"Anorectal dysfunction" refers to any dysfunction relating to the rectum or anus. This can range from constipation to incontinence of gas or faeces. This can be a very hard topic to discuss! But, although not as common as urinary incontinence, this is also relevant to many women (and men), and something we are so happy to be able to help our patients with.
Frequently our clients are already seeing a colorectal specialist in order to rule out any medical concerns first. At the very least a medical check by your GP is required to clear any medical concerns, either before attending your appointment or after our initial assessment. Our role as anorectal physiotherapists is focused around assisting in diagnosis, retraining defecation, and/or addressing constipation.
A lot of this can be achieved simply through a detailed assessment of symptoms and history. An internal vaginal examination can help further to assess for contributing problems such as pelvic organ prolapse. An anorectal exam, where we use a digit to assess the rectum and anal sphincter, is reserved for the more complicated and stubborn disorders, and is very rarely used on an initial appointment unless requested by yourself, your GP, or your specialist.