What is a Urogynecologist?

A Urogynecologist is a physician who specializes in treating women with a variety of disorders related to the urinary tract and bladder, urinary incontinence and pelvic floor disorders. Before Urogynecology was created as a specialty, women with pelvic floor disorders found themselves jumping between physicians to manage urinary, gastrointestinal and gynecological issues separately. Seeing a urogynecologist allows women to see ONE doctor who has mastered the entire pelvic region.

What is the Pelvic Floor?

The pelvic floor is the muscles, ligaments, connective tissues and nerves that support the bladder, uterus, vagina, and rectum and helps these pelvic organs function.

Is a Urogynecologist the Right Choice for Me?

The National Institutes of Health estimates that one-third of women in the United States will experience pelvic floor disorders in their lifetime. Childbirth, repeated heavy lifting, chronic diseases and surgery can weaken the pelvic floor. Inherited factors also can contribute. Depending on the severity of your condition, a range of treatments is available to minimize the symptoms or repair the damage. Don’t Suffer In Silence.

Below are some definitions that may help you better understand Urogynecology:

Bladder:
A muscular organ which stores urine

Bladder retraining:
a “re-programming” of bladder activity through a gradual goal-directed process of increasing the time between voids

Constipation:
Having bowel movements less often then every three days. Most often related to decreased colon activity.

Cystitis:
Inflammation of the bladder most commonly due to bacterial infection (bacterial cystitis).

Cystocele:
Displacement of the bladder into the vaginal canal as a result of vaginal wall weakness underneath the bladder. (“Dropped bladder”)

Defecation dysfunction:
Difficulty in the elimination process during a bowel movement.

Dysuria:
Painful urination, often burning-like pressure which is most pronounced toward the end of the stream.

Enterocele:
Displacement of the small intestine into the upper part of the vagina

Fecal incontinence:
Accidental loss of stool.

Frequency:
The need to urinate more often than normal (more than every 2 hours or more than 7 times a day)

Incontinence from surgery:
Follows such operations as hysterectomies, caesarean sections, prostatectomies, lower intestinal surgery, or rectal surgery.

Mixed incontinence:
A combination of urge incontinence and stress incontinence.

Nocturia:
Waking up during the night to urinate. More than once can be significant.

Overflow incontinence:
Refers to leakage that occurs when the quantity of urine produced exceeds the bladder’s holding capacity.

Pelvic floor muscles:
A group of muscles in the pelvis that support and help to control the vagina, uterus, bladder urethra and rectum. They also assist in control of the bladder and rectum.

Pelvic organ prolapse:
Pelvic organ prolapse is a very common disorder, particularly in older women. Loss of pelvic support occurs when the soft connective tissues that support the pelvic organs become stretched, weakened or torn. Symptoms include loss of bladder or bowel control, difficulty voiding, urinary frequency and problems with bowel movements. It may also cause feelings of pelvic or vaginal heaviness, bulging, fullness, pain, recurrent bladder infections, and/or excessive vaginal discharge.

Pharmacologic therapy:
(Medications) Another common treatment for incontinence.

Prolapse:
Displacement or decent of the pelvic oranges as a result of pelvic muscle weakness followed by a supportive pelvic connective tissue disruption.

Rectocele:
Displacement of part of the rectum into the vagina canal as a result of weakness in the vaginal wall above it.

Stress incontinence:
Involuntary loss of urine during exercise, coughing, sneezing, laughing, or any body movement which puts pressure on the bladder. This most often is a result of poor urethral support.

Ureters:
A pair of tubes, each leading from one of the kidneys, to the bladder.

Urethra:
A short narrow tube that carries urine from the bladder out of the body.

Urgency:
A powerful need to urinate immediately which cannot be delayed.

Urge incontinence:
The involuntary loss of urine associated within the urgent need to pass urine and the inability to get to the toilet in time.

Represents a sudden bladder contraction that cannot be consciously inhibited.

Uterine prolapse:
Descent of the uterus from its normal position .

Vaginal atrophy:
Thinning of the vaginal lining (mucosa). Most often a result of decreased estrogen levels.

Vaginal vault prolapse:
Displacement of the “top” of the vagina (after a hysterectomy) from its normal position.

Voiding dysfunction:
A deviation from the normal voiding cycle that includes symptoms such as urgency, frequency, hesitancy, dribbling of urine, and overt incontinence.