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Physiotherapy in Complex Mesh Centres

Pelvic health physiotherapy is recommended as a first-line treatment for symptoms of urinary incontinence or pelvic organ prolapse.  

Pelvic health physiotherapists have undergone additional training and have specialist expertise in bladder, bowel and vaginal health. Our goal is to support and work with people to lessen the impact of pelvic floor problems and help restore their quality of life. Common pelvic health problems may include bladder and bowel incontinence (or difficulty emptying), prolapse or painful sexual intercourse. Physiotherapy aims to improve function and minimise the symptoms that can impact on the physical and psychological aspects of life. Education and understanding of the anatomy and function of the bladder, bowel and pelvic floor muscles is a key part of this.


Why is there a Specialist Physiotherapist in the Complex Mesh Centre?  

  1. Many of the women seen in the Complex Mesh Centres (CMC) may have seen a physiotherapist already and the Specialist Physiotherapist can help to decide whether further physiotherapy input may be of benefit.
  2. The CMC Specialist Physiotherapist may offer a package of care within the CMC setting or share information, advice and expertise with the physiotherapists involved in the agreed management plan closer to home. We aim to ensure continuity of care with local services.


Who can be seen in the Complex Mesh Centre Physiotherapy Service? 

Specialist Physiotherapists work closely with multidisciplinary colleagues within the CMC. The exact pathway may vary between centres, but Specialist Physiotherapists are available to support women with symptoms of pelvic floor dysfunction.


How can a Specialist Physiotherapist help?  

The Specialist Physiotherapist will provide an opportunity to talk about current symptoms and then discuss and explore treatment options that may have an impact on symptoms and quality of life.  This may include:

  • Discussing bladder, bowel, vaginal or rectal symptoms such as incontinence, urgency, frequency, sexual discomfort or pain.
  • Discussing lifestyle strategies that may help current symptoms.
  • Signposting to other sources of information that may help with encouraging good bladder and bowel habits.
  • With consent, the Specialist Physiotherapist may do a vaginal or rectal examination to assess the pelvic floor muscle strength, tone, relaxation or pain.
  • Feedback will be given on examination findings and treatment options will be discussed and agreed together.
  • If surgery is the agreed plan, pre/post-operative physiotherapy may be offered either within the CMC setting or via local services as appropriate. 


Useful links to sources of information that may help:  

Pelvic Floor Muscles 

Bladder & Bowel Incontinence 

Healthy Bladder 

Vaginal Prolapse 


Persistent Pelvic Pain 

Later Years 


External links :

Information about your surgery and the Enhanced Recovery After Surgery (ERAS) Programme 

Urinary incontinence and pelvic organ prolapse in women: management ( 

Information for the public | Pelvic floor dysfunction: prevention and non-surgical management | Guidance | NICE