What to expect during your first appointment
What exactly happens at your first pelvic physio appointment? Above all, we strive to offer an environment where you feel safe, respected, heard, and cared for from the moment your appointment begins to when it ends. Whether we’re meeting you in person or virtually, here’s what your first appointment will look like.
We listen to your story
You will receive forms to fill out ahead of your appointment to detail your health history and provide an overview of your current concerns. Your physiotherapist will read through your forms before we meet, but we also spend time reviewing them together during your first appointment. Your story matters, and we are here to listen and ask questions so that we can provide the best possible care for you.
We explain options for exams
The type of physical exams we do depend on your comfort level as well as your goals or concerns. We will explain the relevant anatomy and body parts, as well as outline the procedure before we do anything. We always ask for your consent during any physical exam, and you are always in control.
We perform a physical exam
A physical exam may involve an assessment of your abdomen, hips, back, pelvis, and/or pelvic floor region (with your consent, this may include an external vulvar exam, internal vaginal exam, and/or internal rectal exam). If you’re seeing us virtually, your assessment will look a little different. During virtual appointments we look at your alignment (sitting or standing) and/or watch you do general movements (breathing, bending, balancing, etc). We may also do an external exam of your abdominal wall. We don’t assess anything pelvic floor-related during virtual visits, but we may walk you through important information or discuss verbal and visual cures. From there we’ll chat about further assessment/treatment options, depending what your needs are.
If you’re nervous about getting an internal exam and want to know more about what to expect, check out the Q&A below.
We talk about your treatment plan and next steps
We hope to finish the appointment with realistic and motivating ways to move you towards your goals. Together, we’ll come up with a plan that works for you. Your plan may include recommendations like exercises, stretches, further paperwork, resources, or products that you might find helpful. In some cases, we may suggest an additional healthcare provider for care, such as a massage therapist, or a counselor.
We talk about your next appointment
We usually suggest 1-3 follow-up appointments initially, spaced 7-14 days apart. You and your physiotherapist will talk about what’s best for you. We want you to have the absolute best quality of care, and part of that is giving you the opportunity to provide feedback on how things are going. We will make appropriate adjustments if something’s not right, or provide progressions if you are doing well.
Ready to take the next step?
Have questions? We have answers!
Here are some of the most commonly asked questions before a first visit.
I’m nervous about getting an internal pelvic exam. Can you walk me through what to expect?
Internal pelvic examinations are the Gold Standard to assess what’s happening with your pelvic floor muscles and the soft tissues around your pelvic organs (bladder, bowel, and uterus). We understand that many folks feel nervous about this type of examination, and it’s our goal (and job!) to make sure you always feel comfortable and in control. As pelvic floor physiotherapists, we are specially trained to do this type of exam in a gentle, non-invasive way.
During an internal exam we’re looking at the resting tone of your pelvic floor (what your muscles look like when they’re not actively working), the strength and endurance of your muscles, and anything else that may be contributing to your symptoms or concerns. We assess manually with our hands/fingers (usually one or two fingers), and this is typically a more gentle exam. Your physiotherapist will explain everything that’s going to happen, and will only begin the exam once all your questions have been answered and you have given your consent. If you feel uncomfortable at any time, we will stop the exam– no questions asked.
I’m on my period – can I still attend my appointment?
Yes, you can. Your treatment that day may involve non-internal work, education about your condition, or other exercises. If internal work is needed and you give your consent, our physiotherapists are comfortable performing internal manual therapy while you are on your period. If it makes you more comfortable, feel free to schedule your appointments for those weeks when you aren’t in your menstrual period. If your period comes up unexpectedly and you don’t feel up to leaving the house, you are always welcome to switch your appointment to a virtual visit.
Can I bring my baby/child to my appointment?
You are more than welcome to bring your baby to your appointment with you! Especially when they are in the baby stage, we totally understand that they are pretty glued to you – we’ve been there! When kiddos are between 6 months – 2 years old, you might find them to be a bit too busy and distracting to focus on the appointment, but the choice is yours – you know your kids best. Parents who need to bring an older child to their appointments, often find bringing a book or a device for their child to be helpful.
