Perinatal women will receive better care and advice about pelvic health under the new NHS scheme, the Department of health and NHS have announced.
From April 2024, NHS England will implement their new perinatal pelvic health service (PPHS). This service will aim to:
- ensure women are offered a self-assessment as early as possible in pregnancy, latest 18 weeks
- educate women on pelvic floor dysfunction, birth injuries, and preventative action
- provide extra support for those at high risk
- allow access to physiotherapy and personalised treatment
For many women, distressing and traumatic issues such as pelvic organ prolapse, perineal tears, and incontinence are common. These problems have affected women’s work, sexual, and social lives, along with their mental health.
The service will work alongside maternity and physiotherapy services to support prevention, identification and treatment of pelvic health problems. They will also include a clear pathway for referral into mental health services. PPHS’ have already appeared as pilots across England.
Women’s Health Minister Maria Caulfield said: ‘For too many women, the joy of pregnancy and birth is tarnished by trauma, and pelvic health problems can have devastating ramifications for women’s lives.
‘It’s vital women receive appropriate support, treatment and information. From initial antenatal appointments, right through to mental health care after birth, we are determined to support women throughout their pregnancy and birth journey.’
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