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What to expect from a pelvic health assessment?

Updated: Oct 11, 2023

It is perfectly normal to feel a mix of anxiety and excitement before your first pelvic health appointment. The unknown may cause anxiety, but seeking help and embarking on the journey of recovery can be quite exciting. Rest assured, we aim to create a sensitive and supportive environment for you.

When you inquire about a pelvic health appointment, you might have several questions, such as:

- What can I expect from my appointment?

- Is an internal exam necessary?

- What does the treatment involve?

- What kind of questions will I be asked?

- What should I wear or bring with me?

It is completely natural to have these questions, and we encourage you to ask them. Your body and your comfort are of utmost importance, and being well-informed is essential for a positive experience.


Your first appointment will begin with a series of questions. We will discuss the reason for seeking pelvic health osteopathy and the health goals you wish to achieve. Your medical history, toilet habits, sexual intimacy, diet, and exercise routine will also be discussed. Your honest answers will help your osteopath build a comprehensive picture of your health concerns.

Next, a musculoskeletal exam will be performed, involving a postural assessment from head to toe, a functional movement screen, and an external musculoskeletal and breathing examination.

Based on the examination, your pelvic health osteopath will determine whether an internal assessment or real-time ultrasound is required.

If a real-time ultrasound is needed, you should come with a full bladder and wear comfortable clothing.

If an internal assessment of your pelvic floor is recommended, your osteopath will thoroughly explain the procedure. You will be asked to sign a consent form, and you have the right to change your mind at any point. Feel free to ask any questions you may have.

Your pelvic health osteopath is highly trained and sensitive to your needs. They will provide education throughout the appointment, explaining what is normal and what might be dysfunctional concerning your symptoms. Understanding your body, anatomy, and the reasons behind your symptoms is a crucial first step toward recovery.

For the internal assessment, you will be asked to undress from the waist down, lie on the table comfortably, and drape yourself with provided towels.

The internal assessment involves the use of lubricant, a glove, and one or two fingers. Your osteopath will insert one finger (or two, depending on the situation) into either the vagina or anal canal. You will be instructed to contract and relax your pelvic floor muscles, as well as cough or bear down to assess how your pelvic floor functions with increased intra-abdominal pressure.

The internal assessment provides essential information about your pelvic floor's tone, strength, endurance, and coordination. This information helps determine if your pelvic floor is weak, hypertonic, and moving appropriately. During the treatment, if any muscle or fascia is tight or dysfunctional, gentle inhibition or myofascial release techniques may be used to restore normal function.


No, the internal examination is not required. While it is the best way to assess and treat the pelvic floor, you have the choice to opt-out if you are not comfortable with this type of assessment or technique. The real-time ultrasound (RTU) is a non-invasive alternative that allows us to assess the pelvic floor and its relationship with the bladder. However, it cannot evaluate the quality and strength of the contraction like the internal examination.


In addition to assessing pelvic floor function, we look at your body as a whole to identify any biomechanical issues that could impact your pelvic floor and deep core function. Based on the assessment, we create a personalized treatment plan that may involve various techniques to address any restrictions found. Additionally, we provide advice on a specific pelvic floor rehabilitation program, movement practices, breathwork, and lifestyle changes to help you achieve your health goals.


Please wear comfortable clothes. If possible, arrive with a full bladder (unless the RTU is not required, in which case, you'll have the opportunity to empty it). If you have completed a bladder/bowel diary, have X-rays, blood test results, or any other relevant information, please bring it to your initial consultation.


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