Pelvic floor and Pregnancy
What does an antenatal pelvic floor assessment involve?
An antenatal pelvic floor assessment with our Physiotherapist will allow you to make ensure that you are progressing through your pregnancy with reasonable strength in your pelvic floor muscles and adequate support of your pelvic organs. This has shown to be advantageous in identifying any early pelvic floor weakness, or those who may have identifiable pelvic floor risk factors that may impact their decisions surrounding birth.

The assessment often involves an internal examination of your pelvic floor muscles, to assist you in identifying where these muscles are located and how to contract them appropriately. We will also perform an assessment to determine your baseline pelvic floor function and take some objective measurements which are then useful for us to establish realistic goals for improvement and progression throughout your postnatal recovery.
What if my pelvic floor muscles are weak?
If we identify that your pelvic floor muscles are weak, then your Physiotherapist will be able to teach and assist you with ways you can strengthen your pelvic floor and minimise risks of developing symptoms. Of course, if you are already suffering from pelvic floor symptoms, an assessment will enable us to assist you in considering options for management in the pre and/or postnatal period.
I have heard that some women's pelvic floor muscles are too strong? Will you be able to identify this?
Yes, there are some women whose pelvic floor muscles may be referred to as being “too strong”, however it is often more likely that these muscles are incredibly tight. This tightness can also lead to other symptoms such as painful intercourse or difficulty with use of tampons. Women who may fall into this category are important to identify in pregnancy as they will greatly benefit from our assistance in learning how to relax these muscles “down” to enable a safer and often shorter vaginal birth of their baby.
Is an assessment beneficial in minimising my risk of developing pelvic floor issues following the birth of my baby?
Unfortunately there is no way to guarantee that a woman won’t sustain some form of pelvic floor injury during their pregnancy or birth, as both of these events are highly variable. Despite this, research has shown us that many pelvic floor conditions are more successfully treated when early detection is possible. If we are able to identify that you are at risk prior to the birth of your baby, then this will allow us to monitor your condition and in doing so, implement earlier intervention where necessary. This will often lead to more favorable outcomes.
Is there an optimal time to have my antenatal pelvic floor assessment?
Where possible, between 20 and 26 weeks gestation is the most optimal time to have your pelvic floor assessed, however if you have any symptoms prior to this then you are encouraged to make an appointment at any time as long as you have completed your first trimester of pregnancy.
Will my pelvic floor assessment be covered by Medicare or Health Insurance?
If you have an insurance policy which includes cover for physiotherapy services then you should be able to cover some of the cost of your antenatal assessment through your health fund. Alternatively, Medicare may cover part of the cost of a physiotherapy appointment, however you must be referred under a 'Management Plan' from your GP to be eligible. If you are unsure then please contact us at IvoryRose Physiotherapy, or you may wish to contact your health fund directly for more information.
I have heard that some women's pelvic floor muscles are too strong? Will you be able to identify this?
Yes, there are some women whose pelvic floor muscles may be referred to as being “too strong”, however it is often more likely that these muscles are incredibly tight. This tightness can also lead to other symptoms such as painful intercourse or difficulty with use of tampons. Women who may fall into this category are important to identify in pregnancy as they will greatly benefit from our assistance in learning how to relax these muscles “down” to enable a safer and often shorter vaginal birth of their baby.