Women's Health


Although often seen as something embarrassing, as many as one in three women experience some kind of women’s health problem during their lifetime, unaware that physiotherapy may help.  Do not suffer in silence.


At St Judes we are passionate about helping women resolve these problems and significantly improve their quality of life.

Women's Health

Women's Health Physiotherapy is the specialist assessment and treatment of a wide range of disorders affecting the pelvis and pelvic floor, which includes obstetric (pregnancy related) and gynaecological conditions.  Conditions treated at St Judes include:

  • Stress incontinence
  • Urge incontinence
  • Pelvic organ prolapse
  • Overactive bladder
  • Chronic Pelvic pain
  • Coccydinia
  • Pelvic Girdle pain (during/after pregnancy)
  • Rectus Diastasis (abdominal separation) 
  • Recovery from gynaecological surgery 
  • Bladder pain syndrome 

1 in 3 women suffer with incontinence and 1 in 2 women in the UK experience pelvic organ prolapse after childbirth, but these are still taboo subjects which women can be embarrassed to talk about or to seek help for. Many women believe these problems to be the normal effects of childbirth or ageing and put up with the inconvenience and distress caused. 

At St Judes we understand the sensitive nature of these problems and provide a confidential, discreet service. Our specialist Women's Health Physiotherapists are experts in their field and possess the specialist skills that are required to manage these conditions successfully. 

There is a strong body of evidence to support the benefit of pelvic floor exercises when taught and prescribed under the supervision of a Physiotherapist. Indeed this is the recommended first-line or 'gold standard' treatment for urinary incontinence and prolapse in research based government health guidelines published by NICE.

A good technique, and high quality tuition is fundamental to achieving results - research indicates that 50% of women perform pelvic floor exercises incorrectly following written/verbal instruction. Our experienced physiotherapists at St Judes can assess your exercise technique and design you a personally tailored exercise programme, in order to ensure you achieve the best results. A thorough assessment is the first step towards the successful management of your problem.


Would Women's Health Physiotherapy help me? 

If you experience any of the following, you may benefit from a detailed assessment:

  • you leak urine when you cough, sneeze, laugh, lift or exercise
  • you experience a desperate urge to get to the toilet quickly and may/may not leak on the way
  • you need the toilet very frequently including at night, sometimes only passing small amounts
  • you have symptoms of 'pelvic organ prolapse': a heavy 'bulge' sensation in the vagina, difficulty using tampons or with intercourse, bladder symptoms such as difficulty fully emptying or hesitancy in starting flow, bowel symptoms such as constipation or inability to fully empty
  • you experienced perineal trauma when you delivered your baby from either a tear or an episiotomy (cut), or due to an instrumental delivery 
  • ongoing lower back/pelvic pain/tailbone pain
  • pain during intercourse 
  • you feel your quality of life is reduced as a result of any of the above symptoms 
  • you have noticed doming or bulging of your stomach on certain activities since having your baby or suspect you may have a separation of the stomach muscles
  • you plan your activities around when/where you can visit the toilet

 A recent news article highlights just how common the problem is here

What happens during an initial assessment?

Your physiotherapist will ask you about the nature of your symptoms and how it's affecting you in order to fully understand your problem, along with taking some details about your medical history.  With your permission a physical examination will then be performed, which will include a thorough assessment of your 'core' (back, pelvis and abdominal area) and breathing patterns, so that we can see whether your problems are related to your back or pelvic floor.  It is important that we fully assess you both externally and internally - a pelvic floor examination will involve an internal vaginal examination as this helps us to feel the tone and strength of your muscles and see how they are working.  The Physiotherapist will ensure this is a comfortable, pain-free experience and this will only be carried out with your consent and does not have to be performed on the first visit if you do not feel comfortable (there are many things that we can look at and discuss before this part of the assessment.) 

We will show you how to correctly carry out pelvic floor exercises and teach you methods to ensure you continue to make progress outside of clinic visits.  We may also use:

  • manual therapy

  • internal myofascial or trigger point release techniques and scar massage

  • breathing and relaxation techniques

  • teaching Pilates-based abdominal and back strengthening exercise

  • biofeedback to examine and re-educate pelvic floor function

  • acupuncture - to help hormonal imbalance/menopausal problems and bladder irritability, this extends the treatment options we can offer to specifically treat our Women's Health clients - see more in our recent article: https://www.stjudesclinic.com/news/109/114/Acupuncture-for-Womens-Health-Problems/

  • kinesiology (taping)

We will often give advice on lifestyle, exercise habits, fluid intake, bowel/bladder habits and prolapse management as part of our treatment. Doing pelvic floor exercises (or Kegels) can help many problems but not if your muscles are too tight to start with! There is so much more to Women's Health Physiotherapy then pelvic floor exercises.

Here are some Women's Health reviews:

"Highly recommended for woman’s health I was facing surgery for a prolapse and discovered that with the help of a pelvic floor physio I could improve my symptoms and even avoid surgery, within 6 weeks of exercise I have noticed a huge difference and have cancelled my surgery for the time being.  My continence issues have greatly improved, I am so relieved I discovered St Judes!"

 "I suspected that my pelvic floor wasn't great, which I put down to having two children, and not doing pelvic floor exercises often enough. The internal assessment revealed information which I would not otherwise have known - I was told that one side of my pelvic floor was too tight and the other too weak, and not able to get stronger through exercise because of this 'tighter' side. Some 'release' work, or stretching was done and I was also taught a specific way to perform a pelvic floor contraction which used my muscles more evenly.  For the first time I was able to do a proper pelvic floor contraction and I quickly noticed an improvement in my prolapse symptoms, as finally my pelvic floor exercises were achieving something. It was an enlightening experience!"

So what are you waiting for?  Make a change for the better - we are here to help you live a normal active life, please just ask for more advice - we are knowledgeable, friendly and discreet.

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