International Congress "Pelvic Health"

  • Application by Hedwig Neels
  • November 15-16-17, 2018
  • Antwerp, Belgium

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In November 2018 a three days international Conference “PELVIC HEALTH” in Antwerp Belgium, was endorsed by IUGA. The meeting was organized by the Belgian Special Interest Group for Pelvic Floor Rehabilitation and Perinatal Physiotherapy, ABCIG BICAP. BICAP is an acronym for Birth Core and Pelvic Therapy and is a specialized non-profit physiotherapy association, with approximately 240 members and an enthusiastic and hard-working board consisting of volunteers. 
For 2018 BICAP was able to put together a very interesting scientific program with renown national and international speakers, many of them were even IUGA members. So therefore, we decided to follow the empowering advice of the IUGA Special Interest Group Rehabilitation: to try to promote IUGA as optimal as possible in our home countries! BICAP applied for endorsement of our conference. And luckily it turned out to be a success, the education committee approved our scientific program and all of our 170 Belgian and international attendees were proud to attempt an internationally endorsed meeting!

During the first two days, 17 lectures were scheduled, with key notes speakers as Kari Bo (Norway), Gill Brook (UK), Britt Stuge (Norway), Alexandra Vermandel (Belgium), Hedwig Neels (Belgium), Barry berghmans (The Netherlands), Maura Seleme (Brazil), Inge Geeraerts (Belgium), Naheed Kapadia (UAE), Annelies Pool-Goudzwaard (The Netherlands), Joke Haartsen (The Netherlands), Vincent Kortleve (The Netherlands) and Wouter Everaerts (Belgium). Many different topics of Pelvic Health were discussed, all focusing on evidence based results.
The role of pelvic floor rehabilitation in prevention of pelvic floor dysfunction; but also in the treatment of women with OASI; and with sexual dysfunctions; or even in elderly men were highlighted. But also the strongest evidence for exercises to treat SUI; for treatment of patients with pelvic girdle pain; the role of APPs to improve adherence; the possibility of botulinus toxine to treat PPPPV; and the best evidence for biofeedback were presented.
In addition, a few lectures were also given illustrating new insights in conservative techniques; or gave us an idea about the goals and mission of our Belgian Patient Platform, or for example more policy making topics such as the role of Midwifes in Belgium in pelvic floor rehabilitation.  
And last but not least, the days of lectures were closed with a haunting introduction of “Mamas for Africa”, a non-profit organization which mission is to improve the quality of life and women’s health in Congo, Africa. An eye-opener… BICAP will certainly proceed with supporting them.  
During the third day, all attendees were given the opportunity to join three different workshops of almost two hours each, digging a bit further in some of the topics discussed before. These workshops were very positively received by all and created a beautiful chance to implement all of the evidence base of the past days into practice.
And although many attendees probably returned home with more questions than solutions, we are convinced that the meeting was a very instructive experience for all of us! The challenge to stay improving our care is multifactorial! And can only be reached by sharing our knowledge, by discussing and asking each other critical questions based on the present evidence and individual expertise.  

I would like to close this report by thanking IUGA to endorse our program. To sincerely thank all our international speakers for their interesting lectures and workshops; and their active contribution in panel discussions. To gratefully thank all our ambitious and smart attendees, all aiming to improve “pelvic Health” and offcourse our fantastic board of BICAP, led by Christine Van De Putte.

We are already looking forward to our next edition.   
Best wishes from Belgium,
Hedwig Neels, PT, PhD, Belgian Ambassador in IUGA SIG Pelvic Rehabilitation.