- TJ Janicky
What to Expect From Male Pelvic Floor Physical Therapy
Updated: Jan 13
As a man, you may feel embarrassed to seek treatment for pelvic floor dysfunction, this is totally normal. We want to assure you there is nothing to be ashamed about—one in five people suffer from pelvic floor disorders during their lifetime. Our dedicated male pelvic floor physical therapist has seen it all and will ensure you are comfortable and informed throughout your visit.
Here’s what pelvic floor dysfunction is, what a pelvic floor physical therapist does, and what you can expect during an appointment with one.
Pelvic Floor Dysfunction in Men
Pelvic floor dysfunction is a condition commonly experienced by men and women of all ages. It’s caused by lack of control of the muscles in your pelvic floor. There’s a range of symptoms that you may be experiencing, from painful bowel movements to painful sex. It’s unnecessary to live with these life altering symptoms given the amount of solutions that are available!
What is a Pelvic Floor Physical Therapist?
A pelvic floor physical therapist specializes in treating and relieving symptoms caused by pelvic floor conditions—such as peeing, pooping, and sexual function. They are dedicated to learning about your urologic, sexual, and colorectal ailments and working with you to improve the function of your pelvic muscles and everyday life. Nobody should struggle in silence with pelvic floor issues.
What Can I Expect in a Pelvic Floor Physical Therapy Appointment?
An appointment with a pelvic floor physical therapist is very similar to a traditional physical therapy appointment. There are two components to the initial consultation: an interview to learn about you and what you’re experiencing, and a physical exam. Your physical therapist is looking to understand what aggravates and eases your symptoms with a goal of establishing the best fit treatment for you.
Questions Your Physical Therapist Will Ask
Your PT will begin by asking you questions to get to know you and evaluate the current state of your pelvic floor. You can expect to receive questions about bowel and bladder habits (eg. urinary and fecal incontinence, painful bowel movements, and constipation) as well as sexual history (eg. painful erections, painful ejaculation, and pain with sex). They’ll be looking to understand your day to day symptoms as well as your goals with physical therapy.
External Physical Evaluation
After the interview, your therapist will conduct a physical exam to assess your lumbopelvic region, hips, and other regions. A large part of the examination is external. It will include a thorough examination of movements that will challenge your pelvic floor to gather baseline data for strength and range of motion.
If you’re comfortable and ready for it, your physical therapist may perform an external exam of your genitals, perineum and anal region. Note: This isn’t always necessary during your first visit. Once you are ready to move forward, your therapist will show you models of the human body and explain each step of the evaluation. Given consent, you’ll be advised to remove any clothing below your waist (while your therapist steps out of the room) and cover yourself up with a sheet. You’re welcome to keep your genitals covered during the entirety of the exam while your perineum region is being observed. You’ll be prompted to contract and relax your pelvic floor muscles under your therapist's observation.
Internal Physical Evaluation
Following the external exam, there may be an internal exam if deemed necessary given your symptoms. This part of the exam will only be conducted given your consent, you are able to end it at any time if you feel uncomfortable.
The internal exam is conducted via the rectum to survey the pelvic floor muscles and can provide important information for you and your clinician. This part of the exam tends to be easier than many people expect, and there are many things your therapist will do to make the experience more comfortable—including lubrication and adjusting your position as needed.
Once the exam is finished, you can look forward to information about what you can expect from working with your physical therapist and self management strategies that will empower you to get back to living normally.
Interested in Learning More About Pelvic Floor Physical Therapy?
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