Can I still receive treatment if I have an IUD?
Yes. Please let your physiotherapist know that you have an IUD in place, but this will not affect your treatment in any way.
Can I still receive treatment if I have a Pessary device for POP?
Yes. Please let your physiotherapist know that you have a pessary in place. We may ask you to remove the device for your assessment/treatment if you are comfortable doing so.
What should I wear to my first appointment?
Your appointment may include some gentle exercise or stretching, and we find that folks are most comfortable in clothing that allows them to move freely.
Do I need to bring anything to my first appointment?
Please bring your intake, consent, and COVID screening forms (only if you have not yet completed them online), comfortable clothes, your mask (we can provide one if you forget), and a willingness to share and to learn.
Do I need a referral to book an appointment?
You do not need a referral to book an appointment. If you’re planning to use your extended health care benefits, in some cases your insurance company may ask you for a referral from your doctor or midwife before they will cover the cost of the service. Contact your insurance provider to see what your plan requires.
What are your fees?
Initial Physiotherapy Pelvic Health Assessment (60 minutes) – $160**
Postnatal Physiotherapy Pelvic Health Check Up (60 minutes) – $160**
Follow-up Visit (60 minutes)- $160**
Follow-up Visit (45 minutes) – $120**
Follow-up Visit (30 minutes) – $95**
Therapeutic Ultrasound For Blocked Ducts (30 minutes) – $95
Initial Pediatric Physiotherapy Pelvic Health Assessment (60 minutes) – $160**
Follow-up Pediatric Visit (30 minutes) – $95**
Pessary Fitting Assessment – $200
Pessary Follow-up Visit – $130
**Visits can be booked virtually or in-person
Do you do direct billing for extended health benefits?
We do not currently offer direct billing to insurance companies, but we will provide you with a receipt that has all the information you need to easily forward to your insurance provider.
What is Vitality Pelvic Physio’s cancellation policy?
We politely request that you give us at least 48 hours notice if you need to cancel or reschedule your appointment so that we have enough time to fill your appointment time slot. If you cancel your appointment with less than 48 hours notice, without adequate cause, there will be a $50 cancellation fee.
We understand that sometimes life (car problems, sickness, kids PD days, etc) happens and that can make getting into the office a challenge. That’s why you always have the option to switch your appointment to a virtual visit. Our clients have had wonderful success with virtual visits!
How does virtual pelvic floor physiotherapy work?
Our clientele has had wonderful success with virtual pelvic floor physiotherapy and we love being able to offer this as an option! This also means we are able to serve clients who live anywhere in Ontario. As long as you have a device with video capabilities, a steady internet connection and a little bit of room to move around, you can do a virtual visit! During virtual appointments we look at your alignment (sitting or standing) and/or watch you do general movements (breathing, bending, balancing, etc). We may also do an external exam of your abdominal wall. We don’t assess anything internally during virtual visits, but we may walk you through important information or discuss verbal and visual cues.
Who can I contact if I have questions about my care?
You are welcome to contact the Vitality Pelvic Physio office at any time during business hours with questions or concerns.
What Our Clients Are Saying
"Sophia is a very knowledgeable and effective physiotherapist. The work we did together, under her guidance made such a difference to the symptoms I was experiencing. For me though, the thing that sets Sophia apart as an excellent practitioner is her approach - sensitive, warm, kind and respectful. She asked me a lot of questions, involving me in the process at every step of the way and honoured my understanding of my own body and my own lived experience. I always felt safe and genuinely cared for in her presence."
"Carla and the whole team have always been amazing! They are compassionate and caring and I highly recommend visiting them for your physio needs!"
"I found Vitality Pelvic Physio when I was feeling hopeless about my painful bladder symptoms. The quality care and genuine compassion I received was a true gift, and something that I will be forever grateful for.”