Embarrassed already? For some of us, just reading the title of this blog post makes us squirm. Luckily, there are healthcare providers who specialize in pelvic health and don’t feel this way so you can get comfortable with them on your journey to recovery. Here’s another shocker – we all have a pelvis! That’s right, this blog post is for women AND men. Let’s cover the basics…
What healthcare professionals specialize in pelvic health and/or rehabilitation?
- Orthopedic doctor
- Physical therapist
- Occupational therapist
What are a few of the commonly treated conditions?
- Bowel incontinence
- Diastasis Recti (separation of the abdominal muscles after having a baby)
- Interstitial cystitis
- Irritable bowel syndrome
- Orthopedic trauma (fractured or broken pelvis)
- Osteitis pubis
- Pain (when sitting, during intercourse)
- Pelvic organ prolapse (POP)
- Pregnancy and post partum
- Pudendal neuralgia
- Scar tissue (often after surgery or cancer)
- Transgender pelvic health
- Urinary incontinence
Let’s cover a few common myths…
- Pelvic Rehabilitation is for women. Check out the commonly treated conditions above and you’ll notice some are gender specific while others occur in both men and women.
- Kegel exercises are the answer to most pelvic health concerns. If this were the case, you wouldn’t need the extensive list of healthcare providers listed above. Kegel exercises may be one of the strategies used to help you reach your goals, however, it likely won’t be the only recommendation provided by a healthcare professional.
- If you’ve seen one healthcare provider, you’ve seen them all. Wrong! In many cases, an interdisciplinary team approach is recommended. While some of the coursework may overlap, each discipline has very specific training. In short, this gives you more treatment options.
- There’s not a lot of resources. The general public may not be talking about this topic as openly as we’d like but there’s help out there! See the short list of resources below to get you started.
Take away points:
- A glass of wine prior to being sexually intimate may treat your shyness, but its not the answer if you’re suffering from one of the conditions listed above. Connect with an expert that can help you meet your goals.
- Knowledge is power. This blog post is only an introduction into what pelvic rehabilitation covers. There are resources listed below, however, do your own research by reading research articles/ blogs, listening to podcasts, and/or attending classes that cover this topic.
- There’s no shame in reaching out and getting help!
Where can I find more information?
- American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists
- American Urological Association
- Herman & Wallace
- International Foundation for Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders
- International Pelvic Pain Society (IPPS)
- National Institutes of Health
- National Vulvodynia Association
Don’t forget to write your questions down and have them ready for when you speak with a pelvic health professional. Reminder: RehabGAB helps to locate physical and occupational therapists that specialize in pelvic rehabilitation in your community. Contact your primary care physician to connect with other healthcare providers.