Women’s health physiotherapy
What is women’s health physiotherapy?
Women’s health physiotherapy is a specialist area of physiotherapy involving the assessment and treatment of disorders affecting the pelvis and pelvic floor muscles.
These disorders may include:
- Stress incontinence - leakage of urine on coughing, sneezing, running or jumping
- Urinary urgency – having to rush to the toilet to avoid leaking
- Urinary urge incontinence – leaking on the way to the toilet
- Frequency – going to the toilet to pass urine very frequently
- Bowel urgency and incontinence
- Pelvic organ prolapse – a sensation of something dragging down below or feeling heavy, the sensation of a bulge, heaviness
- Vulval and pelvic floor pain disorders – vulvodynia, vaginismus, pain with sexual activity
- Pregnancy related pelvic pain
- Post-natal pelvic floor conditions (including third and fourth degree perineal tears).
Physiotherapy can be a very effective treatment for these symptoms and in many cases is the first line treatment recommended before exploring other more invasive options.
Referrals are made through your GP, a hospital consultant, midwife or another physiotherapist.
What can I expect at my women’s health physiotherapy appointment?
You will be treated by a physiotherapist with specialist training in assessing and treating your symptoms. Your physiotherapist will be female and you will see the same physiotherapist each time you come for treatment.
Your first appointment can last up to 1 hour and follow-up appointments up to 30 minutes. You will be asked a number of questions relating to your symptoms and, with your consent, your physiotherapist may do a vaginal or rectal (internal) examination. This is an important part of your assessment and necessary to assess your pelvic floor function and establish the possible causes of your symptoms. It will ensure that your treatment is tailored specifically to you and help us to improve the outcome of your physiotherapy treatment.
If you do not wish to be examined or if you feel at all anxious please inform your physiotherapist. If you do not want to be examined that is fine, we can still give you treatment, but it may be limited.
At the end of your first appointment the physiotherapist will discuss a treatment plan with you.
What do I need to bring to my appointment?
You may have been sent a bladder diary with your appointment letter. If so then please complete it and bring it to your appointment. It would also be useful if you can bring any medical letters or results about your problem and a list of any medications you take.
What if I can’t attend my appointment?
If you are unable to attend your appointment then please contact the physiotherapy department (0121 335 8085 or firstname.lastname@example.org ) as soon as possible to re-arrange to a more suitable date and time. You can still attend the appointment if you are on your period.
We have a strict policy on failure to attend appointments. If you fail to attend your initial appointment you will be discharged.
The Women’s Health Physiotherapy team are based in the Physiotherapy Department on the 4th floor of Birmingham Women’s Hospital.
Contact details and working hours
Phone - 0121 335 8085
Monday to Friday, 8.00am – 4.00pm.
Please note, we are not open on weekends or bank holiday