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Pelvic Floor Physical Therapy

From the Intimacy After Hysterectomy Articles List

Woman doing pelvic floor physical therapyMy doctor prescribed pelvic floor physical therapy for me. I'm embarrassed, and I don't know what to expect. Can you fill me in with some information?


Many people feel embarrassment, shame, or guilt about having to go through Pelvic Floor Physical Therapy. Realize that after many surgeries physical therapy is prescribed for muscle rehabilitation. We tend to forget that the vagina and bladder are muscles and they are supported by muscles.

Your physical therapists may utilize a variety of techniques to enable you to relax and strengthen your pelvic floor, vaginal, and abdominal muscles. It can be utilized to reduce or eliminate bladder incontinence as well as vaginismus.
  • Pelvic Floor and Abdominal exercises – These are contractions including but not limited to Kegel exercises. They have the benefit of both strengthening, toning and relaxing our muscles. It can take some practice to learn how to do Kegel exercises properly; a therapist can help with this.
  • Massage – This may include both internal and external myofascial massage to relax the muscles
  • Biofeedback and electrical stimulation – Sensors are placed on the perineal muscle and attached to a monitor that displays the electrical charge of the muscle. A contracting muscle will measure higher than a relaxed muscle. The therapist will have you go through a series of long and short contractions in order to establish baselines and teach you techniques to relax the muscle. Learning to relax the muscle can reduce pain. Some therapists may also use a sensor placed in the vagina.
  • Dilation – this usually involves a series of dilators in varying sizes, which you use to relax and expand the vaginal muscles. The therapist will show you how to use a dilator, as well as recommend the size and length of time you should use it. Over time you will move to the next size as your vaginal muscles relax.
Your pelvic floor physiotherapist is a trained professional and will do her best to ensure you are as comfortable as possible during your appointments. Learning how to strengthen and relax your pelvic floor will benefit you for many years to come.

This content was written by a member of HysterSisters.com as a non-medical professional based on discussions, resources and input from other patients for the purpose of patient-to-patient support.

11-01-2009 - 09:12 AM


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