What can a Women’s and Pelvic Health physiotherapist help with?
Women’s and Pelvic Health physiotherapists have special expertise in treatment of continence issues including leakage from the bladder or bowel, prolapse of the pelvic organs as well as treatment of pelvic pain. They can also help if you have overactive pelvic floor muscles.
What happens when you see them?
The physiotherapist will usually take a full history of your bladder and bowel function, sexual function as well as your medical, surgical and general history. They will also ask about your usual daily activities and the types of any physical exercise you do. A physical examination of your pelvic floor is also usually part of the consultation. If you have had pain or medical trauma in the past and a vaginal / intimate examination is hard for you, your physiotherapist should work with you to help you find it easier. There are multiple ways to do this. Don’t let this concern stop you from seeking help.
Do I need a referral?
No, you can make an appointment to see a private Women’s and Pelvic Health Physiotherapist directly. If you see a GP or another medical specialist about an issue with your pelvic floor, they may also refer you to see a Women’s and Pelvic Health Physiotherapist.
How much does it cost?
Costs with private practitioners vary. If you have private health insurance, most funds have a rebate to cover part of the cost. Some people with longer-term conditions are eligible for a Medicare rebate for up to 5 sessions if they have a GP referral under a Team Care Arrangement. Publicly funded access to Women’s and Pelvic Health physiotherapists is available at the Royal Hobart Hospital, the Launceston General Hospital and the North-West Regional Hospital. Sessions with Women’s and Pelvic Health physiotherapists at public hospitals are free if you have a Medicare card.
What special qualifications do they have?
All physiotherapists registered in Australia have completed a four-year university qualification in physiotherapy. Women’s and Pelvic Health Physiotherapist also complete additional training, usually a Master’s Degree. Reception staff should be able to advise what type of additional training your physiotherapist has completed. Titled physiotherapists are called “APA Continence and Women’s health Physiotherapist” this is recognition from the professional body that they have extra training and expertise.
I’ve heard them called other names, what’s that about?
Their official title is an APA Continence and Women’s Health Physiotherapist. Sometimes people also call them Pelvic Floor Physiotherapists, Pelvic Health Physiotherapists, Women’s Health Physiotherapists or Continence and Women’s Health Physiotherapists.
I’m really busy, can’t this wait?
Sometimes treatment is surprisingly quick, and easy, sometimes not. The most common thing clients say to their pelvic physios is “I wish I had done this sooner” We know it is really hard to make time to look after yourself but if you are having issues with your pelvic floor, the sooner you can get help the better for your long-term health and welling. You are important, your health is important.