Information for Patients

Information for Patients


The Centre for Pelvic Competence is located at the Outpatient Clinic at St. Paul's Hospital. The centre is dedicated to diagnosing and treating disorders of the pelvic floor. Pelvic floor disorders include problems with the bladder, vagina and bowel, and are quite common. In fact, many women suffer from multiple pelvic floor problems, and their symptoms can be quite complex.

We have assembled a team that can diagnose and treat this wide variety of problems. We also promise to provide you with the full breadth of treatment options, including non-surgical options.

Pelvic Floor Disorders Information Sheet

Prior to your initial visit

The complexity of pelvic floor disorders means that at your first visit, we will need to collect a lot of information about your condition. Putting all of this information together is essential to providing you with excellent care. To simplify this process, we developed questionnaires that cover all types of pelvic floor problems as well as your medical history. The questionnaires and a diary can be downloaded from this Web Page.

Please complete the following forms:
Bladder Diary
Initial Questionnaire

Diagnostic testing

Sorting out the different aspects of pelvic floor problems often requires diagnostic testing. For your convenience we have tried to centralize this testing as much as possible. Following your evaluation, if we decide that you need further testing, there is a good chance that you will see one or more of our colleagues during your evaluation. Please be assured that we work together as well as meet regularly to discuss patients. If you would like more information about some of the diagnostic tests, please review the documents that can be downloaded from this page.

Prior to surgery

Your surgery will take place at St. Paul's Hospital in the surgical care unit. This is on the third floor. Directions to the unit can be downloaded from this Web page. We will be sending you a guide; Preparing for Surgery, which includes useful information, to know before and after surgery. A week prior to your surgery, you should stop taking any anti-inflammatory drugs, including aspirin, Motrin, ibuprofen, and Advil. You should also stop taking any herbal medications and vitamin E. Do not take any medications the day of surgery unless we have instructed you otherwise. Please do not eat anything after midnight the night before your surgery, as this could result in your surgery being canceled. After midnight, you may sip water up to 3 hours before your surgery. You will not need a bowel prep unless we have instructed you otherwise.

Day of Surgery Postop Instructions
Inpatient Postop Instructions

Prior to your Follow-up Visit

Once we have initiated treatment, we would like to see you back to judge improvement. We generally see patients 6 weeks following surgery, and then at 1 year after surgery. Please contact Sue Barber or Michelle Dupre to make these appointments.

Follow-Up Questionnaire

Donate to the Centre for Pelvic Floor

Invest in your future and the future of those you care about
Pelvic floor disorders are more common than high blood pressure, depression or diabetes. Of adult women, one in three has hypertension, one in twenty has depression and one in ten suffers from diabetes. Yet more than one in two women has some form of pelvic floor dysfunction.
Despite the prevalence of pelvic floor disorders, many women are reluctant to talk about their problems or seek treatment because of the shame associated with the condition.

That means that you, or someone close to you, is living with this condition every single day.
Treatment and research are underfunded.
You have the ability to help us help them.
The UBC Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology is improving the quality of life of women suffering from pelvic floor disorders by conducting research aimed at:
- Educating women and their families that there is no shame in this condition.
- Establishing new treatment strategies to help you help yourself and the ones you care about.
- Developing new ways to treat patients and provide support to them and their loved ones.
- Training the next generation of specialists to recognize the condition and treat it quickly.

What this means is that the work being done today will be how we treat you or your loved ones tomorrow. But we cannot do this without you. Please donate to this cause.

You can do this in two ways:
Contribute to our current and ongoing research that will support one of our many ongoing studies.
Go to:
Invest in our long-term future by donating to an endowment that will grow over time to ensure the best and brightest caregivers and researchers.
Go to:

As a donor:
- You will help squash the stigma of this condition.
- You will be investing in the future.
- You will be making a lasting impact on our program.
- You will help us to advance care and support.
- You will improve the health of women and their families.
- You will make a huge difference in the lives of many.
Any contribution, no matter how small, will help expand our ability to treat and cure pelvic floor disorders. Please consider making a donation to help with our research.

If you think you or a loved one are living with a pelvic floor disorder please see our information brochure.

Privacy Policy

To view the Centre for Pelvic Floor's patient privacy policy click here

About Procedures


Defecography is a special X-Ray test used to evaluate bowel function. The test is performed at St.Paul's Hospital in the radiology department. Contrast material is placed into the rectum and the patient is asked to have a bowel movement on a special private toilet and X-Ray is performed during the bowel movement, to assess the evacuation of the contrast material. Defecography is used in patients with anal pain and complex prolapse, to guide therapeutic interventions.

Anal Ultrasound

Endoanal ultrasound is a special ultrasound during which a thin probe is placed into the anal opening.
It is used mainly to evaluate the muscle surrounding the anal canal for patients who suffer from leaking of stool. It is also used to evaluate completeness of repair following surgery on this muscle.

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