What to Expect During a Pelvic Examination

Most women are quite apprehensive about coming for a pelvic examination. Unlike the training received by members of the multidisciplinary team, during post-graduate pelvic physiotherapy training, physiotherapists are expected to model for each other as assessment and treatment techniques are being learned. This means that most Women’s Health physiotherapists have been through a pelvic assessment and/or treatment many times before. We know how you feel! A lot of women are self-conscious about their anatomical differences. We all come in various shapes and sizes, and I would encourage any person who doubts this to have a look at the artistic works of Jamie McCartney, who aims to promote body image positivity through his castings called “The Great Wall of Vagina”.

Throughout your treatment you can be expected to be treated by one of our trained female Woman’s Health Physiotherapists. During the first consultation, you will be asked some personal questions pertaining to your bladder, bowel and sexual function. Open and honest answers are needed to accurately deduce a possible diagnosis. It will then be explained to you what may be occurring and the reason/s for this. It is likely that you will be asked to complete a bladder diary, which will require you to record the amount of fluid consumed and urine voided for a minimum of 24 hours (but three days is preferred). From this information, insight into the possible contributors to your discomforts can be gained. Lifestyle and behavioral modifications to ease your symptoms may also be suggested. In most cases, an internal vaginal examination is recommended to confirm what appears to be the issue. The need for this will be explained during your initial consultation and you will be given the opportunity to think about your comfortability with this in preparation for your next visit. Should you choose not to have an internal examination, your decision will be respected and alternative ways to continue holistic treatment can be explored.

We pride ourselves in creating a comfortable environment where you can rest assured that your right to respect, dignity and confidentiality will be held in the highest regard. In most cases, these types of conditions require patience and a committed investment in the journey to improved function.

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