This post is a little different than usual because I will be talking about a personal experience that can apply to sexuality for many of us.
Pelvic floor physical therapy is something done for a bunch of reasons related in any way to the muscles at the bottom of the pelvis or the bladder. When we talk about doing Kegal exercises or Kegal muscles, we are talking about some of these muscles. Some of the main reasons to go to pelvic floor PT are incontinence or small bladder leaks from things like coughing or sneezing. Painful sex is another reason people go to pelvic floor PT. Pelvic floor PT is also used for people who have difficulty with orgasm. Both men and women can be helped by pelvic floor physical therapy. I asked to go because when I have seizures, I can feel myself losing some but not all of my bladder control muscles when I lose bladder control and am hoping to use the muscles I have to not wet myself. Also, I am picking up bad bladder habits in an effort to not have accidents when I have seizures and I would prefer not to be incontinent, which is where bad bladder habits lead. These bad habits are already leading me to leak when I cough or sneeze sometimes. Maintaining bladder control with seizures is a novel use of pelvic floor PT, but maintaining continence is not. My experiences that I share here will mostly focus on continence and not other uses of pelvic floor PT. But there will be similarities with all reasons to go for therapy.
I had to be referred for therapy by my regular doctor. That seems to be the case for everything these days. It was also easy to get a referral, which also seems to be the case for everything these days. I am apparently lucky to actually live in an area where pelvic floor PT is readily available.
Before my first appointment, I had to fill out a very long form that asked me more questions than I could have imagined about my bladder, bowel and sexual habits. Given that I write about sexuality and had been paying attention to my bladder enough to figure out that maybe pelvic floor PT would help with my continance issues, I was really surprised that there was so much more detail to go into.
I had been warned that my first appointment would include a rather detailed physical exam, but when I arrived I was told that the exam would occur at the second appointment.
During my first appointment we discussed the items the therapist thought were noteworthy from the form I had filled out and they gave me some tips in general on treating my bladder well. For instance, bladders do not like coffee and carbonated water, which is pretty much all I drink. I am not sure that having to wear adult diapers is worse than having to give up coffee, especially since I am on medication that makes me extremely tired and coffee helps me stay normally functional. (Also, I’m already using pads.) We also talked about the importance of trying not to have bad bladder habits like peeing all the time (my usual habit had been to use every bathroom I could find, so if I did have an accident, it would be a small accident, but that makes the bladder more stressed and more likely to have accidents.)
The therapist asked me to keep a log for two days between my first and second appointments, the log included information about when and how much I ate and drank, when I peed or had a bowel movement, when I had an accident large or small and how many pads or clothing changes I went through.