In the 12 years I have been practicing physical therapy, I have seen and helped many people. In the orthopedic setting there were back injuries, knee, hip, shoulder surgeries, recoveries from accidents, simple joint strains, and more. Each person had their own mountain to climb in terms of resolving pain, regaining their health, their happiness, and sometimes their ability to work again.
But as I dove into the pelvic health specialty, my eyes were opened to the significant impact of pelvic health on a person’s life. What was the huge difference? Much of what I help women with in terms of pelvic health is unseen by their friends and family. They were often suffering silently and many of them had no idea that there was HELP for their issue until a doctor, healthcare provider or friend mentioned it. Had the person not had the courage to say something, they may never have gotten help with their issue.
What issues you may ask? Well, they usually fall into one of three groups. Issues with peeing, pain or pressure in their perineum that is new and often uncomfortable or even painful. While I won’t go into great detail about the specifics of the diagnoses here, the main point is that these issues have a significant impact on a person’s life beyond the issue itself.
If a woman is finding that they can no longer run or jump without leaking urine, they are often saying things like “well I just won’t run or jump anymore”. They may say it in a joking way and brush it off, but this is not ok. If a person has to greatly reduce their physical activity level due to bladder control issues, they will also suffer other issues long term. A person that is less active will have a more rapid loss of bone density, a decrease in muscle mass, and their body mass index may rise which puts them at risk for metabolic diseases, heart disease and many other health issues resulting from inactivity and weight gain. If they gain weight due to decreased activity, their mental health may suffer.
If a woman is having pain with intercourse or is unable to have intercourse, her relationship with her partner may suffer. This can impact marriages as well as the children in those families. Her mental health as well as her partner’s mental health most definitely will be impacted.
A woman who is experiencing the shock (and sometimes pain) of pelvic organ prolapse, will often feel as though she is broken and her quality of life will no longer be the same.
Resolving these pelvic health issues has a much bigger impact than the issue itself. A woman’s long term health (mental and physical) and quality of life are at stake. It is painful to hear women brush off issues like leaking urine with jumping, when I know the impact as well as how treatable it is.
So to all WOMEN- issues with your pelvic health are treatable. Most often holistically and conservatively WITHOUT surgery. Your health and quality of life can be greatly impacted by getting help.