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What is a Urogynecologist?

A Urogynecologist is a surgeon who has specialized in the care of women with Pelvic Foor Disorders. Urogynecologists have completed medical school and a residency in Obstetrics and Gynecology or Urology, able to provide expertise in the evaluation, diagnosis, and treatment of conditions that affect the muscles and connective tissue of the female pelvic organs.

The Pelvic Floor is composed of a set of muscles, ligaments and connective tissue in the lowest part of the pelvis that provides support for a woman’s internal organs, including the Bowel, Bladder, Uterus, Vagina and Rectum.

A Pelvic Floor Disorder occurs when women have weakened pelvic muscles or tears in the connective tissue due to excessive strain on the pelvis due to childbirth, repeated strenuous activity, menopause, chronic disease, or pelvic surgery. Other factors that can weaken the pelvic floor include repetitive heavy lifting, tobacco use, and genetics.

The following are some problems that arise from damage to the Pelvic Floor:

  • EMPTYING DISORDERS: difficulty urinating or moving bowels.
  • FISTULAS: abnormal hole between the vagina and rectum (rectovaginal), vagina and urethra (urethrovaginal), or vagina and the bladder (vesicovaginal)
  • INCONTINENCE: loss of bladder or bowel control, leakage of urine or feces.
  • OVERACTIVE BLADDER: frequent need to void, bladder pressure, urgency, urge incontinence (difficulty holding back urine when having the urge to urinate)
  • PAIN: discomfort to the lower back, pelvis or bladder and/or urethra.
  • PROLAPSE: descent of pelvic organs; a bulge and/or pressure; ‘dropped uterus, bladder, vagina or rectum.’

A Urogynecologist can recommend a variety of therapies to cure or relieve symptoms of pelvic floor disorders. 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). Safe and effective surgical procedures are also utilized by the urogynecologist to treat Incontinence and Prolapse.