So you’re telling me I’m not actually broken?
The thought crossed my mind everyday during each pregnancy, and the subsequent postpartum period. You will spend over nine months changing and shifting into this new being, and then in an instant you’re left with a different body than the one you slowly grew into. We’ve all heard the mom jokes about having to cross your legs when you sneeze and the infamous the “you did this to me”. What if these weren’t just jokes but a way women have normalized feeling broken after having tiny humans. I’m totally guilty of joking about any pain I’ve gone through, hello I’m a critical care nurse, I will make jokes about most things! So if you’ve accidentally peed yourself while jumping around with your kids or felt your uterus was going to fall out of your body at any given moment this is for you.
Some of the situations leading people to seek pelvic physical therapy would be, erectile disfunction, pain with sex(women), issues controlling bodily functions ie. leaking urine or bowel movements, frequency, or constipation. Some of this can occur after pregnancy, surgery, aging, injury, or even weight gain. Like many of you I thought the only physical therapy existed for post injury athletes, or something people went to after a severe car accident. I also found most people who undergo pelvic physical therapy per my research experienced success correcting the issues they had and could avoid surgery.
What makes one seek out pelvic physical therapy?
You’re probably wondering what led me to have the conversation with my doctor. So, I was running about five months postpartum with my second child on the Columbia Riverfront trail when I became quite certain my uterus was about to leave my body and end up on the hot pavement behind me. It was a visceral pain I’d never experienced before and I thought to myself, how would I explain that to my two littles as I jogged along in my stroller?” I knew something was wrong and I needed to see a professional.
Fast forward to me ending up in physical therapy for a couple months and noticing a real change in my pain level. This time after baby number three I noticed more pelvic floor dysfunction but this time I knew where I needed to go. After an amazing yoga session with Good Company Yoga hosted at Femmex I met Dr Megan Davidson PT, DPT. I knew I needed to get on her calendar. If you follow me on my Instagram you know I am passionate about women taking control of their health because if we don’t take us seriously how will anyone else? Stay tuned for my pelvic PT journey and be sure to follow my social media for videos of the exercises that have helped me.
My first visit after baby number three:
So let’s talk about my first visit with Dr. Megan at her office. I made the appointment a couple weeks in advance with her executive assistant who gave me a whole rundown of what to expect and scheduled me for her soonest possible. When I entered into the office Dr. Megan sat down with me, took an extremely detailed history, and made a plan for what I needed. I appreciated how detailed she was to customize my plan to what was directly needed. Ifn healthcare we sometimes do a one size fits all approach, but I felt she actually listened to my concerns and wanted to help. Check out her page here.
So another important thing to know is that you will have the option for an internal exam. I declined this with my first PT because the purpose wasn’t properly explained to me, and let’s be honest after a baby I didn’t want anyone in that area. The whole purpose of the internal exam is to observe, which structures are affected and to pinpoint areas that you need help the most. Dr. Megan was super professional the entire time and the exam was over as soon as she started. After I got dressed again she gave me some handouts to practice at home, check my stories later today for demonstrations.
Have you ever considered pelvic floor PT? I’d recommend finding someone in your area who you trust and requesting an evaluation. This is great to ask at your OB/Midwife appointments or even postpartum at your 6 week exam just to see if you would benefit. Part of this journey is learning to learn your body and ensuring you’re taking care of YOU.
In conclusion I am very optimistic about my physical therapy journey. Stay tuned for more updates and as always Winefam, hoping your wine or your coffee is stronger than your kids.