Stress Urinary Incontinence

The involuntary loss of urine when there is an increase in intra-abdominal pressure. For example, leakage of urine that occurs when a person coughs, sneezes, laughs, lifts or jumps.

You may also find the following links helpful:

Stress Incontinence vs. Urge Incontinence

Urge Urinary Incontinence

The presence of a strong compelling urge to urinate that cannot be controlled and results in the leakage of urine.

You may also find the following links helpful:

Stress Incontinence vs. Urge Incontinence

Urinary Urgency: When you Really Gotta Go!

Bowel Dysfunction

Bowel dysfunction is an umbrella term for problems involving the ano-rectal region. Some common concerns include:

Faecal or Anal Incontinence: The involuntary loss of liquid or solid stool or the inability to control gas or flatus.

Constipation: Bowel movements that are infrequent and difficult to pass. This may involve symptoms of bloating, abdominal pain, and the inability to completely empty the bowels (dysfunctional defecation).

Hemorrhoids and Anal Fissures: These are often a complication of constipation and dysfunctional defecation. Excessive pressure and straining during bowel movements that lack proper pelvic floor coordination can result in swollen veins in the anorectal canal (hemorrhoids) or painful tearing in the anal canal (anal fissures).

You may also find the following links helpful:

Pelvic Physiotherapy for Bowel Conditions

Constipation 101

Do you have Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)?

Pregnancy and Post-partum Pain & Incontinence

There are numerous reasons for post-partum pain and incontinence; however, some common explanations include: weakened muscles, scar tissue development from episiotomies or tears, prolapse and hormonal changes. Other issues that may arise during the postpartum phase include:

Diastasis recti abdominus (DRA or ‘Mummy Tummy’)

Diastasis recti abdominus (DRA or ‘Mummy Tummy’):

A separation of the rectus abdominus muscle. As your baby grows during pregnancy, these muscles begin to stretch (which is normal). But, for some moms, a DRA persists and can compromise functional core strength and contribute to low back pain, a protruding belly and prolapse. Read more about DRA on our Blog.

You may also find the following links helpful:

Top 4 Reasons to See a Pelvic Health Physiotherapist Pre and Postnatally

Perineal Tears

Top 3 Myths Regarding Pregnancy

Medical Guidelines for Exercise During Pregnancy 

Labour Preparation Acupuncture

Returning to Exercise Postpartum

Pelvic girdle pain

Pelvic girdle pain (PGP):

Pain that presents around the pelvis, lower back, hips or groin area as a result of alignment imbalances within the pubic symphysis and sacro-iliac joints. A persistent DRA after childbirth may contribute to pelvic girdle pain. Read more about how pelvic physiotherapy can help with PGP.


Pudendal Neuralgia

The pudendal nerve is the primary nerve supplying autonomic, sensory and motor function to the genitalia, bladder and rectal muscles. This nerve can become compressed or irritated causing pain in the pelvic region. Common causes of pudendal nerve irritation include prolonged sitting, difficult childbirth and cycling.

Helpful Link:

What is Pudendal Neuralgia?

Posture and the Pelvic Floor

Interstitial Cystitis (IC or Painful Bladder Syndrome)

A condition involving the bladder, which becomes hypersensitive or inflamed. In rare occasions, it may involve red patches or lesions within the bladder wall known as Hunner’s ulcers. Common symptoms associated with IC include: urinary frequency, urgency, nocturia, burning and pain.

Learn more about IC/BPS and how diet can affect your bladder.

You may also find the following link helpful:

Interstitial Cystitis vs. Painful Bladder Syndrome

Levator Ani Syndrome

The levator ani refers to a group of muscles that make up a large portion of the pelvic floor. These muscles can go into spasm resulting in pain that may appear in the perineum, rectum or tailbone area.

You may also find the following link helpful:

Levator Ani Syndrome: One Way to Name the Pain


The medical term for painful intercourse. Both females and males can experience pain with intercourse. Pelvic pain can be experienced during sex, initial or deep penetration and orgasm.

Other helpful Links:

Lube 101


Pelvic pain experienced over the tailbone or coccyx which usually worsens with prolonged sitting.

Helpful Link:

What is Coccydynia?

Posture and the Pelvic Floor


A term that describes non-specific, unprovoked and generalized pain over the vulvar region without any physical findings to support the presence of pain.

Helpful Links:

Vulvodynia: Defining and treating chronic vulvar pain

Biopsychosocial Factors that Influence Pelvic Pain

Vestibulodynia (Vulvar Vestibulitis)

A more definitive type of vulvodynia that refers to specific provoked pain within the vestibule of the vagina, the inner portion of the labia minora. It is often associated with inflammation and sensitivity, which can contribute to muscle dysfunction and dyspaerunia.

Penetration Disorder (Vaginismus)

The spasm of the pelvic floor muscles upon an attempt at vaginal penetration. This tensioning in the muscles can contribute to problems with penetrative intercourse or tampon insertion.

Helpful Links:

Vaginismus: A Client’s Story

Vaginismus: How sex therapy can help

Breathing and the Pelvic Floor

Biopsychosocial Factors that Influence Pelvic Pain

Clitoridynia and PGAD

Clitoridynia: Pain that is felt over the clitoris either upon direct pressure or pressure on other parts of the genital tissue which in turn refers pain to the clitoris.

Pervasive Genital Arousal Disorder (PGAD): PGAD is described as spontaneous, unwanted genital arousal in the absence of any subjective perception of sexual interest or desire, occurring for a period of 6 months or more. Learn more about PGAD here.


A condition referring to the shift in tissue and organs within the pelvic cavity that may be caused by weak or damaged pelvic floor muscles. Some factors that may contribute to prolapse include: vaginal childbirth, menopause, chronic constipation and heavy lifting. Learn more about prolapse.

Other helpful links:

What is Pelvic Organ Prolapse? Am I at Risk?

The Who, What, Why and How of Pelvic Organ Prolapse

Other Pelvic Pain

It is important to note that other conditions such as irritable bowel syndrome, endometriosis, painful bladder, urinary tract infections, changes with menopause, tense pelvic floor muscles or scar tissue can all create pelvic pain. Post-gynecological or abdominal surgeries (including cesarean sections and laproscopy) may create pain resulting from scarring and dysfunction of pelvic floor muscles.


You may also find these links helpful in managing pelvic pain:

Yin Yoga for pelvic pain and tension

Video: Using Castor Oil for Abdominal and Pelvic Pain

Breathing and the Pelvic Floor

Biopsychosocial Factors the Influence Pelvic Pain

kegel exercises men

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Did you know?

1 in 3 females experience urinary

Over 30% of females perform Kegel exercises

30-50% of females have a minor pelvic organ prolapse
after a vaginal delivery

All females in France are given access to pelvic floor therapy after having a baby