Comprehensive Urogynecology Care: Restoring Your Quality of Life
Urogynecology is a subspecialty within obstetrics and gynecology that focuses on female pelvic floor disorders.
These conditions can include:
- pelvic organ prolapse
- overactive bladder
- stress urinary incontinence or other leakage
- fecal incontinence
- obstetric birth trauma
- cystocele, enterocele, or rectocele
- uterine fibroids
- other functional issues of the pelvic floor
Understanding Your Body
The pelvic floor is a complex network of muscles, ligaments, and tissues that support the bladder, uterus, vagina, and rectum. When these structures weaken or become damaged, it can lead to conditions that significantly impact a woman's quality of life. Symptoms can range from discomfort and pressure in the pelvic area to urinary or fecal incontinence.
Our Approach to Care
Our approach to urogynecology is comprehensive and patient-centered.
We understand that each woman's experience is unique, and our treatment plans are tailored to meet individual needs and lifestyles.
Treatment options for these conditions include both surgical and non-surgical methods. These can range from pelvic floor exercises and medication to more advanced procedures like robotic surgery for pelvic organ prolapse and various anti-incontinence procedures.
Preventive Measures and Lifestyle Changes
While not all cases of pelvic floor disorders are preventable, specific lifestyle changes can help manage symptoms and reduce the risk of developing the condition. These include maintaining a healthy weight, quitting smoking, managing chronic constipation, and performing pelvic floor exercises.
More About Urogynecology
Urogynecology is a medical subspecialty that treats female pelvic floor disorders, including pelvic organ prolapse, overactive bladder, stress urinary incontinence, fecal incontinence, and obstetric birth trauma.
Symptoms of an overactive bladder can include a sudden and frequent need to urinate, often accompanied by a strong, uncontrollable urge to urinate and, in some cases, involuntary urine leakage.
Urge incontinence refers to an unexpected and uncontrollable contraction of the bladder's muscular wall, leading to an immediate and overwhelming need to urinate.
These conditions can be treated by various healthcare professionals, including urologists, urogynecologists, gynecologists, primary care physicians, geriatricians, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, and physical therapists specializing in pelvic floor therapy.
Treatment options can range from non-surgical methods like pelvic floor exercises and medication to surgical procedures like robotic surgery for pelvic organ prolapse and various anti-incontinence procedures.
Preventive measures can include:
- Maintaining a healthy weight.
- Quitting smoking.
- Managing chronic constipation.
- Performing pelvic floor exercises.
A urogynecologist offers a range of therapies for pelvic floor disorders. Treatment options vary from conservative (non-surgical) to surgical, based on your preferences, condition severity, and overall health. Conservative methods include medications, exercises, behavioral changes, and vaginal devices (pessaries). Pelvic Floor Therapy with biofeedback and electric stimulation are recommended treatments. Additionally, safe and effective surgical procedures address incontinence and prolapse.
While your primary care physician, OB/GYN, or urologist might have some understanding of these issues, a urogynecologist provides specialized expertise. Consult a urogynecologist for prolapse, urinary or fecal incontinence, or when referred by your primary doctor. Consider seeing a urogynecologist for challenges like bladder or rectal emptying, pelvic/bladder pain, fistulas, and complex vaginal surgeries.
Urogynecologists are doctors who finish medical school and specialized training in Obstetrics and Gynecology or Urology. They then complete extra years of fellowship training and earn certification in Female Pelvic Medicine and Reconstructive Surgery. This means they're experts in diagnosing and treating issues that affect the muscles and tissue of female pelvic organs. They're also well-versed in the latest research on these conditions.
Being board-certified means passing exams from the American Board of Obstetrics & Gynecology (ABOG), American Board of Urology (ABU), American Osteopathic Association (AOA), or American Osteopathic Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology. This signifies their proficiency in their field.
Talk to your primary care physician if you are experiencing symptoms of a pelvic floor disorder or similar issues. Your provider can give a thorough evaluation and refer you to a urogynecologist if a specialist is needed. Click here to find a primary care physician near you.
Constipation: Difficulty passing stools, often associated with infrequent or painful bowel movements.
Cystocele, enterocele, rectocele: Various types of pelvic organ prolapse where the bladder, intestines, or rectum protrude into the vagina.
Detrusor overactivity (urgency incontinence/overactive bladder): A condition where the bladder muscle contracts suddenly, causing urgency and potential leakage.
Diverticula: Congenital weakness in the bladder wall leads to bladder lining protrusion.
Fecal incontinence: Unplanned loss of bowel contents due to lack of control over defecation.
Fistulas: Abnormal passages between organs or between an organ and the skin.
Interstitial Cystitis: A chronic condition causing bladder pain and urgency.
Mesh complications: Issues related to the use of surgical mesh in pelvic surgeries.
Microscopic Hematuria: Presence of blood in the urine not visible to the naked eye.
Neurogenic bladder: Dysfunction in bladder control due to nerve-related causes.
Nocturia: Frequent need to urinate during the night.
Overflow incontinence: Leakage of urine due to an overly full bladder.
Overactive bladder syndromes: Characterized by frequent, urgent urination.
Pelvic floor dysfunction: Issues related to the muscles and ligaments supporting the pelvic organs.
Pelvic organ prolapse: Displacement of pelvic organs like the bladder, uterus, or rectum into the vagina.
Recurrent UTI: Repeated urinary tract infections.
Rectovaginal fistulas: Abnormal connection between the rectum and the vagina.
Stress urinary incontinence (SUI): Uncontrolled loss of urine due to physical activities that pressure the bladder.
Urethral diverticulum: A pouch-like protrusion in the urethra.
Urethral sphincter insufficiency: Condition causing urine leakage during physical activities.
Uterine fibroids and endometriosis: Noncancerous growth in the uterus and tissue growth outside the uterus, causing pelvic pain.
Uterine prolapse: Dropping of the uterus into the vagina.
Uterovaginal prolapse: Prolapse involving the uterus and vagina.
Urinary frequency and urgency: Need to urinate frequently and urgently.
Urinary incontinence: Uncontrolled loss of urine.
Urinary retention: Not being able to empty the bladder completely.
Vaginal Atrophy: Thinning and inflammation of the vaginal walls due to reduced estrogen.
Vaginal vault prolapse: Protrusion of the vaginal canal from the vaginal opening.
Voiding and defecatory dysfunction: Issues with urinary or bowel function, including incontinence, constipation, etc.
You can improve your life and take control of your health by addressing these problems early and seeking expert advice.