PerimenopauseMenopause Pelvic Floor Physical Therapy

Menopause is often misunderstood, with many people and healthcare providers lacking knowledge about the condition and effective treatments. This leads to unnecessary suffering for a significant portion of the population. The precursor to menopause, known as perimenopause, typically begins in a person’s 40s, and most women will experience menopause in their early 50s. Alongside the more commonly known symptoms, menopause can also bring about genitourinary symptoms that worsen over time if left untreated. These symptoms include painful sex, urinary urgency and frequency, leakage and burning, recurrent infections, and vaginal dryness. It’s important to note that these symptoms are also indicative of pelvic floor dysfunction, a condition that affects nearly 50% of women in their 50s.

Systemic menopause symptoms can be effectively treated with systemic hormonal therapy, but this may not be enough for those experiencing GSM symptoms. For women in menopause, the North American Menopause Society advises the use of vaginal estrogen to alleviate GSM symptoms.

Differential Diagnosis:
GSM or Pelvic Floor Dysfunction

Common Symptoms of Pelvic Floor Dysfunction and GSM:

  • Frequent, urgent, and painful urination
  • Feeling pressure in the bladder or pelvic area
  • Pain during sexual intercourse
  • Decreased or no satisfaction from orgasm
  • Trouble having bowel movements
  • Pain and burning in the vulva and vagina
  • Discomfort when sitting
Pelvic Floor Dysfunction

A healthcare professional, such as a pelvic floor physical therapist or medical doctor at Menopause Pelvic Floor Physical Therapy in Lexington, MA, can perform various tests to assess and address issues related to the vulvovaginal region. These tests include visual examinations, q-tip tests to identify areas of pain, and manual examinations to determine pelvic floor dysfunction, hormonal deficiencies, and pelvic organ prolapse. It’s important to note that all women may experience genitourinary syndrome of menopause (GSM) if they don’t receive appropriate medical care over time. What many people don’t realize is that menopausal women can also benefit from pelvic floor physical therapy to address discomfort caused by musculoskeletal factors. The combination of pelvic floor physical therapy and medical management is crucial in restoring pleasurable sex and resolving urinary and bowel concerns.

Why didn’t someone tell me?

Frequently asked, the term GSM became official in 2014. Leading societies advocated for understanding the hormonal needs of the genitourinary tract. While pelvic floor physical therapy is gaining popularity, there remains a lack of awareness and qualified providers for patients in need.

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Insufficient hormones can cause itching in the labia and vagina. It is important to consider other skin conditions like Lichen Sclerosus and yeast infections.

Menopause can increase the risk of vaginal and urinary tract infections for several reasons:

  • pH and tissue changes
  • Incomplete bladder emptying
  • Pelvic organ prolapse impacting urinary function

Recurrent infections greatly contribute to pelvic floor dysfunction. To prevent long-term pain and dysfunction even after the infection is cleared, it is crucial to address and treat these infections at Menopause Pelvic Floor Physical Therapy in Lexington, MA. If left untreated and without hormone therapy, the infections can persist and lead to severe consequences. Women may experience unexplained pain, difficulties in sexual activity, and undetected urinary tract infections can even lead to kidney problems and more serious health issues.

Work with a menopause expert at Menopause Pelvic Floor Physical Therapy in Lexington, MA to monitor, prevent, and treat serious yet treatable issues. Let’s normalize conversations about GSM and remove any embarrassment surrounding it. With the right care, vulva owners can live their best lives. Pelvic floor physical therapy and medical management are a perfect combination.

Treatment:
How We Can Help You
pelvic pain rehab

If you are experiencing sexual function issues, it’s important to see a therapist for pelvic floor therapy at Menopause Pelvic Floor Physical Therapy in Lexington, MA. They will assess your pelvic floor to determine if it’s contributing to your symptoms. During the examination, the therapist will ask about your medical history, previous diagnoses, and treatments you’ve tried. We understand the frustration you may have been through before seeking help. The therapist will evaluate your nerves, muscles, joints, tissues, and movement patterns. After the examination, they will discuss the results with you. Based on the evaluation, the therapist will determine the cause of your symptoms and set short-term and long-term therapy goals. Physical therapy treatments are typically given once or twice a week for about 12 weeks. Your therapist will coordinate with other experts on your treatment team and provide you with exercises to do at home. We’re here to help you get better and live your best life possible.

For more information about IC/PBS, please refer to our IC/PBS Resource List.

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Treatment:
How We Can Help You

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