Can a physical therapist assess pelvic floor health?

Can a physical therapist assess pelvic floor health?
Can a physical therapist assess pelvic floor health?

Can a physical therapist assess pelvic floor health is one of the top questions our office gets.

Yes, a physical therapist can assess pelvic floor health.

In fact, physical therapy has been coined an “untapped resource” for pelvic pain and sexual dysfunction.

A pelvic floor examination is a specialized assessment conducted by a physical therapist, often a women’s health specialist, to evaluate the health and function of the pelvic floor muscles.

The examination can involve several components, which may include:

  1. Medical History:
    • The physical therapist will typically start by asking you about your medical history, including any pelvic floor symptoms, previous surgeries, pregnancies, and relevant medical conditions.
  2. Symptom Assessment:
    • The physical therapist will ask you about any specific symptoms you may be experiencing, such as urinary incontinence, fecal incontinence, pelvic pain, or sexual dysfunction.
  3. Physical Examination:
    • The physical examination may include the following components:

      a. External Assessment: The physical therapist may visually inspect the external genitalia and perineal area for any signs of abnormalities, scarring, or visible issues.

      b. Internal Assessment: In some cases, an internal examination may be performed. This typically involves the physical therapist gently inserting a gloved, lubricated finger into the vagina to assess the tone, strength, and coordination of the pelvic floor muscles. This part of the examination is usually conducted with the utmost sensitivity and respect for the patient’s comfort.

  4. Assessment of Muscle Function:
    • During the internal examination, the physical therapist may assess the strength and coordination of the pelvic floor muscles by asking you to perform specific actions, such as contracting and relaxing these muscles.
  5. Pelvic Organ Prolapse Assessment:
    • If you have symptoms of pelvic organ prolapse, the physical therapist may assess the position and support of the pelvic organs, such as the bladder, uterus, or rectum.
  6. Pain Assessment:
    • If you’re experiencing pelvic pain, the physical therapist may assess the location, intensity, and potential triggers of the pain.
  7. Education:
    • Throughout the examination, the physical therapist will provide education about pelvic floor anatomy, function, and strategies for improving pelvic floor health.
  8. Treatment Recommendations:
    • Based on the findings of the examination, the physical therapist will offer recommendations for treatment or rehabilitation.
    • This may include exercises, lifestyle modifications, dietary changes, or referrals for further tests or specialized treatments.


Physical therapists who specialize in pelvic floor rehabilitation have the expertise and training to evaluate the condition of the pelvic floor muscles and address various pelvic floor issues.

During an assessment, they may use manual techniques, internal examinations, and other tools to assess muscle tone, strength, coordination, and function.

The specifics of the examination will vary depending on the physical therapist’s approach and the reason for the assessment.

Treatment options for pelvic floor therapy

Pelvic floor physical therapy is valuable for both men and women who experience pelvic floor issues, such as incontinence, pelvic pain, and sexual dysfunction. It can significantly improve quality of life and help individuals regain control and confidence in their pelvic health.

At PhysioFit of NC, we have the expert team in pelvic floor physical therapy to help you to the fullest.

We provide a comprehensive treatment approach through our Women’s Health Program.  This includes manual therapy and exercises to improve conditions related to the pelvic floor muscles.

Don’t hesitate to contact us today so we can help you!