Welcome to the website that was created with women in mind. It provides a vast amount of information for women of all ages and walks of life, covering common problems that may arise from childbearing through the menopause and beyond.
The saying ‘an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure’ goes a long way as far as the female body and wellness is concerned. Knowledge is power. Understanding your body and the challenges it faces during pregnancy, childbirth and the menopause will empower you to take action for optimum wellbeing and make informed decisions about your care.
All too often intimate problems related to women’s health are overlooked, covered up or dismissed as ‘part of getting older’ and ‘normal after childbirth’. Women suffering with these intimate problems are left feeling hopeless, misunderstood and isolated. Many suffer in silence, too embarrassed to discuss it with their doctor or partner, and self-manage their problem through coping strategies that is often counterproductive.
We say: ‘No more taboo’s!’. Help is available. Take charge of your health and life!
Women’s health physiotherapy is a specialist area of Physiotherapy that offers evidence based treatment for pelvic floor dysfunction and related conditions of the pelvis, hip and spine. Symptoms of pelvic floor dysfunction include leakage, urgency to go, increasing frequency of voiding, incomplete bladder or bowel emptying, pelvic organ prolapse, painful intercourse, to name a few, all of which can be treated. And as far as pregnancy goes, your body also does not magically just ‘snap back’ once the baby is out, although some celebrities may give that impression… Abdominal muscle separation occurs in 62% of women in their 3rd trimester and for more than a third of these the gap remains 8 weeks after the baby was born.
Do not wait any longer. Do not suffer in silence. You owe it to yourself to be the best you can be.
BEAT THE FACTS… / THE REALITY OF FACTS
- Urinary incontinence is defined as “the complaint of any involuntary leakage of urine” and is a common problem in women, affecting 10 – 55% of women between the ages of 15 to 64 years.
- In most cases, exercise is safe for both mother and baby during pregnancy: research supports starting or continuing with exercise to gain the health benefits associated with physical activity. (RCOG 2006).
- Up to 62% women (that is 2 out of 3) have some degree of abdominal separation in their third trimester of pregnancy, and for 35% of these the gap remains abnormally wide 8 weeks after birth.
- Lumbo-pelvic-hip pain, also known as pregnancy related pelvic girdle pain, is common during pregnancy, affecting up to 50%-70% of pregnant women, with 14-22% of women experiencing serious pain and even disability. It can prevail and continue to cause problems post-partum.
- Most women, about 90% (9 out of 10) tear to some extend during childbirth, although for 1 in 10 the tear may be extensive and graded a 3rd or 4th degree perineal tear. Perineal massage prior to the delivery and reduce the risk of tearing, and specialist attention and treatment postpartum can aid optimum recovery for those whom sustained a tear.
- Around 52% of women who have had at least one child have some degree of prolapse (downward slipping of one or more internal organs) on examination.
- Symptoms may manifest in later life, with about half (50%) of all women over the age of 50 years complaining of symptoms of prolapse.
- Around 1 in 10 women will require surgery for prolapse by the age of 80 years, and studies show that one third (30%) of all hysterectomies in postmenopausal women are performed for prolapse.
- Kegel exercises are easier said than done. Studies have shown that 30%-50% of women are unable to contract their pelvic floor muscles on verbal instruction alone, and 1 in 4 of these women will do a straining manoeuvre instead that can potentially weaken their pelvic floor.
- Bowel control problems affect over 53 million people in Europe! It can have a significant impact on your quality of life, and lead to feelings of depression and anxiety.
- Constipation is a common problem affecting one in six people. Most of the time the disturbance in the bowel habit is not due to an abnormality of the colon, but rather a functional problem which can often be treated with conservative measures and simple advice.
- In a study of 35 elite Swedish trampolinists aged 12 – 22yrs old, 80% admitted urinary incontinence during trampolining, including all women over the age of 15 years.
- The prevalence during sports among young, nulliparous elite athletes varies between 0% (golf) and 80% (trampolinists). The highest prevalence is found in sports involving high impact activities such as gymnastics (76%), basket ball (66%), tennis (50%) and field hockey (42%).
- Incontinence are not only reserved for old and frail. Hessen et al (2002) have found that 51.9% of elite female athletes and dancers had experienced urine loss participating in their sport or during daily life.
