Title: Restoring the Pelvic Floor for Women: How Kegel Exercises, Vaginal Training, and Relaxation Solve Incontinence, Constipation, and Heal Pelvic Pain to Avoid Surgery.

Author: Dr. Amanda Olson, DPT, PRPC

Year Published: 2018

Main Topics Covered: Self-help, pelvic health, pelvic exercise

Written for: All genders, all sexual orientations

Recommended for: Women with incontinence, constipation and pelvic pain

Perspectives taken: Feminist, normalizing, educational, bio-psycho-social

Type of Resource: Self-Help Guide

APA Citation: Olson, A. (2018). Restoring the Pelvic Floor for Women: How Kegel Exercises, Vaginal Training, and Relaxation Solve Incontinence, Constipation, and Heal Pelvic Pain to Avoid Surgery. Middleton, DE, USA: Amanda Olson, DPT, PRPC.

Book Overview:

Dr. Amanda Olson undertakes women’s pelvic floor issues through an empowering, educational lens by normalizing the common pelvic health issues women experience, and providing promising intervention techniques. Dr. Olson uses her expert knowledge of anatomy to illustrate her points and touches on dysfunctions ranging from urinary incontinence, urinary frequency and urgency, bladder irritants, pelvic organ prolapse, and constipation, to pelvic pain. Additionally, the author provides readers with exercises like kegels for pelvic floor and core strengthening, so as to naturally heal dysfunction as opposed to encouraging surgical methods. Restoring the Pelvic Floor for Women… is an empowering book, urging women to take charge of their own healing by recognizing their innate power.

The book primarily targets female readers, though it can be read by anyone interested in the subject matter, regardless of sex, gender and sexual orientation. However, while it does not explicitly exclude marginalized women (such as trans women), it appears that most case studies provided are centered around cis-female experiences. Furthermore, the book is generally concerned with the biological causes of pelvic health issues in women. For example, Dr. Olson argues that pelvic health problems are caused by factors such as pregnancy, obesity, and vaginal baby-delivery – all leading pelvic muscles to stretch, weaken or tear. An exception to this are bladder irritants (an environmental or social cause) which are chemicals found in foods that irritate the bladder and thus cause urinary issues. Psychological causes are also lacking, likely given the author’s specific expertise in physiotherapy.

An integral element of Dr. Olson’s book is her practical guide to pelvic exercises that women could attempt at home. The exercises are described clearly and efficiently in point-form writing, as well as visually to further enhance the reader’s learning experience. Each exercise is illustrated by a photograph of a woman implementing the exercise, which provides visual aid so readers at home could attempt a given pose effectively. Moreover, Dr. Olson’s exercise recommendations are simple and seemingly easy to perform by women of all fitness levels.

Dr. Olson concludes her book with a powerful overview of how resilient and miraculous women’s bodies are. She reiterates that women are capable of healing their bodies by actively listening to them and acting accordingly. Dr. Olson also urges women to seek appropriate healthcare concerning their pelvic health, and condemns patronizing care as being detrimental to women with pelvic health problems. Moreover, she encourages women to find a physical therapist for their pelvic problems by providing four helpful resources: The American Physical Therapy Association, The Herman and Wallace Pelvic Institute – Pelvic Practitioner Locator, Intimate Rose Solutions for Women’s Health, and educational resources in several languages which are located at My Pelvic Floor Muscles (www.mypfm.com).

About the Author:

Dr. Amanda Olson, DPT, PRPC is a physical therapist specializing in pelvic floor disorders such as urinary incontinence, urinary frequency and urgency, pelvic organ prolapse, constipation, and pelvic pain. She is certified by The American Physical Therapy Association and The Herman and Wallace Pelvic Institute. She is also an expert at Intimate Rose Solutions for Women’s Health, which strives to increase women’s health globally.

Written by Westland Researcher Mia D.