My husband is an OB/GYN at a Cherokee-County based practice and when people at dinner parties ask him what he does, it makes sense to them. He and I work with the same body parts, but people understand (mostly) what an OB/GYN does. So he doesn’t get too many follow up questions except for, “Do you enjoy delivering babies?” (And, of course, he does! It’s a blessing! Every. Single. Time.)
But when people ask about my job, well, mine is different. One of my friends actually likes to introduce me to people with, “This is Lauren, she’s a doctor of physical therapy…for the vagina.” I think she does it because she loves seeing people’s reactions (we all have that friend, right? LOL), but it honestly is a pretty clear simplified way of explaining the physical side of what I do.
You’re not alone if you’re thinking, “There’s physical therapy for the vagina?!”
Yes, yes there is. And while that may seem strange at first, let me explain.
Pelvic Floor 101
Between your legs is the pelvic floor. It’s the bottom wall of your core and made up of muscles.
Since it’s all skeletal muscles, that means that you have the ability to control it. Or at least you should have the ability to control it. And when we lose that control, our muscles can get too weak, and they can also get too tight. Sometimes they’re contracted when they shouldn’t be and sometimes they don’t contract when they should (like during a cough or sneeze!).
Just to dispel a common misperception–men have pelvic floors too, of course. And many pelvic floor physical therapists see both women and men.
I LOVE men, but when I opened my own practice in Woodstock, I decided to work with men only as part of a couple’s communication and treatment, and focus the more “physical” aspect of my business on women’s pelvic and sexual health.
Review: A Woman’s Pelvic Floor is a Wall of Muscles
Also, pelvic floor physical therapy for women isn’t all about the vagina!
Remember how I said that the pelvic floor is a wall of muscles? It’s just like the abdominal wall. But what makes this wall of muscles so interesting is that there are holes in it!
There are 3 holes in a woman’s pelvic floor.
If you’re scratching your head about this…here’s a quick review. There’s a hole for:
- Pee (the urethra)
- Sex and babies (the vagina)
- Poop (the anus)
If your muscles are too weak, too tight, don’t fire, or don’t un-fire with correct timing you might experience some of these symptoms:
- Pain with sex
- Chronic pelvic pain
- Lower sexual desire
- Difficulty with orgasm
- Issues with pregnancy or postpartum
- Leaking pee with a cough, sneeze, laugh, jump, or exercise
- Inability to get to the bathroom fast enough when you have to pee or poop really badly
- Difficulty with starting urine stream immediately when you’re on the toilet
- Difficulty emptying your bladder completely
- Having to pee every hour
These are all reasons to see a pelvic floor physical therapist!
While I am based in Woodstock, through my email and video coaching, I have the flexibility to work with anyone just about anywhere, and I’d love to work with you and share my knowledge.
If you want to learn more but you just want to dip your toe in the pool, I totally get that! An easy way link up casually is to like and follow my page and join my free facebook group. I look forward to connecting with you online!