Embracing Inclusivity: Celebrating Pride Month and Pelvic Health

Embracing Inclusivity: Celebrating Pride Month and Pelvic Health

June 6, 2024

Happy Pride Month! At Treasure Valley Pelvic Health, we are proud to celebrate and support the diversity and strength of the LGBTQIA+ community. Pride Month symbolizes love, acceptance, and equality, and presents an opportunity to shine a light on the holistic well-being of the community. Everyone deserves compassionate and personalized care, regardless of gender or sexual orientation.

This blog explores the ways pelvic floor physical therapy can support LGBTQIA+ individuals in navigating healthcare and their gender expression. Our skilled pelvic floor PTs provide a safe, supportive and affirming space for all individuals. Pelvic floor physical therapy offers numerous benefits that can help with a range of issues including sexual health challenges such as pain during intercourse, erectile dysfunction or difficulties with orgasm, urinary or bowel concerns, and post-surgical recovery. By addressing these concerns, pelvic floor physical therapy can significantly contribute to improving the overall health and well-being of queer and gender non-conforming individuals throughout their gender expression journeys.

Pelvic Floor Physical Therapy for Surgical Gender Expression Procedures

Pelvic floor physical therapy is an essential component of both pre and post-surgical
care for gender surgery. Whether this surgical care includes chest or genital reconstruction, or both, pelvic floor physical therapy is available to assist in the healing journey. Chest reconstruction can offer unique challenges with both breast augmentation or breast removal. These challenges can include scarring, adhesions and the potential to have limited mobility of the chest, ribs and spine. As a result, breathing mechanics, posture and range of motion of the trunk and upper extremities may be impacted. A pelvic floor PT’s expertise is invaluable for improving scar mobility, alleviating pain and discomfort, and enhancing range of motion to improve overall function and quality of life. These interventions can also help minimize the visibility of scarring.

In genital surgeries, pelvic floor physical therapy is also a crucial component of recovery. There is the potential for urinary or bowel dysfunction following these surgeries. This can include symptoms such as urgency and frequency, incomplete bladder emptying, difficulty initiating the stream, or painful urination. Some individuals may also experience pelvic pain or painful intercourse following genital reconstruction. In these cases, it is essential for individuals to receive personalized care from a pelvic floor PT to address these impairments and aid in restoring optimal pelvic health.

Pelvic Floor Physical Therapy for Non-Surgical Gender Expression Procedures

It is important to note that surgery is not a necessary aspect of gender expression, and
not every individual may opt for surgery. Some individuals may practice binding, tucking or packing to express gender, and ease gender or body dysphoria. In this section, we will explore these practices and discuss the ways that a pelvic floor PT can help assist in safe expression of gender.

Binding is the act of compressing breast tissue using bandages, tape, sports bras, or binders with the goal of achieving a flatter chest appearance. This can carry some risks such as increased chest, back, and shoulder pain, compromised posture, numbness, and potential scarring or adhesion of the tissues. Pelvic floor PTs can play a significant role in mitigating these possible effects by addressing the pain and symptoms often associated with constant compression of soft tissue. Targeted interventions focused on the affected muscles and tissues can help alleviate discomfort and promote improved well-being for individuals practicing binding.

Tucking is the practice that creates a flatter appearance in the pelvic region. Tape or a gaff, which is a piece of fabric attached to an elastic band and worn like underwear, are often used to help the penis and testicles remain tucked throughout the day. This practice can lead to pelvic pain, changes in gait, and increased muscle tension in the legs. It can also result in urinary dysfunction due to compression of the urethra, and an increased risk of developing a UTI. In pelvic floor physical therapy, your PT will work to relieve muscle tension, improve gait mechanics, and address urinary concerns.

Packing is the use of a packer, or similar object to create the appearance under clothing of a penis. This may result in changes to an individual’s gait pattern, increased muscle tension, pelvic pain or urinary dysfunction as well. It is also important to note that stand-to-pee devices have the potential to promote urinary retention. Pelvic floor PTs provide assistance to individuals by relieving muscle tension, addressing urinary concerns and reducing pelvic pain to promote improved well-being.

If you or someone you know are experiencing any of these symptoms, it is important to seek a pelvic floor PT who possesses knowledge and experience in LGBTQIA+ healthcare.

Community Support and Resources

While we celebrate throughout Pride Month, let’s also remember to advocate for
LGBTQIA+ rights and prioritize physical and emotional well-being for all individuals! It is imperative for healthcare providers to foster inclusive environments with open dialogue to address any concerns, and to develop treatment plans that honor an individual’s unique identity and experiences. At TVPH, we pride ourselves on creating a safe and affirming space for all. By recognizing the unique health needs of individuals, cultivating inclusivity and engaging with supportive healthcare providers, we can help create a future where all LGBTQIA+ individuals thrive! Let’s join together to advocate for comprehensive healthcare, acceptance, and equality for all!

Thank you for reading, and please feel free to share your experiences, thoughts or any questions you might have in the comments below! Don’t forget to follow us on social media as well for additional information and resources!

In Health,

The Team at Treasure Valley Pelvic Health

Request An Appointment

Please fill out this form and we will contact you about scheduling.

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.