Pelvic Floor Physical Therapy Embarrassing or Invasive? Addressing common concerns

While it can feel awkward to give the pelvic region of the body specific attention, our patients often note that they felt significantly less exposed than they thought they would. Still, it’s common to wonder if pelvic floor therapy will be embarrassing.

Pelvic floor therapy is not inherently embarrassing. It’s administered by skilled healthcare professionals who prioritize patient confidentiality and comfort, ensuring a non-judgmental environment. Patients should feel at ease discussing their concerns and symptoms during these sessions.

While it is an effective treatment for a wide range of pelvic floor disorders and conditions, it’s understandable if you feel apprehensive about seeking this type of therapy.

Understanding the Pelvic Floor

As we discussed in our article on what pelvic floor physical therapy is, this form of physical therapy is a specialized form of physical therapy that focuses on the muscles, ligaments, and connective tissues in the pelvic region.

However, many patient’s don’t totally understand what the pelvic floor is, and how it functions.

The pelvic floor is a group of muscles that forms a supportive sling-like structure at the base of the pelvis. It can be helpful to think of your core musculature like a soda can:

  • The abdominals, obliques, and lower back muscles wrap around the trunk form the walls of the can
  • The pelvic floor forms the bottom of the can, supporting the contents above

The pelvic floor plays a crucial role in supporting various organs, including the bladder, uterus, and rectum.

It is sometimes the case that a basic core strengthening routine isn’t enough, and the pelvic floor needs to be targeted specifically with therapy and strengthening techniques.

When these muscles become weak, tight, or dysfunctional, it can lead to a variety of dysfunctions, including urinary incontinence, pelvic pain, pelvic organ prolapse, fecal incontinence, and sexual dysfunction. Pelvic floor therapy is also extremely helpful for pregnant women or women who have just given birth.

Is pelvic floor therapy embarrassing?

The most common concerns we hear regarding pelvic floor therapy all revolve around:

  • The procedures involved will be invasive
  • The conversations with the therapist will be awkward (and others in the office will overhear)
  • Everyone in the physical therapy office will know (there will be confidentiality issues)

If you’ve never had pelvic floor therapy before, these concerns are totally understandable. We’d like to address each of these concerns below:

Is pelvic floor therapy invasive?

One of the most common concerns about pelvic physical therapy is that it involves invasive procedures. This is understandable since physical therapy generally has a reputation for being non-invasive by its nature.

In reality, pelvic floor therapy is typically non-invasive and conducted by licensed physical therapists who are trained to provide a comfortable and respectful environment for patients.

During your sessions, you’ll work with your therapist to perform exercises and movements designed to improve pelvic floor function. There are no invasive procedures involved, and you are always in control of your comfort level.

Additionally, we like to operate on the assumption that “NO” is a complete sentence. If at any point you’re uncomfortable, all you need to tell your therapist is that you don’t wish to continue – we won’t give you any trouble.

Are the conversations awkward?

Another common concern is that discussing personal matters related to the pelvic floor can be uncomfortable or embarrassing.

It’s important to remember that physical therapists who specialize in pelvic floor therapy are professionals who are trained to approach these sensitive topics with empathy and sensitivity. As mentioned above, we will also immediately discontinue anything you say you wish to stop discussing, no questions asked.

Your therapist’s primary goal is to help you, and we will create a safe and non-judgmental space for you to discuss your concerns and symptoms.

Confidentiality concerns

In general, protected health information (PHI) is a sensitive topic, and rightly so! This is doubly true when we’re dealing with issues that a patient may find embarrassing or awkward to discuss.

One of our policies when it comes to pelvic floor therapy is that the conversations with your therapist will all be had behind closed doors. There is no need for us to discuss or bring up your condition(s) in front of other people in the clinic.

Your therapy sessions are confidential, just like any other medical appointment. Your therapist will ensure that your personal information and treatment details remain private.

What is pelvic floor physical therapy like

So, what is pelvic floor therapy like in reality? Your therapy will always begin with a comprehensive evaluation where you’ll have an opportunity to discuss your medical history, symptoms, and concerns with a trained therapist.

Once you’re comfortable, we’ll put together a comprehensive treatment plan of exercises and movements specifically tailored to your condition, which aim to improve pelvic floor strength and function.

This exercise program can consist of:

  • Various kegel exercises
  • Variations of heel slides and glute bridge type exercises with modifications to focus on the pelvic floor
  • Diaphragmatic breathing

These sessions are conducted in a private and respectful environment, ensuring that you can comfortably address your pelvic health concerns without feeling embarrassed or judged.

Over the weeks, we will progress your exercises slowly to ensure that we’re capitalizing on the progress you’ve made and continuing to address issues as they arise.

Ultimately, the benefit of pelvic floor physical therapy is to enhance your overall well-being and alleviate any pelvic floor-related discomfort or issues you may be experiencing.

For both men and women., pelvic floor physical therapy is an excellent treatment option that can improve your pelvic health and quality of life.

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