35,000 patients successfully treated and counting!

Expert Care for Women’s Health Issues in Brunswick, Fitzroy North & Thornbury

At our women’s health clinic, we understand that every woman is unique, with their own set of health concerns and goals. We use the term women as an all-encompassing term for those assigned female at birth (AFAB) and those that identify as female. We welcome gender diversity and inclusivity.

Our team of expert trained osteopaths, physiotherapists, and more, are dedicated to providing personalised care and support to help you achieve optimal health and wellbeing. Whether you’re experiencing pregnancy-related concerns, postpartum recovery, pelvic floor conditions, or other women’s health concerns, we’re here to help. Every woman deserves a body that supports them throughout life, and our team is here to help.

About our Women’s Health clinic

Women’s health Osteopathy and Physiotherapy are two modalities that work with the musculoskeletal system to help achieve optimal health. 

Women’s health Osteopathy and Physiotherapy use manual techniques to help improve the function of the musculoskeletal system, and the impact that improving this can have on the nervous, respiratory, lymphatic, and digestive systems.

A consult can include a range of treatment techniques, including soft tissue massage, joint mobilisation and manipulation, and internal treatment. We conduct thorough assessments both internally (when consent is provided) and externally to assess for the best treatment approach. We will often also prescribe exercises and rehabilitation to help maintain the positive changes that treatment makes. 

As every person is different, the treatment goals and techniques chosen will differ from person to person. We will provide personalised care to help you achieve your health and wellness goals, and to help you feel empowered to enjoy a better quality of life. 

What do we treat:

  • Pregnancy-related conditions such as low back pain, pelvic girdle pain, and carpal tunnel syndrome
  • Postpartum recovery including pelvic floor muscle weakness, abdominal separation, and incontinence
  • Pelvic floor conditions including pelvic wall laxity or prolapse, bladder leakage, constipation, and pelvic floor overactivity
  • Menstrual pain and discomfort
  • Pelvic pain including SIJ pain, pubic bone pain, and hip pain
  • Endometriosis-related discomfort including pelvic pain, menstrual pain, and surgery rehabilitation
  • Sexual health concerns such as pain during intercourse, vaginismus and vulvodynia
  • Breast health concerns including breast cancer rehabilitation, cording and mastitis

Meet our women’s health practitioners

Dr Ashlea Crupi

Ashlea holds her Bachelor of Health Science/Bachelor of Applied Science (Osteopathy) from RMIT, as well as a Diploma of Professional Pilates Instruction from National Pilates Training. Ashlea has a passion for working with women’s health issues and pelvic pain. Ashlea has endometriosis, so she understands the multi-faceted impact that pelvic health conditions can have on a person’s quality of life and works from many different angles tailored to the individual person to aid in their management and recovery.

Ashlea has done further study in pelvic health with the Osteopathic Pelvic Health Institute, and is one of a handful of Osteopaths certified to perform internal assessments and treatments.

Ashlea also highly values Pilates, having done extra study in this area during her osteopathic studies. She realised the benefits of understanding your own body and how to strengthen it to stay healthy through her own personal journey.   She understands that combining therapy and strengthening is the best way to get out of pain and stay that way!

Ashlea has a strong belief in helping people help themselves. Combining both osteopathy and Pilates into her practice has been the perfect way to work with patients to achieve their health goals, which gives her the added advantage of being skilled in identifying the underlying causes of people’s pain and limited function. All too often, she has seen new patients who have had key components of their recovery missed, which means their problem keeps coming back again and again. Simple strategies can make a massive difference as long as you know what to look for, and corrective exercise is a big part of that.  

Ashlea enjoys treating those with pelvic pain, low back pain, post surgical and postnatal rehabilitation, pregnancy-related clients, sexual health concerns, and endometriosis related concerns. 

Dr. Katie Bruni

Katie gained her Bachelor of Health Science/Bachelor of Applied Science (Osteopathy) from RMIT. She has also done further training in Pilates and strength training, and has incorporated this into the management of her patients. 

Katie’s passion for women’s health began like many others – trying to navigate her own healthcare struggles from practitioners that had little interest or understanding of women’s health conditions. This has led to her to further her knowledge on her own body, collaborate with others that have a vested interest, and share that knowledge with those that need it. 

Katie has undertaken numerous external trainings over her years as an Osteopath, particularly in the field of pelvic pain, pregnancy and breast care, and is one of a small number of Osteopaths certified by the Osteopathic Pelvic Health Institute of Australia to undertake internal vaginal treatment and assessment. Katie is currently studying her Masters of Women’s Health Medicine to further understand the intricacies of women’s bodies, and to empower clients to be confident in their bodies as they navigate through life. 

In her free time, Katie enjoys keeping active, spending time in nature, good food and (attempted) DIY arts and crafts. 

Katie has a strong interest in treating complex pelvic pain, pregnancy and postpartum concerns, breast pain/mastitis and sexual pain, but also enjoys the variety of clients that can present to the clinic. Katie works out of the Thonbury location on Tuesdays and Thursdays. 

