What is Women’s Health Physiotherapy?

Women’s Health is a very large sub-speciality in Physiotherapy where we provide care for women from Menarche to Post-Menopause — and all the years of changing women’s health conditions in between. From painful periods/pelvic pain to postmenopausal urinary continence issues, bone health, safe exercise for your problem …or just a return to fitness after a baby!


We have a very holistic approach to each individual woman and spend time in assessment and educating you about your conditions and options for treatment. To help you better understand women’s health physiotherapy and how it could potentially benefit you, here’s an overview of what it is and what you can expect from it.

What is women’s health physiotherapy?

Physiotherapist assisting a woman with an exercise

Women’s health physiotherapy encompasses a wide range of treatments and therapies specifically tailored to address the unique health challenges faced by women throughout their life. This sub-specialty of physiotherapy shines a focus on conditions related to pelvic floor dysfunction, pregnancy and postnatal care, menopause, and other gender-specific health issues. 

Women’s health physiotherapists are experts in managing conditions such as incontinence, pelvic pain, prenatal and postnatal musculoskeletal pain, mastitis and rehabilitation following breast surgery. They employ a variety of techniques, including manual therapy, exercise prescriptions, and education on lifestyle modifications, aimed at improving quality of life and empowering women to take control of their health.

How can Women’s physiotherapy help me?

Women’s health physiotherapy offers a holistic approach to treating a variety of conditions specific to female health. Whether you’re dealing with postnatal recovery, incontinence, pelvic floor dysfunction, or pain during pregnancy, our women’s health physiotherapists will work together with you in developing a treatment plan suitable to you in order to optimise the treatment outcome and achieving your goals. 

Treatment plans often include pelvic floor muscle training, manual therapy, and tailored exercises to strengthen muscles and alleviate discomfort. Furthermore, physiotherapists provide essential education and lifestyle advice to help manage symptoms and prevent future issues. 

This personalised approach is not just about treating existing conditions but also focuses on prevention and improving overall well-being, making women’s health physiotherapy an invaluable resource for health maintenance and recovery.

Is Women’s health physiotherapy covered by Medicare?

Close-up of a Medicare health insurance card

Women’s health physiotherapy may be partially covered by Medicare under certain conditions. Generally, if you have a chronic medical condition that requires ongoing management, you might be eligible for Medicare benefits under the Chronic Disease Management plan

This plan allows for a certain number of physiotherapy sessions each year. However, it’s important to note that coverage and eligibility can vary, and it’s advisable to consult with your GP and review your Medicare plan to understand the specifics of your coverage. Additionally, some private health insurance plans may offer additional benefits for women’s health physiotherapy services.

When should I go to a women’s health physiotherapy consult?

Seeking a women’s health physiotherapy consultation is recommended whenever you experience health issues related to your pelvic floor, pregnancy and postnatal recovery, or overall women’s health. Common signs that it’s time to see a physiotherapist include:

  • Preparation for first vaginal delivery
  • Discomfort during pregnancy
  • Postnatal recovery challenges
  • Abdominal diastasis – tummy separation
  • Low pelvic floor strength.
  • Stress Urinary Incontinence – leaking
  • Urgency Overactive Bladder
  • Pelvic Organ Prolapse
  • Pelvic Pain Physiotherapy
  • Bowel Problems

It’s also advisable to consult a women’s health physiotherapist for preventive care, such as pelvic floor strengthening before and after childbirth, or for guidance on safe exercise routines after childbirth and during menopause. Remember, early intervention can lead to better outcomes, so don’t hesitate to seek professional advice when you first notice symptoms.

How can women’s health physiotherapist help you during pregnancy?

Pregnant woman practising prenatal yoga

A women’s health physiotherapist specialises in caring for women throughout their pregnancy journey. They play a crucial role in managing and alleviating pregnancy-related discomforts such as back pain, pelvic girdle pain, urinary incontinence and prepare you for a smoother birth. Here’s what they typically do:

  • Assess and Manage Pain: Provide assessments and develop treatment plans for managing musculoskeletal pain.
  • Pelvic Floor Muscle Training: Teach correct pelvic floor muscle contraction and prescribe appropriate exercise to strengthen the pelvic floor muscles.
  • Posture Education: Advice on posture and movement to reduce discomfort.
  • Exercise Programs: Design safe exercise programs tailored to each trimester.
  • Labour Preparation: Offer guidance on labour positions and breathing techniques.
  • Postnatal Recovery: Assist with recovery strategies post-birth, focusing on strengthening and rehabilitation.

In addition to these services, pregnancy physiotherapists also play a role in educating expectant mothers about the changes their bodies are undergoing and how to adapt to these changes effectively. They provide invaluable support in addressing common concerns like swelling, varicose veins, and fatigue. 

By offering a combination of therapeutic exercises, hands-on treatment, and personalised advice, pregnancy physiotherapists ensure that women receive comprehensive care that not only addresses immediate discomforts but also prepares them physically and mentally for the demands of childbirth and motherhood.

In what month can a pregnant woman start physiotherapy?

Woman performing a squat exercise at home

Pregnant women can start physiotherapy as early as the first trimester. Early intervention can be beneficial in managing common early pregnancy symptoms like back pain or nausea. However, it’s essential to consult with a healthcare provider before beginning any new exercise or therapy regimen during pregnancy. 

Physiotherapy in the first trimester often focuses on posture education, gentle exercises, and strategies to manage morning sickness or fatigue. As pregnancy progresses, the focus shifts to managing discomfort, preparing the body for childbirth, and maintaining overall well-being. 

Always ensure that your physiotherapist is informed about your pregnancy stage and any specific health concerns.