Bladder Dysfunction

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Normal Function

The bladder is a storage device for our urine and is connected to our kidneys.

We should be able to hold on for 2-3 hours before needing to empty.

We should know when our bladder is full and calmly approach the toilet without panic.

We should also be able to maintain continence easily throughout the day.

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These are the most common bladder issues:

Frequency & Urgency
Incomplete Emptying
Slow or Intermittent Flow
Repeated night-time wees

All of these will be discussed during your assessment.

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Guided pelvic floor muscle training is designed to improve the support and function of the bladder. You may also benefit from reviewing your core function, lifestyle, diet and fluid intake in order to calm your bladder symptoms.

Sometimes medication or devices are required, these options can be discussed with your physiotherapist during your appointments.

What to expect from an initial assessment

The initial assessment takes approximately 1 hour and involves a chat about your symptoms and how they are affecting you. If you don't experience any symptoms, don't worry as this assessment can be a useful screening for potential future problems.
We will ask you questions about your bladder, bowel and pelvic function to ascertain if they are demonstrating function or dysfunction. This will help us to identify problem areas that will need attention during the physical assessment and treatment planning.
After we chat, we will discuss what to expect from a physical examination. if you feel comfortable to go ahead, we will take a look at your pelvic floor with an internal vaginal examination.
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How long is the road to recovery?

There are a number of variables which make the rehabilitation journey unique to each individual.
However, if you stick to the exercise and treatment plan, you can expect improved brain-body connection within 2 weeks. This will provide you with an improved confidence in exercising your pelvic floor and core.
By 4-6 weeks, you can expect increasing muscle function with improved muscle bulk, power, elevation and endurance.Your physiotherapist will progress your treatment and training plan appropriately during your follow up appointments.
Continuing with your training programme is essential and what you do day-to-day will bring the biggest results.It's worth considering whether this is a good time to start the process, and if you are not sure, discuss your questions with your physiotherapist.
Overall, the physiotherapy process will take approximately 3-6 months. You can set your goals at the initial assessment and then update them as you progress on your journey. 
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The Australian Pelvic Floor Questionnaire

This questionnaire is a useful screening tool to help you find out whether your pelvic health is within normal functional ranges.
There are 4 sections to complete:
  1. Bladder Function
  2. Bowel Function
  3. Prolapse Symptoms
  4. Sexual Function
Each section has a number of multiple choice questions. Each answer is scored according to how far away from normal the answer is (0 = within normal ranges up to 3 = furthest from normal).
This questionnaire is also a useful tool to track your progress when completing your rehabilitation programme.
Why not download the questionnaire and fill it out today. You can also add your scores to the progress chart (available to download on this page also).
Download the Questionnaire
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My Pelvic Health Journey

Start your own pelvic health journey today by downloading the Australian Pelvic Floor Questionnaire (available to download on this page), and the My Pelvic Health Journey sheet.
Answer the questions for each section in the questionnaire and total up your answers for each section.
Add your section scores to the My Pelvic Health Journey sheet in the 'start' boxes. This will give you your starting pelvic health scores.
Book your assessment with your physiotherapist or start the 6-week pelvic floor online course and track your progress scores by completing the questionnaire once a month.
The downloadable progress sheet will take you 4 months into your rehabilitation journey but feel free to keep score for 6 or even 12 months!
Download My Pelvic Health Journey
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