Internal Pelvic Exam
Our pelvic floor muscles are located inside the pelvis. Since they are hidden away, the only accurate way to assess how these muscles are working is through an internal exam, where the physiotherapist can touch the pelvic floor muscles through the vagina or rectum to see which muscles are weak, or tight, and whether they are moving as they should be.
In Europe, internal pelvic exams are the "gold standard" of pelvic floor treatment and research supports that treatments carried out by physiotherapists who employ internal pelvic exams are highly successful.
The purpose of this assessment is to evaluate how the pelvic floor muscles and connective tissue are working. As well, the position of the bladder and uterus can be determined to evaluate for possible pelvic organ prolapse. You will be asked to undress from the waist down in a curtained cubicle and lie on the physiotherapy plinth. A drape will be provided to cover yourself. A clean technique, using non-latex gloves will be employed throughout the assessment. One or two gloved fingers will be inserted into the vaginal canal or one finger is inserted into the rectum to assess the pelvic floor in terms of muscle strength, co-ordination and tone, connective tissue laxity, scarring and adhesions.