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WHAT DOES A PELVIC HEALTH EVALUATION LOOK LIKE AT MEDUSA?

Before your upcoming first visit, we want to give further information, clarify any potential curiosities, and make ourselves available to answer any concerns or questions you may have. 

Read time: 6 minutes

Some of our clients come in with some knowledge of pelvic therapy, some with reports from others who have gone to pelvic therapy, and some with lots of questions but a hesitation to ask. At Medusa, first and foremost we want you to know, you are in control. We are a facilitator to your care. 

We care about you, your history, your current daily life, your goals and dreams, your worries, and we invite you to tell us any or all of the above to whatever extent feels right to you. This is a safe space, and a healing space. We also want you to know, all parts of the exam are with consent only, and at any time you can change that consent.

Your Story: The visit usually starts with listening to your story, your “why” (and even “why not”) for coming into our clinic. We will ask questions to fully understand where you are in your journey, and what you are experiencing, as well as dive into discussing your goals. This part of your visit – the chance to talk, unload, report, even cry if you need to – is vitally important to not only creating an invaluable OT/client connection based on your needs and goals, but also to establish the atmosphere that this is a safe place. It helps us get a better sense of who you are, so we can know how best to support you. We truly believe that you know your body best, and we are simply here to help you achieve its healing and strengthening.

Your Nervous System: A key component of Medusa’s care is to do a deep dive into your nervous system and where you usually sit in your day to day with stress, sensory regulation, stimulation, and overwhelm. How you process these elements often impacts both your pelvic health and your healing! We love to look at the entire mosaic of you, and that can mean really getting at the root of your symptoms, or what may have been struggles with resolving them. Within our calm and peaceful clinic, we employ a gentle and exploratory approach to your nervous system regulation, often in hand with other treatments we offer, and certainly with your collaboration and goals in mind, always. This approach is frequently what helps us help you get to healing and feeling better more quickly!

Your Body: For the physical part of the exam, we may look at your posture, strength, flexibility, breathing pattern, and how you do functional tasks and movements. Then, based on your comfort level, we can progress in one of a few directions: nervous system (mindset) and education based work, exercises that will progress your strength and function for your everyday life, or an internal exam. Don’t worry - further visits can and will explore and expand upon any or all of these areas, in a way that best fits you and your needs, and progresses your care. We don’t have to (and don’t like to) cover it all in one visit because that can be overwhelming, and we don’t want to miss any important elements. But we do have the goal of setting you up for success, not keeping you coming in forever. The faster track to healing is one that is collaborative, starts heavy and tapers off over time, and utilizes what we know and can help you strengthen physically, emotionally, mentally, and sensory-wise.

"Do I have to have an internal assessment?"
An internal assessment is NEVER required. Your pelvic floor is responsible for a lot of your daily functions and how your feel. It controls your bladder, bowels, and sexual function, works together with your abdominal, hip, and back muscles to stabilize your core and posture, and it supports your internal organs.

By doing an internal assessment, we can gain more information about how all these muscles coordinate and work together to achieve all these important functions. With your consent, we can look at the external and internal structures of your pelvic floor.

  • First, observing the external tissues and structures to look for symmetry, color and integrity of the skin and tissues surrounding the vulva.
     

  • Next, performing the internal portion of the exam by using one-gloved finger to assess the muscles of your pelvic floor and how well these muscles coordinate a complete contraction and relaxation.
     

  • We narrate every step and ask for your permission before proceeding to the next step, and we do this from a trauma-informed and trained approach.
     

  • We strongly believe any hands on a body need to be consented, understanding, and with trauma-informed care. So much can be learned from an internal exam but please know, it is not necessary to get better. There are even evaluations where we may make the clinical judgment to not perform an internal assessment the first visit (or first few visits). This is often based on what is presenting most acutely for you, what we might discuss is more important to you to work on, and even what we might be able to first help calm with some nervous system or sensory work. You can also always decline an internal exam, at any point during your session(s).

 

Your Healing: Finally, we ensure you leave your evaluation with a good understanding about what you are experiencing and why, an individualized care plan for what you can be doing in your daily life to improve your symptoms and progress toward your goals, and fortified in the support we are giving to empower you to be successful in this journey.

Again, we truly believe that you know your body best. We practice with the goal and understanding that we are building a relationship with you so you trust us, but more importantly so that you trust yourself!

What you get is a toolbox of strategies, movement, and resources that you can use to be confident in your body going forward.

Nadya & Molly

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