Perineal health is a rarely discussed subject. You may even be wondering "but what is the perineum?" However, problems related to this region are very common, especially in women.
Marisabelle Plante, physiotherapist in perineal rehabilitation at Femina clinic, therefore clarifies the subject and explains the importance of having good perineal health to enjoy physical activity!
Daniel: As the founder of the Femina clinic, can you explain to us what is done at your clinic?
Marisabelle: Femina is a center of expertise in perineal and pelvic health which was founded to meet the needs of women, that is to say their health in relation to their pelvic floor.
You should know that everyone has a pelvic floor since we are born with this muscle region. Although our consultations are mostly with women, it is not uncommon to see men and children at our clinic for consultations related to incontinence, pain, etc. Everyone is welcome.
Daniel: What is the pelvic floor?
Marisabelle: The pelvic floor is the muscle base of the pelvis. More precisely, we are talking about 3 muscle layers made up of several small muscles that will allow the attachment of the pubis to the coccyx in order to attach the pelvis.
The pelvic floor has several roles such as preventing incontinence, supporting the organs above the pelvic floor, sexual function, etc.
It is indeed a little known area, but one that we constantly use in all our daily activities.
Daniel: How do you know if you have a perineal dysfunction?
Marisabelle: The problems related to pelvic floor dysfunction are very vast and they can be related to weakness or even overuse.
Symptoms can therefore be urinary incontinence, stool or gas for example.
There may also be pain in the area. As the pelvic floor has a stabilizing role in our body, improper functioning of this one can have an impact on other areas of the body.
In women, in addition to incontinence, there may be organ descent (bladder, uterus, rectum) or pain during sexual relations.
You should know that these are extremely common problems, especially in women. Indeed, we are talking about 1 in 2 women who would be grappling with urinary incontinence problems, 1 in 3 women who would have organ descent and nearly 2 in 3 women who would feel pain during sexual relations. of their life.
Daniel: It should not be easy to treat this kind of muscle region since it is difficult to see with the naked eye and it includes a ton of small muscles?
Marisabelle: Indeed, but that's what makes our job wonderful!
On the other hand, you should know that we have all received training allowing us to perform gynecological examinations. Thus, one is able to feel and see the musculature from the inside. It is therefore similar to another region of the body and we are very equipped to assess it.
That being said, our consultations and treatments are in no way like an exam for back pain, for example.
Daniel: How does pregnancy impact the pelvic floor?
Marisabelle: Pregnancy is a major element in a woman's life, both physically and emotionally. The impact of pregnancy is enormous on the perineal musculature caused by morphological changes in preparation for childbirth.
It is important to mention that the impact is during pregnancy and not during childbirth. This is because cesarean section does not prevent damage to the pelvic floor.
Generally, if I see a woman on day 1 and then on day 200 of her pregnancy, the chances of me experiencing pelvic floor weakness are quite high!
Daniel: Do you have any universal recommendations for pregnant women related to the health of their pelvic floor?
Marisabelle: I have difficulty targeting things to ABSOLUTELY do or not to do. Indeed, each woman is different so we have to adjust according to the needs.
On the other hand, for those who can afford it, I strongly recommend a consultation with a physiotherapist in perineal rehabilitation at least once during pregnancy. This consultation will not only educate the woman about her pelvic floor, but also correct and / or work on certain aspects before childbirth.
Daniel: What do you offer to people who, in fact, cannot afford a visit with a perineal physiotherapist? Is your service on its way to going public?
Marisabelle: For these people, there is definitely some reading to do: we have a section blog which includes a wealth of free information.
It is certain that we would like the perineal physiotherapy service to be open to the public, but it is not tomorrow the day before!
That being said, women are more and more informed and aware of the health of their pelvic floor during pregnancy and doctors refer us more so there is huge progress there.
Daniel: We talk more and more about the psychological aspect in each injury; is the psychological component part of your job?
Marisabelle: It is certain that problems such as urinary incontinence can have big psychological impacts. For example, for some women, it means refraining from running long distances or training with friends for fear of getting your clothes wet.
People who come to consult are often relieved to know that they are not alone in this situation and that their problems are far from being taboo on our premises.
We also regularly refer to psychologists or sexologists if we feel that the person could benefit from this type of consultation.
Daniel: How can we reach you?
Simply through our website. The clinic is also very active on social media with a lot of relevant information.
For those who would like to consult, everything is possible face-to-face in our offices or even tele-consultation.