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Physiotherapy for pelvic floor dysfunction

Mater’s team of physiotherapists are experienced in the treatment of pelvic floor dysfunction.
Patients who have pelvic floor dysfunction affecting primarily their bowel function might present with one or more of the following problems:

  • constipation
  • diarrhoea
  • difficulty going to the toilet
  • prolapse
  • pelvic or pelvic floor pain
  • urgency to go to the toilet
  • frequent need to go to the toilet
  • leakage or soiling themselves.

What to expect

You will be offered an initial face-to-face appointment with a physiotherapist which will usually last around an hour. The physiotherapist will need to develop a management plan with you to understand and care for your bowel and/or bladder problem. During this appointment you will be asked questions about your bowel problems, medications and general health.  It is not uncommon to have bladder problems when there is pelvic floor dysfunction; hence, they will also ask you questions about your bladder function.

You will be examined if you are comfortable and consent to it. You might have an ultrasound scan as part of the pelvic floor examination.

Treatment options

Treatment options include:

  • pelvic floor muscle rehabilitation—this can strengthening or down-training by an exercise program or use of biofeedback (a machine that is attached by external electrodes to your perineum or internal probe, which gives feedback on your muscle action)
  • advice on continence products
  • toileting programs
  • defecation training
  • laxative advice
  • bladder retraining
  • lifestyle advice.


Mater acknowledges consumer consultation in the development of this patient information.
Mater Doc Num: PI-CLN-430191
Last modified 18/3/2020.
Consumers were consulted in the development of this patient information.
Last consumer engagement date: 31/1/2017
For further translated health information, you can visit healthtranslations.vic.gov.au/ supported by the Victorian Department of Health and Human Services that offers a range of patient information in multiple languages.
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