Learn How to Perform a Pelvic Floor Muscular Exam
Pelvic Floor Exams Should Be Standard of Care
It is our goal here at Sarton PT that one day, a pelvic floor muscular exam will be standard of care and occur as a standard procedure with every annual physical exam.
We know we stand united with our many of our pelvic floor physical therapy colleagues out there, and we are confident that together we can make this happen—even if it is just 1 step at a time.
Last week, we took one more step in the right direction. Our team went onsite to a local OB-GYN office to teach 4 of their MDs how to incorporate assessment of the pelvic floor muscles into their pelvic exam.
We shared with them (and now are sharing with you!) this illustrative article that our own Dr. Julie Sarton, DPT, WCS authored on how to perform a comprehensive pelvic floor muscular exam.
This is a great resource for physical therapists (PTs) and doctors of medicine (MDs) alike, as it outlines how to assess the superficial, intermediate, and deep pelvic floor musculature. It further highlights some of the most common sings and symptoms of muscular dysfunction that can exist at each layer. The full article with additional illustrations can be accessed via J Sex Med 2010;7:3526-3529.
What Can Medical Professionals Do?
We want to encourage medical professionals out there to seek out pelvic floor education and training as an integral part of their practice. With many of our pelvic floor physical therapy patients waiting years, even decades, before they're referred to a pelvic floor physical therapist, it is more important than ever that the medical community is aligned.
What Can Patients Do?
We also want to encourage patients to use their voices. We often get asked by patients how to even begin bringing up such a sensitive topic to their doctors. Be open, honest and direct about what you are experiencing. Ask for a pelvic muscular exam to confirm the diagnosis. If your OB-GYN doesn’t feel confident in performing this then ask for a referral to someone who does. You can print out one of our diagnosis pages and take it in with you to help educate your MD about the diagnosis and appropriate treatment. Most importantly, find a pelvic floor PT to help you! Hope and healing are possible!