It is one of the most common questions pelvic floor therapists are asked. “So… does everyone have a pelvic floor? I thought that was just a female thing.” And the answer we are always excited to provide is YES. Everyone has a pelvis; thus everyone has a pelvic floor. If we all have a pelvic floor, that means that we ALL are susceptible to urinary incontinence, pelvic pain, constipation, or pelvic floor dysfunction (just like we all are susceptible to injury of any other body part!).
If you are a member of the LGBTQIA+ community, however, you likely have experienced bias and assumptions surrounding your medical care. A common medical misconception is that only cisgender women can experience urinary incontinence or pelvic floor dysfunction after having a child. Pelvic floor therapy has been slowly becoming a more understood (and recommended) treatment for individuals with pelvic floor dysfunction, but we still have a long way to go in breaking the stigma that pelvic floor therapy can only be for cis women after labor and delivery
What is pelvic floor therapy?
The pelvic floor is a series of 16 different muscles that are separated into 3 layers. These muscles sit on the bowl (or the floor) of the pelvis and can be thought of like a hammock. Each layer of muscles has distinct functions to help with sexual function, control of bowel and bladder, and support of the organs of the pelvis. The orientation and function of muscles are almost identical, regardless of genitalia.
Pelvic floor therapy involves assessment and treatment of the muscles of the pelvic floor, hips, low back, diaphragm and abdomen. Pelvic floor physical therapists are movement specialists that specifically address movement, function (and dysfunction) of the muscles, joints, and ligaments that surround the pelvis.
How can I benefit from pelvic floor therapy?
Pelvic floor therapy can be especially helpful in treating individuals in the LGBTQIA+ community. As we learned before, everyone has a pelvis. If you are experiencing urinary incontinence, symptoms of heaviness in the vagina/anus, urinary urgency, constipation, fecal incontinence, pain with intercourse, tailbone pain, if you chronically hold your urine due to not feeling safe to use the bathroom, if you bind/tuck/pack, or if you are in the process of going through (or have gone through) a gender-affirming surgical procedure… you are a great candidate for pelvic floor therapy.
We are very aware that individuals of the LGBTQIA+ community have hesitancies and concerns when choosing a medical provider, especially when trusting a health professional with your pelvic health. In order to help ease these concerns, we offer a free virtual or in-person consultation with one of our licensed physical therapists. If you are interested in scheduling an appointment with one of our pelvic floor therapists, please fill out the link below!
We look forward to seeing you and being a part of your team!