A Urogynecologist is an Obstetrician/Gynecologist who has
specialized in the care of women with Pelvic Floor Dysfunction.
The Pelvic Floor is the muscles, ligaments, connective tissue,
and nerves that help support and control the rectum, uterus,
vagina, and bladder. The pelvic floor can be damaged by
childbirth, repeated heavy lifting, chronic disease or surgery.
Some problems due to Pelvic Floor Dysfunction and their symptoms
- Incontinence: Loss of bladder or bowel control,
leakage of urine or feces.
- Prolapse: Descent of pelvic organs; a bulge and/or
pressure; 'dropped uterus, bladder, vagina or rectum.'
- Emptying Disorders: difficulty urinating or moving
- Pelvic (or Bladder) Pain: Discomfort, burning or
other uncomfortable pelvic symptoms, including bladder or
- Overactive Bladder: Frequent need to void, bladder
pressure, urgency, urgency incontinence or difficulty holding
back a full bladder.
What Kind of Training Does a Urogynecologist
Urogynecologists have completed medical school and a four-year
residency in Obstetrics and Gynecology. These doctors become
specialists with additional training and experience in the
evaluation and treatment of conditions that effect the female
pelvic organs, and the muscles and connective tissue that
support the organs. The additional training focuses on the
surgical and non-surgical treatment of non-cancerous gynecologic
When Should I See a Urogynecologist?
Although your primary care physician or Ob/Gyn may have
knowledge about these problems, a Urogynecologist can offer
additional expertise. You should see (or be referred to) a
Urogynecologist when you have problems of prolapse, and/or
troublesome incontinence or when your primary doctor recommends
consultation. Other problems for which you or your doctor might
think about consulting a urogynecologist include: problems with
emptying the bladder or rectum, pelvic pain, and the need for
special expertise in vaginal surgery.
What Treatment Options are Available from a
A Urogynecologist can recommend a variety of therapies to cure
or relieve symptoms of prolapse, urinary or fecal incontinence,
or other pelvic floor dysfunction symptoms. He or she may advise
conservative (non-surgical) or surgical therapy depending on
your wishes, the severity of your condition and your general
health. Conservative options include medications, pelvic
exercises, behavioral and/or dietary modifications and vaginal
devices (also called pessaries). Biofeedback and Electric
Stimulation are two newer treatment modalities that your
Urogynecolgist may recommend. Safe and effective surgical
procedures are also utilized by the Urogynecologist to treat
incontinence and prolapse. He or she will discuss all of the
options that are available to treat your specific problem(s)
before you are asked to make a treatment decision.
It is not a normal part of a woman's aging process
to develop uncomfortable, troublesome symptoms of incontinence
or prolapse. Women need not 'learn to live with it.' Effective
help is available through the services of a Urogynecologist.
Diagnostic and Treatment