The main part of self-care is knowing your body well. When talking about female health, you’ll probably want to see what you need to do to keep your health in balance. Mostly, people go to their doctor only after they feel certain difficulties, which is wrong. This is a time where people live fast, and their health suffers because they often forget how much prevention is essential. So, be free to come and visit your doctor even if you don’t have a problem. You can go just for a regular checkup and counseling. Regarding checkups, have you ever heard about pelvic floor exam?
In this article, we’ll answer all your questions and explain why the pelvic floor examination is an important yearly physical exam for women.
What Is a Pelvic Floor?
Shortly, the pelvic floor represents a huge muscle group that is concentrated inside your pelvis. Its position is in the bottom region of the pelvis between the sitting bones. The pelvic floor is also known as the pelvic diaphragm. It’s a funnel-shaped structure that separates the pelvic cavity and the perineum, including the anus and genitalia. You already know that this area consists of important female organs like the uterus, bladder, and others. These are some of the components:
- Fascia coverings of the muscles
All these components have their function in everyday life. Their role is to help manage the pressure changes with heavy lifting, contribute to sexual appreciation, control the bladder, and even during childbirth.
What Is a Pelvic Floor Exam?
So, the pelvic floor exam is a particular procedure, or better say assessment, that involves an internal and external examination of your vagina. But, let’s go step by step:
- Choose the right clinic
Try to ask your friends or family about the recommendation. When you finally find the right clinic, make a call and ask about everything you want to know before booking an appointment.
- Before the examination
When you walk into the clinic, you’ll need to file some paperwork. Don’t worry; it takes only a few minutes. After that, you can sit in a waiting room and wait for your therapist. Then, you’ll go to the private room.
- The talk and the external examination
First of all, your therapist will ask you about the main reason for your visit. You’ll probably need to answer some questions about your eating and drinking habits and how often you are going to the bathroom, so be prepared and think about this before the appointment. These details are more than necessary. The next step is checking your hips and back. According to some studies, more than 85% of women who experience low back pain mostly suffer from pelvic floor muscle dysfunction. That pain is the first sign that something is wrong. Try to listen to your body carefully. Also, this part of an examination consists of observation.
The main parts are examining your skin condition and identifying where your symptoms are coming from. Then, checking your organ position and ability to contract and relax your muscles. After that, your therapist will pay special attention to your biofeedback. If you don’t know what that is, it’s something like receiving information from your body. Your body is answering some commands.
When it comes to the biofeedback part, there are two types:
- Surface Muscle Biofeedback
During this type of evaluation, some sensors will be placed externally around your anal opening. With a particular monitor, you and your therapist will be able to see how your muscles will respond.
- Rehabilitative Ultrasound Imaging
An ultrasound can help your therapist see your pelvic floor region during the procedure and determine if your muscles respond correctly.
- The internal examination
It’s necessary to sign the papers about allowing the internal examination. When you do that, you need to take off your clothes from the waist down and cover yourself with the sheets. Your therapist will probably start with kegel, which means that you need to squeeze your vaginal muscles. Another step would be bearing down or pushing out. Then, prepare for the real internal access. Your therapist will use sterile gloves and lubricant on the finger to feel the muscles, and then you’ll do the kegel again. With this, your therapist will quickly determine which muscle is weaker and what is causing the problem.
- Your plan of care
After your therapist examines everything, they’ll tell you in detail what they are thinking and what they found. You’ll be informed about techniques and exercises you need to do and how often you need to come to the clinic. It depends on the size of the problem, but it’s mostly just a few visits. Some of the exercises are kegel and reverse kegel, stretching your hips, and others. Just try to be persistent and not to give up.
Who Needs The Pelvic Floor Exam?
Well, if you feel any leaking when you sneeze or laugh, or maybe some pain without sexual activity, you should call your therapist. Besides that, it would be best if you come once a year, even if you don’t have any symptoms.
Treat or prevent?
If you have any pain in the lower back or pelvis, it’s necessary to consult your therapist as soon as possible. Ignoring this could even leave lasting consequences, so it’s more than useful to know your body well, and, yes, prevention is definitely a better option than cure. Do your best and set aside some time at least once a year for this examination. If you need more information or you have any perplexity, contact the Women’s Center Fort Lauderdale.