I need to see a Pelvic Health Physio but I’m nervous! What does the first appointment involve?

I need to see a Pelvic Health Physio but I’m nervous! What does the first appointment involve?

First of all, you’re not alone.  ALL of us have to see Doctors and various other health professionals to manage issues in body areas that are considered to be private. We all feel slightly anxious in anticipation. It is the job of the Practitioner to help us to feel at ease.

In this blog when we refer to women/females or men/males we are referring to those presumed female or male at birth.

The First Consultation

In this consultation, you will be given the opportunity to tell us about the issues that you are experiencing.  You have the opportunity to tell us  what your problems are using any words that you feel comfortable with. There is no right or wrong.

We will then usually ask some more questions to find out the extent of the issues. As you tell us your history and talk about the problems, we are already working out what the problem might be and what the solutions might be also.

There may be things that you don’t want to share.  You can happily tell us that you don’t feel comfortable talking about certain things.  That is fine.

At this point you will hopefully be starting to feel less anxious and more comfortable in the space.

I Have Explained The Problems, What Happens Next?

When you have finished telling your story and we have asked enough questions to gain an good idea of what the problem is, we will then talk through some anatomy of the areas and explain what sorts of examinations we can do.

The anatomy explanation is important.  We use anatomy models so that you can see what the muscles and organs look like.  We want you to be able to picture everything in your own mind and understand why we might be doing an examination and what information you might gain from various ways of examining.

What Are The Different Ways Of Examining?

Firstly, internal examinations are not always done.  They are ONLY done after a clear explanation and you decide that this is what you want.

Talking Through

To start with we can simply talk through exercise as you sit in the chair or lie or stand.  We talk through what has gone wrong and what you need to do and you can go away and practice until follow up.  At that follow up you can make a choice as to whether you do any more detailed examination.


We can use an ultrasound to look at pelvic floor muscle movement by looking at the bladder. This shows us if you are exercising correctly and gives us some insight into whether your muscles might be working well or not so well.  We can gain an idea of whether your muscles might be too tight and not relaxing well or have poor endurance.

For this examination, the ultrasound is placed over the lower tummy and you keep clothes on.

Ultrasound For Men

In men, it is easy to place the ultrasound underneath the pelvis, between the scrotum and back passage to see a very detailed image of the bladder and the urethra (the tube that drains the bladder). This is very useful for men who are having their prostate removed.  This does require removal of clothes but you will have privacy and coverage during the assessment and we talk you through at every step to ensure you are comfortable.

Examination Of Muscles Externally

The pelvic floor muscles are on the inside of the pelvis but we can get to them in part, from the outside. It does require us to use gloves due to the private nature of the area but this can be done keeping underwear on.  This is useful to find out if the muscles are tight or to feel whether they contract and relax as they should.

Internal Examinations

You Always Have a Choice Over Whether This Degree Of Examination Goes Ahead.

For women, we can do an internal vaginal examination which gives the most detail.  For this, you will need to remove clothes from the waist down but again, you will be given privacy and coverage during the assessment. You will choose if you want to go ahead with this if it right for you and you can stop at any point if you feel uncomfortable.

In men and women, rectal examinations can be done.  This is usually offered if the problem is to do with the bowel.  You will choose if you want to go ahead with this type of examination and only if you feel comfortable and if we both feel that you need the level of information and detail that this examination offers. It may take several visits before someone decides that they need to go ahead with this examination. This is absolutely understandable. There is usually lots we can do and teach you to help manage bowel problems before doing this examination.

If you feel anxious or unsure about whether you are comfortable enough to attend, feel free to make contact by email: info@ppfp.com.au or via the contact page.

We look forward to being able to help.

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