DON’T BECOME ANOTHER STATISTIC. BE PROACTIVE AND SEEK HELP.
Who Would Benefit?
Who could benefit from Women’s Health Physiotherapy?
- Women who suffer with bladder or bowel dysfunction, including incontinence (stress incontinence, urge incontinence, mixed incontinence, post void dribble, etc.), urgency, frequency, constipation and evacuation difficulties.
- Women with symptoms of pelvic organ prolapse
- Women who are experiencing pelvic pain, dyspareunia or vaginismus
- Women who underwent gynaecological surgery (i.e. pelvic floor repair, perineal revision, hysterectomy, or other abdominal surgery)
- Women who sustained perineal trauma, i.e. during childbirth
- Women with diastasis rectus abdominis in pregnancy or postpartum
- Pregnant women for instruction on pelvic floor exercises or relaxation (as per the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) Guidelines 2006)
- Women who suffer with pregnancy related pelvic girdle pain
- All postpartum women
- Women suffering with low back, hip or pelvic girdle pain.
As a Women’s Health Physiotherapist I am trained to have specialist knowledge and skills to
- Assess pelvic floor function by internal examination, and teach or guide women in how to do pelvic floor muscle exercises correctly. This may be done with or without adjunctive modalities such as biofeedback and/or electrical stimulation which are selected on individual patient assessment basis.
- Treat pelvic pain disorders, including vaginismus, through pelvic floor relaxation techniques, biofeedback, desensitisation and perineal massage
- Offer advice on bladder retraining, urge suppression techniques and fluid management, particularly for those with overactive bladder syndrome
- Offer guidance on desensitising and massaging painful scar tissue following childbirth or gynaecological surgery
- Teach correct defecation techniques for healthy bowel habits
- Offer advice on daily activities and keep-fit exercises that may negatively impact on the pelvic floor, and help women reduce the risk of pelvic floor strain or injury
- Help women prepare for and recover after gynaecological surgery through lifestyle advice, pelvic floor training, bladder training and return to normal activity with consideration of safe the pelvic floor
- Assess and treat pregnancy related pelvic girdle dysfunction, including advice on maternity belts and/or symphysis pubis and SIJ support belts
- Support women postpartum to ensure optimum recovery, including pelvic floor and core training, posture correction and correct biomechanics
What to Expect
Your first consultation will take approximately one hour to allow full assessment as well as treatment. Follow-up visits may vary from 30 minutes to one hour depending of the nature of the consultation.
Treatment intervals vary depending on your condition, but most commonly are scheduled 1x weekly for 2-4 appointments. You may be asked to return in one month to review and monitor your progress after which ongoing treatment is determined based on your progress. Patients presenting with back or pelvic pain may be seen more regularly depending on the severity of their symptoms and response to treatment.
Note: Some women may need to have an internal assessment as part of their care. This is an important part of your assessment to determine the tone, strength and control of your pelvic floor muscles, and to make sure you are using the right muscles in the right way. Findings from your examination will be discussed with you and it will help us formulate a personalised treatment and exercise plan that is right for you. If an internal assessment is necessary, the reasons for internal examination will be discussed and verbal consent will be obtained before examination. You have the right to decline internal examination or stop the examination at any time.
Resources and Services
If you have questions about any of the information below or do not see something you are interested in feel free to contact us.
SCHEDULE A CONSULTATION
Riette Vosloo B Sc Physio MCSP HPC is Physiotherapist with a special interest in the health and wellbeing of women. Please click an available date below or call directly at: 923-7643.
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PRIVATE HEALTH INSURANCE
I am registered with most Private Health Insurance Companies as a provider. A payment receipt specifying the treatment codes utilised during your consultation and indicating payment will be provided which you can submit to your Private Health Insurance Company for reimbursement.
Due to the current environment of declining and delayed reimbursements from third party payers, the physiotherapy service operates on an upfront cash-pay basis which requires payment at the time of service. The benefit of a cash-based system allows for upfront pricing without hidden costs or surprises*.
With more than 15years experience in this field, I recognise that women’s health issues are extremely sensitive. During consultations I aim to provide a private, discreet and relaxed environment in which women can seek advice and treatment. All information shared is strictly confidential and I strive to maintain the highest professional standards at all times.