How to Prepare for Your Women’s Health Pelvic Floor Appointment
What To Expect From Your Physical Therapy Appointment
As with the yearly “woman appointment”, many people express some level of stress or anxiety surrounding an internal assessment during a pelvic floor examination. Breathe. hopes to put your nerves at ease by giving you the inside scoop prior to your appointment!
1. You Are Always in Charge
It is important to us that every client knows they are in total control throughout the examination process. All therapists will check in regularly to ensure the clients are as comfortable as possible during every step of the way.
2. No Stirrups or Speculums
You’re welcome 🙂
3. You Will Have Privacy
As you prepare, the therapist will step out of the room and you may use all the time you need! And although a visual evaluation is an important step in the process, throughout the rest of the examination, a sheet will be used to cover up.
4. On Your Period? No Problem
As pelvic floor specialists, we can assure you that we wouldn’t be in this field if that was at all bothersome and can, in fact, be helpful. However, as stated earlier, you are always in charge and are always welcome to postpone the examination until after your menstruation.
5. Be Ready to Learn
All of our therapists are bursting at the seams with knowledge and experience when it comes to addressing pelvic floor dysfunctions. Luckily, our therapists can also email any and all information to you after the appointment so there is no pressure to remember every detail we share!
When it comes to preparing for a pelvic floor appointment, our clinics also understand and practice trauma-informed care. According to research from the CDC, more than 1 in 3 women and 1 in 4 men have expereienced sexual violence involving physical contact in their lifetime. With that in mind, we encourage those that are anxious about an internal examination to prepare using the Rosenbaum Mindfulness Protocol.
The Rosenbaum Mindfulness Protocol is an approach to help people prepare in the comfort and safety of their own home. During each step, check in with yourself and rate your feelings of anxiety from low to high (0-5). At every step, it is our hope that you will be able to reduce your anxiety to 0 or 1. The best part is that there is no time limit – go at your own pace!
- Step 1 – Lay on a bed while fully dressed and covered with a sheet in a comfortable position
- Step 2 – While fully dressed and covered with a sheet, assume the butterfly position with feet together and knees apart.
- Step 3 – Remove the sheet from step 2 while remaining fully dressed.
- Step 4 – Assume the butterfly position in shorts both with and without the sheet.
- Step 5 – Both with and without a sheet, assume the butterfly position with underwear only.
- Step 6 – Finally, try the positions both with and without a sheet without underwear.
This protocol is not required prior to your appointment but may be a good way for clients to prepare mentally and physically. Again, the client is always in charge and you are always able to change your mind at any point.
Still have questions? Give us a call – we’ll be happy to walk you through anything to make you feel more at ease.