Frequently Asked Questions
If you're wondering, someone else probably has too.
Why should I ask my doctor for an OT prescription to see you?
If you answer yes to any of these symptoms or concerns, you may benefit from seeing me:
Urinary leakage or incontinence
Bowel leakage or incontinence
Inability to contain gas
Gapping of the abdominal muscles after giving birth
Feeling of heaviness or like something is "falling out" between your legs
Pain with sex, inserting a tampon and/or with gynecologic exams
Wanting to learn how to prepare for childbirth
Fear of the transition into motherhood
Musculoskeletal pain in the first years of caring for your child
You're an occupational therapist. I thought physical therapist did this kind of therapy.
You're right, PT's can specialize in pelvic floor therapy as well, however OT's are also qualified and more that able to study and specialize in this area of work. Occupational therapists focus on what is intrinsically important to our clients and address dysfunction in activities of daily living. I think for most people would agree that not peeing every time they sneeze or having enjoyable sex are both pretty important activities of daily living! I think what sets OT apart is our holistic approach to treating our patients which gives me a broad yet empathetic approach to treating these sensitive issues.
What do you mean, internal exam?
The pelvic floor muscles are just like other muscles in the body. They can be tight or weak or uncoordinated. They can even have painful trigger points just like other muscles and the best way to evaluate and often treat what is going on with your muscles is to perform an internal exam. After assessing your skin and muscles externally, with your consent, I will use a gloved finger, inserted vaginally, to evaluate your pelvic floor muscles.
Do I have to have an internal exam?
No. If, after discussion, you don't feel comfortable with an internal exam then we won't do it. There are other ways that we can work with the pelvic muscles that don't require internal work.
What if I have my period, should I cancel my appointment?
There is no need to cancel. We can still perform the internal exam if you have your period. Or, if you prefer to wait, there are plenty of other things that we can do and address without doing any internal work.
What should I wear?
Wear comfortable clothes that you can move around in. During any internal exams or treatment you will be provided a gown and sheet. When not doing internal work you will wear your clothes and will likely be engaging in exercise so you want to be able to feel free to move.
You mentioned we might do biofeedback. What is that?
Unlike the muscles in our arms and legs that bend and straighten our joints, the pelvic floor muscles, when contracted don't make an obvious visible change that let us know we're doing it right. They are tucked away in a place that is hard to see and even feel so a lot of times we aren't working the muscles correctly. Biofeedback is a way to get actual visual feedback of how the muscles are working. We use sensors placed either externally or internally. These sensors measure the activity of the pelvic floor muscles and software translates the information in real time into a visual graph. Biofeedback is a great way to better understand how to engage and/or relax our deep core and pelvic floor muscles.
I'm nervous about making an appointment. Should I do it?
Yes! If you are experiencing symptoms that are affecting your life in a negative way you deserve to be taken care of. I understand how nerve-wracking this kind of work can be. I've been the patient before too and although I was nervous the first few times, I am forever grateful for what I learned and continue to learn about the health and wellness of my body.