Pelvic floor dysfunction affects millions of individuals worldwide, yet it remains a topic shrouded in silence and misunderstanding. From pelvic pain to urinary incontinence, these conditions can have a profound impact on one's physical and emotional well-being. Fortunately, pelvic floor therapy offers effective solutions for managing and treating pelvic floor dysfunction. To help individuals determine if they could benefit from pelvic floor therapy, Nicole Cozean, a leading pelvic health physical therapist in California, has developed a groundbreaking screening tool. Listed below are ten questions listed on the Cozean Pelvic Dysfunction Screening Protocol. If you answer YES to three or more statements, it is likely that you are experiencing pelvic floor dysfunction.

Cozean Pelvic Dysfunction Screening Protocol

1. I sometimes have pelvic pain (in genitals, perineum, pubic or bladder area, or pain with urination) that exceeds a ‘3’ on a 1-10 pain scale, with 10 being the worst pain imaginable.

2. I can remember falling onto my tailbone, lower back, or buttocks (even in childhood).

3. I sometimes experience one or more of the following urinary symptoms:

  • Accidental loss of urine
  • Feeling unable to completely empty my bladder
  • Having to void within a few minutes of a previous void
  • Pain or burning with urination
  • Difficulty starting or frequent stopping/starting of urine stream

4. I often or occasionally have to get up to urinate two or more times at night.

5. I sometimes have a feeling of increased pelvic pressure or the sensation of my pelvic organs slipping down or falling out.

6. I have a history of pain in my low back, hip, groin, or tailbone or have had sciatica.

7. I sometimes experience one or more of the following bowel symptoms:

  • Loss of bowel control
  • Feeling unable to completely empty my bowels
  • Straining or pain with a bowel movement
  • Difficulty initiating a bowel movement

8. I sometimes experience pain or discomfort with sexual activity or intercourse.

9. Sexual activity increases one or more of my other symptoms.

10. Prolonged sitting increases my symptoms.

What did you score? If you checked three or more statements, pelvic floor dysfunction is likely. You may benefit from an assessment from a pelvic floor therapist. 

Dr. Chelsea Sawyer

Dr. Chelsea Sawyer

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