Introducing Leah Bryans, Run Republic's Pelvic Health Specialist

September 06, 2023

My name is Leah Bryans and I am a mum of two, a keen recreational runner, a Chartered Physiotherapist and a Pilates instructor. I specialise, and have done for most of my now 20 year career, in what we now call pelvic health (previously known as ‘women's health physiotherapy’). 

In my clinic our caseload is predominantly female, from all different ages, and life stages.  We assess and treat symptoms such as (but not exclusively) back, hip or pelvic pain, urinary incontinence, bowel incontinence, or prolapse.

For example, one ‘life stage’ we encounter a lot in Pelvic Health Physiotherapy is Pregnancy.

When a woman presents to clinic in pregnancy, we give guidance on the appropriate forms of exercise for that individual woman in this pregnancy. We provide treatment and assessment for the aches and pains of pregnancy, and we give advice support around delivery and recovery after delivery; whether it is a vaginal birth or a caesarean birth. Postnatal care will always be a large part of what we do. Labour is like a marathon, and so we are there at the end to support and help with recovery after pregnancy and birth and assess and treat any ‘injuries’ that may be sustained along the way.  Ultimately, we want to help get our mums back to what they love to do. 

We support women to meet the physical demands of parenting and help them with their return to exercise - be that walking, yoga, pilates or something much more high impact like running. Our aim, with every single patient (no matter what the life stage) is to remove pain and restore and enhance function and wellbeing.


Some people come to us almost routinely, maybe during the pregnancy for advice, or they come for a postnatal checkup from about 6 weeks post partum. If there is a serious issue, they'll be looked after in a hospital setting, but those people who come to me and my private clinic generally need advice and rehab to get back to something higher level and they want to do it right. 

Some women just may not realise that Pelvic Health Physiotherapy even exists and so a lack of awareness may be a barrier.

In general though, I think time is a barrier.  Mums are very busy people. We have so many clients who are balancing parenting and trying to maybe get back to work after maternity leave, also looking after older children, trying to maintain a relationship with a partner, with friends. The reality is, time is very precious. For some women, if they don't see any need to go, they say, "I don't have any symptoms at the moment, so I'm just going to try and get back to my running"

It might be later down the line that they realise they have an issue, after a subsequent pregnancy or when maybe they do finally find the time to get back to exercise in earnest, even some years after having babies. When the little bit of urinary leakage they have when they run is getting worse, and they nearly don’t want to go for a run because of it.  They were ok when they were walking with a buggy, but maybe running after a toddler, or doing speed sessions at their running club has revealed a weakness in their pelvic floor! Women can then present to us - interestingly, this might just be the right time for them because its when they have the time to have some self care and invest in their rehab - to look after those little things which were concerning them, and maybe get on top of little niggly injuries or symptoms that have been bothering them for a while.  There’s no right or wrong time to come to physiotherapy.  We are there if you need us! If something is bothering you, get it checked, the sooner the better, after a few weeks, it’s unlikely to go away on its own!

If you experience any issues discussed here, or if you are about to have your first child, please get in touch with Leah, or another member of her team, by clicking HERE where you can book an appointment.

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