When should I see a urogynecologist?

Published: Wednesday, May 1, 2024
Obstetrics and Gynecology

You may be familiar with urology and gynecology, but you may be less familiar with the closely related field of urogynecology.

Urogynecologists are specialized physicians who treat conditions of the female pelvic floor, such as urinary or fecal incontinence, pelvic organ prolapse and interstitial cystitis. These conditions can be uncomfortable and sometimes embarrassing, but they are treatable and a urogynecologist can help improve your quality of life.

What is the difference between a gynecologist and a urogynecologist?

A urogynecologist has training in both gynecology and urology. This gives them the knowledge and experience to help women with conditions affecting a variety of pelvic floor disorders.

Some patients may think that a urogynecologist replaces your gynecologist, but that’s not the case. You may continue to see a gynecologist for your annual exam, pap smear, breast exam, management of endometriosis or fibroids, or if you are pregnant. But you may be referred to a urogynecologist for certain conditions or treatments that are outside of the scope of your gynecologist’s care.

What kind of conditions does a urogynecologist treat?

Urogynecologists treat conditions that affect the pelvic floor muscles and organs. These conditions may include:

  • Urinary incontinence.
    Incontinence occurs when there is a lack of voluntary bladder control over urination. There are multiple different causes of urinary incontinence, and a urogynecologist can help to create a specialized treatment plan for you.
  • Pelvic organ prolapse.
    Pelvic organ prolapse is caused when one or more of the organs inside the pelvis, such as the uterus and bladder, drop from their normal position.
  • Persistent urinary tract infections (UTI’s).
    Sometimes, a UTI will be successfully treated with medication. