m pregnant?

“Our bodies tend to give us small signs at first that they are needing help and retraining, that we tend to ignore until we cannot ignore them any longer. Pain of any nature can definitely warrant pelvic floor physical therapy.  

It is never normal to have painful intimacy, referred abdominal pain, urinary leakage, constipation, sensation of incomplete emptying for urination or bowel movements, tailbone pain, fecal leakage, pelvic organ prolapse, pelvic pain, low back pain, pubic pain, abdominal separation (diastasis recti), etc.  Treatment during pregnancy can be extremely helpful, for getting pain under control and improving progression toward full term pregnancy, especially in cases of pubic pain and any back/hip pain conditions. It is not normal to have pain in pregnancy—it is common, but not normal and should be addressed.”

Is painful sex or peeing my pants after having kids normal?  Should I just “put up” with it?

“These can be common conditions and symptoms, though these are not normal. By 12 weeks postpartum, a woman should be a “functional, hot mess.” What I mean by that, is that you should be fully functional—no urinary or bowel leakage and no pain along c-section scars or perineal scars.  You should be feeling able to move around and perform activities of life without pain or limitation. The hot mess part of that sentence is very importance—12 weeks does not mean your body is back to normal. You should not have lost your baby weight, you will most likely still be exhausted, but you should be fully functional, continent, and without pain.

Painful sex, peeing pants, or any of these symptoms can indicate that pelvic floor physical therapy may be beneficial. Why put up with these symptoms if you don’t need to? Sure, it can be treated later in life, but the earlier on, means less compensations, and more importantly, less time of being plagued by such symptoms.”

*This article is for informational purposes only and is not meant to replace medical care. As always, check with your doctor to discuss your feelings when pregnant to make sure the feelings you are having are normal and not antenatal depression.

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