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What Every Queer Person Should Know About Their Pelvic Floor
Any queer or transperson who has sought medical treatment is probably quite aware that there are a lot of harmful misconceptions and myths about healthcare pertaining to them. One of the least discussed is the pelvic floor. Pelvic floor health has long been assumed to be relevant only to cis women, and specifically to pregnant cis women. While pelvic floor health has been gaining greater attention in the medical community and society at large, the conversations have been primarily centered around pregnancy-related care and (assumed) cis women’s experiences. In fact, during one of my recent guest lectures, a student asked me about urinary incontinence and made the assumption that this condition only affects people with vulvas. We all have a pelvis and therefore a pelvic floor – regardless of our genitals or genders. And because we all have a pelvic floor, we all can be susceptible to dysfunction or injury of the pelvic floor just like any other body part.
Providing compassionate and competent care to LGBTQ+ patients
Over the last five years there has been a groundswell in the recognition that healthcare for those in the LGBTQ+ community has been, at best, incredibly lacking & the world of physical therapy is no exception. Fortunately, this growing awareness is being followed by tangible efforts to improve the quality of care provided to this population as evidenced by the formation of PT Proud, a Catalyst Group in the APTA, & a growing body of research to address the unique needs of LGBTQ+ patients. Hermann & Wallace is even offering it’s first ever 3 day course solely focused on treating patients who are gender diverse!
The Pelvic What?
Contrary to some of the information circulating in the strength world, peeing while lifting is not a marker of intensity, but a neuromusculoskeletal dysfunction that can be prevented and treated! Conversely, SUI does not mean you are a weak person, but ignoring these symptoms can likely lead to further problems and injuries down the line.