Incontinence and pelvic floor problems are remarkably common but many women are reluctant to receive help because of the embarrassment associated with these conditions. Until recently, when women would seek help for these conditions there were few good options to treat them. Due to the tremendous advancements made in the last decade in the diagnosis and treatment of these conditions a new subspecialty of OB/Gyn was created called Female Pelvic Medicine and Reconstructive Surgery (A.K.A. Urogynecology).
What is Urogynecology?
Many women experience problems that overlap between the fields of gynecology and urology and they often bounce back and forth between the two specialties. Urogynecology bridges that gap and allows for both of these issues to be addressed by one physician. The field of Urogynecology is a subspecialty within Obstetrics and Gynecology and is dedicated to the study and treatment of pelvic floor disorders in women. If you suffer from any of the following symptoms, you may benefit from a consultation with a Urogynecologist.
. Incontinence: Loss of bladder or bowel control.
. Prolapse: Displacement of the pelvic organs (uterus, bladder and rectum) beyond the normal position of the vaginal walls. Symptoms include a visible bulge and pelvic pressure. This condition is sometimes referred to as a “dropped bladder.”
. Overactive bladder symptoms: Frequent need to urinate, urgency, incontinence and nighttime frequency.
. Emptying Disorders: Difficulty urinating or moving bowels.
. Pelvic (or bladder) Pain: Discomfort, burning or spasm within the bladder, urethra or vagina. May also manifest as pain with sexual intercourse.
. Bowel Control Conditions: Constipation and bowel control issues/incontinence.
Board certification means that a Urogynecologist has obtained training and experience beyond that of a general OB/Gyn or Urologist. The comprehensive board certification exam in Female Pelvic Medicine and Reconstructive Surgery was offered for the first time this past June. These doctors deal only with the evaluation and treatment of conditions that affect the female pelvic organs, muscles and connective tissue that support these organs. The additional training focuses on the surgical and non-surgical treatment of non-cancerous gynecologic problems.
When Should I See a Urogynecologist?
If you’re struggling with pelvic floor dysfunction, pain, or incontinence, you should seek treatment immediately. Consulting with a Urogynecologist can help to achieve an accurate diagnosis of your condition and provide information on the full spectrum of treatment options available. Specialized training enables a Urogynecologist to blend elements of gynecology, urology and gastroenterology to treat the entire pelvic floor. Treatments may include conservative (non-surgical) or outpatient surgical therapy to cure or relieve your symptoms. While your primary care physician, Urologist or OB/Gyn may have knowledge about these problems, a Urogynecologist can manage all these pelvic floor conditions comprehensively.
Urogynecology Treatment Options
A Urogynecologist can recommend a variety of therapies to cure or relieve symptoms of prolapse, urinary, gas or fecal incontinence, or other pelvic floor dysfunction symptoms. He 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 outpatient surgical procedures are also utilized by the Urogynecologist to treat incontinence and prolapse. A Urogynecologist will discuss all of the options that are available to treat your specific problem(s) before you are asked to make any treatment decisions.
It’s easy to become embarrassed by pelvic and bladder disorders, but you do not have to suffer with these problems or associated pain. Florida Bladder Institute provides compassionate, thorough urogynecological care for all women. Whether you face pelvic issues as a result of aging, delivering babies, illness, or trauma, we can provide proper treatment and counseling so you can enjoy an active, healthy lifestyle.
Call 239-449-7979 today to schedule an appointment with Joseph Gauta M.D. to learn how proper urogynecological care can benefit you. Don’t suffer in silence any longer; there is help available.