Improving Women’s Health and Lifestyle: Pelvic Floor Rehab
Perineology is a specialty dealing with the pelvic floor muscles and the three connected “axis” along the perineum (urinary tract/bladder, vagina/uterus, and rectum). The specialty understands this area of the body holistically, rather than looking at the organs separately. It effectively treats issues with urinary incontinence, constipation or diarrhea, or sexual pain/problems. Many times these problems are tied to pelvic floor issues, and often interconnected and accompanied by other symptoms like low back pain.
Patients often seek help before or after giving birth. For others, problems flare up later, especially around menopause. If a woman experienced urinary incontinence post-partum that wasn’t resolved within six months, this issue generally reoccurs later in life.
Pelvic floor rehabilitation can help women experiencing:
- Urinary incontinence: leaking when you laugh, cough, or sneeze; difficulty making it to the bathroom, dribbling, etc.
- Constipation, straining, hemorrhoids, fissures
- Pain or less sensation during sexual intercourse
- Sexual discomfort (Sensation of heaviness in the vagina) or functional problems
We start with an in-depth series of questions about history and current issues. The benefit of perineology is that issues in this area are often related. Since we do not just focus on one organ, this approach can provide better solutions. Some women come to see me for a combination of the above problems, not just one of them. We identify the underlying functional problem with the pelvic floor.
The intake is combined with a physical exam to assess physical structure and muscle control.
From the diagnosis, together with the patient, we create a targeted treatment plan (with approximate number of sessions and goals that can be achieved). Therapy is mostly focused on education and exercises but sometimes manual therapy is needed to achieve greater results. The techniques are highly effective and often help a patient avoid invasive surgeries or reliance on medications.
We also work in coordination with the holistic team at Body & Soul and other practitioners. For example, a patient dealing with constipation may have both pelvic floor issues and nutritional or systematic issues. Our functional medicine practitioner can assess and address these issues so that, together, we can fully resolve the problem. Acupuncture or herbal medicine can be useful in many cases as well.
Juke van der Scheer is a physiotherapist who obtained her master’s degree in perineology in 2015. She specializes in women’s health issues. Additionally, she is certified in the McKenzie Method (MDT) to treat spinal problems, and focuses on helping people with acute and chronic pain. Get in touch with us to schedule a consultation appointment with Juke. Juke offers sessions in our Downtown Clinic – Xintiandi in English, Dutch and French.