- If you are outside the bladder “norms” mentioned here. (ex: voiding more frequently than every 3 hours, voiding more than 7 times a day, voiding at night if you are not pregnant or elderly)
- If, even occasionally, you leak any amount of urine, feces or gas when you cough, sneeze, laugh, blow your nose, jump, run, lift something heavy, etc.
- If you have sensations of severe urgency or incomplete voiding, with or without a loss of urine
- If you have urinary hesitancy, difficulty initiating stream, or your stream sounds like morse code
- If you “gotta go right now” or don’t make it to the toilet in time
- If you dribble after you stand up from voiding or are having to "splint" to void completely
- If you feel pressure, discomfort, a “bulge”, heaviness, dragging, dropping in the vagina
- If you have bowel incontinence (including inability to hold back gas)
- If you poop less than once per day or strain/push to get it out
- If you have pain in the genitalia (vulva, vagina, rectum, penis, testicles), pelvis, thoracic cage, abdomen or lower back, hips, legs even feet (especially if you also have any of the above mentioned bladder/bowel symptoms)
- If you have pain with intercourse, tampon use, or gynecological exams
- If you have sexual health and function concerns such as anorgasmia, erectile dysfunction or ejaculatory pain as these are sometimes indicative of pelvic floor muscle dysfunction
- If you have diastasis recti - the mid-belly split often associated with post-partum, but occurs in men and nulliparous women too. This is a sign of a "fault" in the system and can be helped!
- If you’ve tried Kegels and they’re not working for you – even Dr. Kegel noted in the 1940s/50s that verbal instruction alone was not enough to teach women how to correctly perform a proper pelvic floor contraction. This is where a pelvic health PT comes in!
Did you know that you can ask for physical therapy? Even in areas where the law and/or insurance/payers require a physician’s referral, you can request your physician to refer you to a pelvic health PT before medication or surgery. In most cases, if your situation is not an emergency, they will agree to at least a trial. You also (at least in Texas) have the legal right to go to the physical therapist of your choosing.
How do I find a pelvic health PT? If you’re in the Houston or Austin area, contact me! If I’m not the right person to help you, I can refer you to a colleague. If you’re not in the Houston or Austin area, try conducting a search on one of these websites below to find a provider near you. If you have not yet seen your physician to be medically screened and referred to PT, you may want to print a list from one or both of these sites and take it with you to your doctor’s appointment so the doctor knows you’re going to a specialist, not just any PT.
A colleague put together another wonderful post on this with links to a few more. Check it out!