A urogynecologist is a physician who is board certified in Female Pelvic Medicine and Reconstructive Surgery. Urogynecologists are surgeons who specialize in the treatment and care of pelvic floor disorders, such as:
- Urinary and/or fecal incontinence
- Emptying disorders (bowel or otherwise)
- Overactive bladder
- Pelvic pain
Urogynecologists have additional education and training outside of standard gynecology. This means that in certain cases, a urogynecologist is the preferred choice for consultation and treatment.
UGCSF understands that it can be confusing as to whether your gynecologist is suitable in cases of discomfort or pain, which is why we have highlighted five symptoms below that indicate a urogynecologist appointment is advised.
- Prolapse – When a pelvic organ, such as the vagina, uterus, small bowel bladder or rectum, falls from its place. Prolapse is common post-childbirth and in older women whose pelvic muscles are weakened. A urogynecologist can provide comprehensive treatment options, including surgery if required in more severe cases.
- Fistula – When a hole forms between a woman’s pelvic organs, surgery is typically required to repair the hole.
- Incontinence – Most women will experience some form of incontinence over the course of their lifetime, and although simple treatment options may be available via a gynecologist, more complex options can be provided by a urogynecologist. This includes noninvasive as well as surgical options.
- Heavy menstrual bleeding – Heavy menstrual bleeding can be treated in a variety of ways, but for women with severe cases that require some form of surgery, a urogynecologist is an ideal option.
- Emptying disorder – Sometimes, women are not able to easily urinate or have a bowel movement. A gynecologist may be able to recommend lifestyle changes or noninvasive treatment options, but in the event that these prove ineffective, a urogynecologist’s care is recommended.
Seeking a urogynecologist for any of the symptoms noted above instead of first consulting with a gynecologist has the benefit of saving time. Instead of needing a referral to a urogynecologist, you will already be under the care of a physician/surgeon who can provide the treatment needed to improve your quality of life. Contact UGCSF today to schedule an appointment with Dr. Wittenberg.