Updated: May 10, 2022
Our culture is focused on treating issues after they arise. We are not so focused on prevention. As a result, thousands of women have gone without the pelvic health they need and deserve during pregnancy to get them prepared for birth.
Pelvic floor physical therapy is unfortunately not an automatic given postpartum. We often wait until things are really bad to offer women a referral to pelvic health.
As a result, many women feel like it might be too late for them once they finally learn about pelvic floor physical therapy.
I am frequently asked is if it's too late to come and see me for pelvic floor physical therapy.
This question breaks my heart, because of course the answer is no.
It's never too late for anyone, ever! There is always something we can do to help.
Here are some examples of situations that might feel too late.
You are late in your pregnancy and just learned about techniques to help decrease your risk of tearing.
I was recently asked by a women who was 38 weeks pregnant if it was too late to start prepping her pelvic floor for birth. The answer is, no! There is no time like the present. If you are later in pregnancy you can start focusing on perineal massage, relaxation techniques, and hip opening now and it will still help tremendously. This is true even if you go into labor tomorrow!
You are dealing with a stage IV prolapse
If you find yourself dealing with a severe prolapse that may require surgery, pelvic floor physical therapy is still a good idea. Prepping your pelvic floor for surgery will help improve your surgical outcomes as well as prevent your surgery from failing. I highly recommend pelvic floor prehab before any abdominal or pelvic surgery.
You've been dealing with urinary incontinence for a long time and it's just how you live now.
If this is you, you might also be one of those people who tell women that pee leaks are a part of motherhood. You might be someone that finds the bathroom straight away after arriving anywhere.
No shade my friend. You come by it honestly. Most women have not been offered pelvic floor physical therapy, and they may have even encountered health care providers who helped spread the myth that "pee leaks postpartum" are a normal part of motherhood.
I am here to tell you that it is definitely not too late. Urinary incontinence is treatable. Don't go another day dealing with.
Your Grandma Jane is 91 with dementia and incontinent.
Yep. Urinary incontinence hits this population hard. As a result, it hits caregivers pretty hard as well. Urinary incontinence is a significant reason why many people to go to nursing homes. It's frustrating, it's messy, it's hard for everyone.
Is it too late for grandma to see a pelvic floor PT? Actually, yes it is. A pelvic exam cannot be done without informed consent, and that cannot necessarily be gleaned from someone who has a cognitive issue.
In addition, a pelvic exam requires follow up and instruction, and if an individual cannot follow instructions to help improve their condition, then it's not worth a pelvic exam.
Caregivers can greatly benefit from pelvic floor physical therapy training however, and help implement this information when caring for clients. Practice timed voiding with this population can greatly decrease accidents. If you implement timed voiding and cueing for her to use the toilet, you'll find yourself cleaning up far fewer messes.
You can learn all about this concept in my Urinary Urgency Workbook here.
Whether you are late in pregnancy, many years postpartum, or looking to get surgery for your pelvic floor issues, it is not too late for pelvic floor physical therapy.
Even if you suffer from dementia and pee leaks as a result, there is so much your caregiver can do for you to help manage pelvic floor issues.
Pelvic floor physical therapy is not something you do just because you discovered you had issues that wouldn't go away several months postpartum.
Pelvic floor physical therapy is a wellness activity that can prevent, maintain, and heal issues throughout your lifetime.
It's time we start building PT/client relationships that reflect this dynamic.
It's not too late to heal your pelvic floor. Make sure you book your appointment today!