Most people are familiar with Gynecology, which involves the female reproductive system, and Urology, which involves the urinary system, but what about Urogynecology? As you have probably guessed, this is the study of the two together. More specifically, it is the branch of medicine that deals with pelvic disorders in women.
What Type of Education Does a Urogynecologist Have?
A Urogynecologist is a medical doctor who completed their residency in either Urology or Obstetrics and Gynecology. They then receive additional training in conditions that affect the female pelvic organs. Additional education is also received on the tissues and muscles supporting those organs.
When Should You See a Urogynecologist?
There are certain situations in which you may be referred to a Urogynecologist. They have additional experience in several conditions that can be beneficial in your diagnosis and treatment. Examples of things that Urogynecologists treat include:
- Pelvic pain
- Bladder pain
- Difficulty emptying the bladder or rectum
- Urinary incontinence or leaking
- Pelvic organ prolapse
- Overactive bladder
Fistulas are another condition treated by this specialty. These are abnormal holes in the pelvic floor. They can be between the vagina and urethra (urethrovaginal), vagina and rectum (rectovaginal), or vagnia and bladder (vesicovaginal).
Another major area addressed by Urogynecologists is pelvic reconstructive surgery. Due to their training, they are also well-suited to perform a woman’s annual wellness exam.
What Causes Pelvic Floor Problems?
First, it is important to understand what a pelvic organ prolapse is. This is the term for when one of the organs in a woman’s reproductive system drops from its usual spot and begins to push up against the walls of the vagina. This is what happens when the supporting tissues and muscles can no longer support these organs. When this occurs, women often feel a fullness in the vagina.
There are many things that can contribute to pelvic floor problems like urinary incontinence and prolapses. Anything that damages the muscles or nerves in the area, such as childbirth, can be a contributor. Age and genetics also play a role. People who smoke or are overweight have an increased risk of pelvic floor issues.
Once a problem has been diagnosed, there are usually a variety of treatment options, depending on the severity. For some issues, simple lifestyle changes will be enough. Other times, medications or minor surgeries may be called for in order to fully correct the problem.
If you feel like you may benefit from seeing a specialist in Urogynecology, give our office a call. We will gladly answer any questions you may have and get you set up for a time to come in and see us. Contact us today at to schedule your appointment.