What to Expect
The Initial Pelvic Floor Evaluation
For your first session of pelvic floor physical therapy, an initial evaluation is performed by a licensed, trained physical therapist or occupational therapist. The initial evaluation usually lasts 45-60 minutes and always takes place in a private treatment room.
Prior to seeing your physical or occupational therapist, you may have to fill out initial paperwork. The front office staff is ready to assist with any questions regarding these forms. We recommended arriving 15 minutes early to allow time to fill out these forms.
In the first part of the evaluation, your therapist will get to know your reason for coming into pelvic floor physical therapy. They will ask you detailed questions regarding your symptoms. It is helpful to know how those symptoms impact your daily life when creating your individualized goals for therapy.
The second part of the evaluation consists of a musculoskeletal assessment of your body to determine how it may be contributing to your symptoms. With your consent, this will often include a pelvic floor muscle assessment. A pelvic floor muscle assessment is an external and internal examination of the pelvic floor muscles in the vagina or rectum (an internal examination). The therapist will check for pelvic floor muscle strength, muscle control, tone, reflexes, and pain. All aspects of the pelvic floor muscle assessment are described to you so you gain an understanding of how this area affects your symptoms. You can request an alternative to the internal pelvic floor muscle assessment if needed.
Your therapist may also perform an orthopedic assessment of surrounding areas, which may include taking a closer look at your spine, hips, pelvis, and abdomen.
The third of the evaluation is establishing the plan of care. Your therapist will explain the findings from the musculoskeletal assessments and answer any questions that you have. Your therapist will also discuss the recommended course of treatment. Your plan of care is tailored to your individual needs and results from the evaluation. Most patients attend physical therapy sessions on a weekly basis over the course of 4-12 weeks.
The last part of the evaluation consists of treatment, where your therapist will teach you techniques to start addressing your symptoms. Treatment techniques performed the first session may include: manual therapy, therapeutic exercise, muscle re-education, and behavioral modification. You will often leave your session with an initial home program.
The staff at Doctor of Women’s Health is eager to assist you with your therapy needs and answer any questions regarding the initial visit. Please do not hesitate to contact us.