Ashlea and Katie met in 2019 and have been inseparable as friends since. Both practitioners work together collaboratively to help clients achieve their desired outcomes, and often refer to one another to reflect the practitioner’s skill and knowledge levels. They are both dedicated to improving their knowledge and patient experiences, so they will often discuss cases together and undertake professional development together. You can expect input from both Ashlea and Katie on most cases that come into the clinic, within confidentiality guidelines. 

Frequently asked questions

Do I need a referral to see a Women’s Health Osteopath or Physiotherapist?

No, you do not need a referral to see a Women’s Health practitioner. However, your practitioner can communicate with and work in conjunction with your obstetrician, gynecologist, general practitioner, surgeon, or other relevant healthcare provider throughout your treatment to ensure a patient-centred, team approach to your healthcare.

What should I bring to my appointment?

Please bring any relevant scans and accompanying reports, such as urodynamic studies, ultrasounds, surgery reports, x-rays, or MRIs, to your appointment. Please also wear comfortable, loose fitting clothing that is easy to take off if required. 

How long will my appointment take?

New patients appointments will run up to one hour, to allow your practitioner time to make sure they have covered everything about your presenting concern. Return appointments will take 30 minutes. Extended appointments are available upon request and are recommended if treating various areas of the body. Feel free to contact our friendly reception team to discuss which appointment type is best for you.

What can I expect from my first consultation?

Your first consultation with your practitioner will consist of a lengthy discussion about your concerns. We will ask a lot of questions about a range of different symptoms and your health history to best understand you and your body. We will do an assessment of your whole body, and formulate a treatment plan tailored to you to help you achieve your health and wellness goals.

Can I come to a consultation if I have my period?

This is your own personal choice. Our practitioners are comfortable to treat you during menstruation, including internal work if required, as long as you are comfortable with being treated. 

Do I need to have internal work in a women’s health consult?

Pelvic health treatments can be done both internally and externally. There are many different ways that techniques can be modified to suit your specific preferences. Sometimes certain muscles benefit from a more direct approach to acquire the desired treatment outcomes, but this doesn’t mean it is a requirement if you are not comfortable with it. Some people may even agree to internal treatments one session, but don’t want it done the next, which is totally fine! 

Treatment options are always tailored to the patient, and will be discussed with you at length in your appointment, and we give plenty of opportunity for you to ask questions to ensure you are comfortable with the approach. We strive to make our consultation room a safe and comfortable environment for all. 

Can I have internal treatment done if I haven’t had any children?

Absolutely. Internal treatment isn’t exclusive to those who have had children. Internal techniques, while sometimes uncomfortable, can be used on any person with a vagina, if they consent to it. It is often more comfortable for those who have experienced penetration before, whether via cervical screen (pap smear), sexual intercourse, or previous internal assessment or treatment.

Any concerns about this can be answered within your appointment.

Is internal pelvic treatment painful?

Like any treatment performed to muscles that are tight externally, internal treatments to the pelvic floor may cause some discomfort. Your practitioner will check in regularly on the pressure being applied/techniques being applied to see how you are feeling. Treatment techniques are tailored to how you feel and the body’s responsiveness to treatment, so no more pressure than necessary will be applied. 

Can I get a Medicare rebate for this service?

Patients with chronic medical conditions and complex care needs may be eligible for a Chronic Disease Management (CDM) rebate through Medicare. CDM services and Team Care Arrangements (TCA) are arranged by a patient’s general practitioner. Please discuss your eligibility for this plan with your GP.

Is this service covered by Private Health Insurance?

Yes, patients with private health insurance that includes “Extras Cover” may be covered for Women’s Health services. Please check with your health fund to determine your coverage.

What does a pelvic floor muscle assessment involve?

An assessment of the pelvic floor involves a variety of steps. Your practitioner will ask you lots of questions to best determine which approach will work best for you. They may suggest an internal assessment to you, but agreeing to this will be at your discretion. They may also assess your pelvis, low back, hips, and abdominals, as well as asking questions about your bladder and bowel function, lifestyle and exercise habits. All of this information will help your practitioner to determine the best course of action for your concerns, and a thorough treatment and management plan will be created based on your goals.

Should I do pelvic floor exercises during pregnancy or wait until after the birth?

The easy answer is – it depends! Performing regular and coordinated pelvic floor exercises during pregnancy can protect against incontinence symptoms and aid in your recovery post birth. Like any exercise prescription, it is important to make sure you are conduction your exercises properly and effectively, as well as making sure that what you are doing is appropriate for what your body needs. Consult with your women’s health practitoner to help create a tailored plan that fits your body’s needs. 

Can pelvic floor muscles be too tight?

Yes, some people have pelvic floor muscles that are tight and can also be painful. Tight pelvic floor muscles can contribute to a variety of conditions, including coccyx pain, pelvic pain, hip pain, sexual pain, and bladder and bowel issues. A tight pelvic floor is more common in certain populations, such as elite athletes, hypermobile people, those with painful pelvic health conditions such as endometriosis, or in those with increased stress or anxiety. 

The symptoms of a tight pelvic floor can be distressing and significantly impact quality of life. A qualified women’s health practitioner can identify tight and painful pelvic floor muscles and provide a treatment plan to address this.

Looking to make an appointment or book a class?

We are here to help! Please call and speak to one of our practitioners if you have any questions. Making an appointment & booking classes online is also one of the most convenient way to lock in the practitioner, location & time you want.