According to Kaiser Permanente Division of Research (2008) 1 in 3 women suffer from some sort of pelvic floor dysfunction while only 1 in 4 report symptoms and seek treatment.
Mind you, this research is over a decade old!
Most popular symptoms like incontinence go unreported due to the stigma that issues “down there” be kept private. Or, women report symptoms to their health care provider only to be given a blanket treatment option or none at all in some cases.
Below are three main reasons women aren’t seeking appropriate treatment with a Pelvic Floor Specialist:
- Unknown treatment options. Tell us if this story strikes a tune. When Trish was dealing with painful intercourse she immediately told her women’s healthcare provider. The response, “try yoga and exercises like kegels”. While yoga and kegels are treatments for pelvic floor dysfunction, kegels are helpful for a hypotonic (loose) pelvic floor which may or may not be her case. Secondly, yoga is a wonderful practice for whole-body health, but unless its specialized pelvic floor yoga (we love @doyogawithlisa) then it could take time before you target the symptoms.
- The normalization of symptoms. Women are talking about symptoms at the gym, on Instagram, and the parent pick-up lane. Symptoms like incontinence are popular in convo, and this could be causing them to become normalized.
Describing common symptoms due to aging, or ‘birthing badges of honor,” fuels the notion that women need to endure symptoms until they go away, or forever.
- Lack of Consistency. Quick-fix, maybe, but restoring and building strength takes time. With the instantaneous relief brought by a massage or medication, the expectation for pelvic floor therapy is that it brings immediate comfort and healing. Though for some patients a few sessions will yield results, a consistent treatment plan is necessary.
Normalize seeing a Pelvic Health Professional! Click here to start.