Pelvic Floor Examination by a Physiotherapist
This information should be read prior to consenting to a vaginal or rectal examination
WHY MAY A PHYSIOTHERAPIST NEED TO PERFORM A VAGINAL OR RECTAL EXAMINATION?
To assess the tone (tightness) of the internal pelvic floor muscles.
To assess the strength and endurance of these muscles when you are performing pelvic floor exercises (lifts), and give guidance on the best way for you to do these exercises.
An internal assessment of the Pelvic Floor is part of the Mummy MOT assessment, Pelvic health physiotherapy assesment as well as return to run assessments.
If you wish to have a chaperone, that is fine but please inform the physiotherapist prior to your appointment date as this will need to be arranged.
WHAT HAPPENS DURING AN ASSESSMENT OF THE PELVIC FLOOR?
You will be requested to remove your pants and lie on a bed, on your back, with your knees bent, or for a rectal examination on your side.
As part of this examination, the physiotherapist will insert a gloved, lubricated finger into your vagina or rectum feeling the pelvic floor muscles to the left and right. You will then be required to hold a contraction whilst you cough. In order to assess your muscle function further, you will be asked to hold a series of timed and counted contractions.
You may also be asked to ‘bear down’ to assess prolapse.
If the Physiotherapist finds an increase in tightness or a trigger point in one of the muscles of your pelvic floor, she may, with your permission, work on this with manual release therapy, using the inserted finger.
The internal assessment usually takes about 5 minutes, but may be shorter or longer.
CAN I SAY NO?
Absolutely. You are in full control, and may decline a vaginal assessment, or stop the assessment at any time. Your Physiotherapist will respect your wishes at all times.