Talking to Your Healthcare Provider abou

Talking to Your Healthcare Provider about Pelvic Floor Issues Part 2…
In the last e-blast I mentioned typical factors that should concern you about your pelvic floor and types of information to facilitate discussion with your healthcare provider. In this article I will talk about who you should see for pelvic floor concerns and what questions to ask them.
If you have never spoken to anyone or have a mixture of symptoms, I recommend seeing your Primary Care Physician first. He or she may be able to help you narrow down the issues and provide you with a referral to the right specialist. Here is an extremely general breakdown of specialists. This is by no means an exhaustive list of the types of issues they treat, just a general guideline for the most common pelvic floor related issues.
1. Gastroenterologists and Colorectal surgeons: consult them if having fecal incontinence, fecal urgency, anal, rectal, or abdominal pain, constipation, or slow motility
2. Urologists: consult them if having bladder pain, urinary urgency, urinary frequency, prostate pain, pain with ejaculation, or urinary incontinence
3. Urogynecologist: consult them if you are experiencing a combination of both urinary and pelvic issues, including prolapse, incontinence, or pelvic pain
4. Pain management specialist: consult them if you are experiencing pain – that seems obvious right? But, make sure to do your research and find a pain management specialist who has experience and interest in treating pelvic pain.
5. Midwives or OBGYNs: consult them if you are experiencing symptoms of pelvic pressure/heaviness, pelvic pain, or incontinence, especially if you are currently pregnant or recently post-partum
6. Pelvic Floor/Men’s and Women’s Health Physical Therapist: Consult if you are experiencing any of the symptoms discussed in Part 1. Keep in mind that depending on which state you live in you may need a referral in order to seek treatment from a PT.
Now that you’ve found who can help you, what should you ask them?
1. How long could it take for my symptoms to resolve?
2. What are my treatment options?
3. Have you treated someone with similar issues as mine? If not, can you recommend a specialist who has or is more familiar with these issues?
4. Are these symptoms likely to recur? Is there anything I can do to prevent recurrence?
5. Could the pelvic floor be related to my symptoms?
6. Am I appropriate for pelvic floor physical therapy?
I hope this information helps you create an open dialogue with your healthcare provider and
wish you the best on your road to recovery!

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