Introduction to Pelvic Health


Introduction to Pelvic Health

It is critical that rehabilitation professionals who work with patients suffering from incontinence and pelvic floor dysfunction have a comprehensive understanding of the factors that impact continence and dysfunction.  This course is divided into two parts; part one consists of a self-paced online course and part 2 consists of a 2 day lab.  Participants may register for part one only but must complete part one in order to participate in the part 2 lab sessions. 
In Part 1, participants will gain theoretical knowledge of the anatomy, physiology and function of the healthy pelvis and pelvis floor, pathophysiology, and mechanisms of dysfunction. In Part 2 (lab), vaginal and rectal exams will be demonstrated and practice.

Now accepting applications for PART 1 (start as early as August 17, 2020); PART 2 lab dates (September 12/13, October 17/18, December 4/5 2020).

Part 1 is open to all healthcare professionals with an interest in pelvic health.  Part 2 is restricted to licensed physical therapists.

Questions? Contact Shawn Drefs at


  • Fee Payment
    Part 1 (online course): $50 application and $200 course fee.  Part 2 (2 day lab): $500Course Payment Here
  • Course Offerings
    Now accepting applications for Part 1 (begin as early as August 17, 2020) and lab dates September 12/13, October 17/18, December 5/6 2020
  • Part 1

    Part One: Online course

    This portion of this course covers theoretical knowledge of the anatomy, physiology and function of the healthy pelvis and pelvis floor and pathophysiology  mechanisms of dysfunction.  Participants will gain a better understanding of the factors involved in patient assessment during the clinical history section. Prerequisites - none. 

    Content Areas:

    • Introduction to bladder diary
    • Anatomy of the bladder, urethra, perineum, vagina and uterus
    • Types of urinary incontinence
    • Normal pelvic floor
    • Pelvic floor dysfunction Micturition
    • Medical evaluation and procedures
    • Pharmacological management
    • Urodynamics
    • Surgery
    • Mechanical devices 
    • Clinical history
    • Skin care and conditions
    • Containment products
    • Pelvic floor exercises

  • Part 2

    Part two: Lab

    Vaginal and rectal exams will be demonstrated and practiced. Participants will practice on each other and should come prepared to be both clinician and patient for internal and external sessions.  Behavioral techniques and pelvic floor muscle re-education for patients with pelvic floor dysfunction will be discussed and practiced. Prerequisite - part 1.

  • Format
    Part 1 is delivered asynchronously and is typically offered over an approximate six week timeframe. However, all online learning activities will be delivered asynchronously so students have the ability to work through the learning activities at their own pace and may complete Part 1 in a shorter period of time.  Students will be provided with clear learning objectives and learning activities for each module. Students can also ask questions through an online question and answer forum which will be monitored by the course instructor. Part 2 includes a 2 day lab. 
  • Assessment
    There are no formal assessment requirements.  Instead, students will be required to complete a knowledge check quiz before moving onto the following module. To successfully complete the course students will need to progress through all modules and knowledge checks within the duration of the course. 
  • How to Apply
    To apply to Part 1 use the application link below. Please complete and submit the application then proceed to pay the $50 course application fee and $200 course fee for the online course and $500 for the 2 day lab. Once you are notified that your application is approved please proceed to pay the course fee. You can register for Part 2 (lab) by paying the $500 registration fee.  Apply to PART 1  Part 2 Registration (Lab)
  • Instructor
    Dianne MacDonald, PT.  Dianna has been a physiotherapist for 45 years, 27 of them in women’s health. She is the Rehabilitation Team leader for women’s health at the Royal Alexandra Hospital in the Lois Hole hospital for women. She developed the out-patient clinic for the treatment of incontinence in women and men and helped develop the professional standards for the treatment of incontinence for the Alberta College of Physical Therapists. She authored “In Control Again”, a personal workbook for the re-education of the pelvic floor. She has contributed to public education and awareness of incontinence and menopause on TV and public forums. Dianna has lectured, organized and participated in many national and international conferences, courses and workshops. Recent research activities include “Managing urinary incontinence in elderly village women in Bangladesh: a feasibility study for a community exercise-based intervention.” (co-investigator) and “Physiotherapy for Stress Urinary Incontinence: Feasibility Study for a Randomized Controlled Trial of Hip External Rotation Exercise Training versus Pelvic Floor Muscle Exercise Training” (principle investigator). 
  • Recognition
    Upon successful completion of Part 1 and/or Part 2 participants will be issued a faculty digital certificate noting the number of educational hours. Completion of Part 1 and Part 2 would be recognized as Level 1 proof of competence to provide pelvic health treatment (internal and external).