The Pelvic Health Physical Therapy Level 1 course is a 3-day live event focusing on the basic skills necessary to treat patients with pelvic health dysfunction with primary emphasis on under active pelvic floor muscle conditions. The focus of the labs will be on external and internal vaginal examination. The student-to-teacher ratio will be set to ensure adequate supervision during the labs. Lectures will cover anatomy of the pelvic girdle, physiology of micturition, dysfunctions of the lower urinary tract and pelvic muscles as well as patient history examination, and testing and treatment interventions for the patient with under active pelvic floor muscle conditions. Urogynecologic surgeries,medication, prevention of pelvic floor dysfunction and documentation will also be discussed. The Pelvic Health Physical Therapy Level 1 course is recognized by The International Continence Society (ICS) as providing training that conforms to ICS standards. When you enroll for the Level 1 course, you also get complementary access to the Urogynecological Clinical Evaluation and Treatments, Level 1 (2.0 contact hours) online video course.

As an attendee of the Pelvic Health Physical Therapy Level 1 course (PH1), I was so impressed by how in-depth the curriculum material was as well as how much expertise was present to deliver it. I have been so inspired by one instructor in particular – the balance she struck between her panache and her humility, her very apparent genuine respect for her patients, her willingness to share of her various life stories, the way she excelled at presenting material, and the skill with which she advocated for the pelvic health physical therapy discipline. We are so fortunate to have members involved in this section of the APTA.” – Jessica Joy, 2019 PH1 New York, NY Course


Day 1: 7:30 am–5:45 pm
Day 2: 7:30 am–5:30 am
Day 3: 7:30 am–3:00 pm
Contact Hours: 23.0 hours

Open to: Licensed Physical Therapists, Physical Therapist Assistants, 2nd Year and 3rd Year Student Physical Therapists*

We recommend students have some orthopedic/musculoskeletal coursework in their curriculum prior to attending the course.

Pre-requisites: None

Attendance: Participants are expected to stay through the entire course; please make your travel plans accordingly. Deduction of contact hours hours and ineligibility to participate in the CAPP process (for those attending CAPP courses) will occur for participants who leave the course early.

Lab Participation & Consent: Participants will be working in groups of 2 during labs. This course includes extensive labs with intra-vaginal & intra-rectal assessment & examination. The Internal Consent & Release Form.pdf must be filled out and turned in to the instructor on Day 1 of the course (this form is provided on-site). If the course participant does not turn in the completed form on Day 1, he/she will not be permitted to take the course. All participants must participate in labs as both “therapist” & “patient.” Participants who cannot participate as lab subjects are required to provide their own lab partners. Failure to participate as a lab subject, or to provide required lab partner if needed, will result in forfeiture of course completion and registration costs. If you are not sure whether you need a medical model or if you are unfamiliar with the process of obtaining a medical model, please read: Medical Models for Internal Pelvic Assessment.pdf. Participants that MUST provide their own lab partners include (but are not limited to):

  • ALL Male participants
  • Pregnant women (except with written physician permission for FULL participation)
  • Active vaginal infections
  • Active STD or herpes lesions
  • Active bladder or rectal infections
  • Severe pelvic/vaginal/rectal pain that inhibits examination
  • Lack of prior vaginal exam by a physician
  • Active OB/GYN cancer
If you are bringing in a model, please complete THIS LAB PARTICIPATION FORM. The model cannot participate until this form is completed by you. This form must be submitted at least 2 weeks prior to the scheduled course.

Pre-Reading Assignments: Pre-readings are articles and cases that must be read and reviewed prior to Day 1 of the course. Pre-readings will be provided electronically to course participants prior to the course.

English Language Proficiency: If you are a foreign-educated physical therapist/assistant, you will need to pass the TOEFL(Test of English as a Foreign Language) and meet the score requirements. There are some exemptions to the TOEFL requirement for individuals who are exempt under the USCIS regulations. TOEFL scores must be reported directly to SoWH for the purposes of determining eligibility for course attendance. The minimum TOEFL scores we require are the following: Reading: 21; Listening: 18; Writing: 24; Speaking: 26.


Upon completion of this course, participants will be able to perform the following:


1.  Identify and examine the anatomy of the pelvic girdle

2.  Describe the function of the lower urinary tract and female pelvic organs.

3. Demonstrate proper infection control techniques involved in pelvic floor muscle examination.

4. Perform an external evaluation of the female genitalia verbally identifying bones, ligaments,muscles and other structures.

5. Perform an internal pelvic examination identifying muscles, ligaments, bony prominences with identification of pelvic floor muscle origins and insertions.

6. Demonstrate proper technique in testing muscle strength of the levator ani muscles.

7. Demonstrate proper technique in testing for pelvic organ prolapse.

8. Demonstrate proper use of handheld EMG biofeedback to assess pelvic floor musculature.



9.  Differentiate between under active pelvic floor muscles and overactive pelvic floor muscles.

10. Demonstrate an understanding of bladder tests and measurements (bladder diary, urodynamic testing, pad testing, etc.) that are used in the process of differential diagnosis.

11. Demonstrate the ability to compose a plan of care including functional goals, prognosis and length of care for the patient with under active pelvic floor conditions.

12. Explain red flags related to treatment of the pelvic floor and understand when to refer to another healthcare provider.

13. Understand urogynecologic surgeries and their effect on prognosis and pelvic floor muscle dysfunction.

14. Demonstrate understanding of various medications and their effects on the bowel and bladder and identify how that may affect prognosis for a patient with pelvic floor muscle dysfunction.



15.  Explain the effects of pelvic floor under activity and proper technique of pelvic muscle exercises for rehabilitative purposes.

16. Explain the relationship between the abdominal muscles and the pelvic floor muscles as they relate to activities of daily living.

17. Describe the various interventions available to strengthen the muscles of the patient with an under active pelvic floor and clinically reason when and why the various interventions might be used.

18. Demonstrate proper use of a handheld pelvic floor muscle electrical stimulation unit and explain its appropriate uses for a patient with pelvic floor muscle dysfunction.

19. Describe techniques that can be used to train (retrain) the bladder and when each intervention might be used.

ICS Approved Course - Pelvic Health Physical Therapy SoWH