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Pelvic Health for Women

Physical Therapy Just for Women Medication, surgery are not the only options for leaky bladders and painful sex

Do you leak urine when you sneeze? Do you feel pressure “down there”? Is sex uncomfortable? If you answered yes to any of these questions, you aren't alone. About one in four women has symptoms like these due to a group of conditions called pelvic floor disorders (PFD). Hunterdon Health and Wellness Center in Clinton now offers specialized therapy to ease symptoms of PFD, without surgery or medication.

The pelvic floor is a group of muscles, ligaments and tissues that acts like a hammock. It holds up your bladder, uterus, bowels and rectum. If it is too tight, it might hurt to have sex. If it is weak—which can happen after you have a baby—the organs can fall downward and may push into the vaginal area. This can cause long-term pelvic pain, bowel problems and a leaky or overactive bladder (incontinence).

“Physical therapy can help with these issues,” says Valerie Turner, PT, who specializes in women’s health. “Incontinence, for example, is not a normal part of the aging process. It is a muscle issue and it is fixable.”

Your specific PT routine may include massage, biofeedback and exercises to relax or strengthen the pelvic floor. But it's not as simple as doing Kegel exercises. They can be helpful for a weak pelvic floor, but can make a tight one worse.

That's why the first step toward healing is to determine if your pelvic floor is too loose or too tight.

Statistics have shown that, on average, women wait seven years before telling a healthcare professional about their pelvic floor problems. Perhaps they are embarrassed or afraid,” says Turner.  Many women believe they just have to live with their symptoms.”

Sessions are done in a private room and last an hour. Women with PFD usually attend once a week for about six to eight weeks, sometimes longer. Sessions are held at the Physical Therapy office at the Hunterdon Health and Wellness Center in Clinton on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

For more information or to schedule an appointment, call 908.735.3930.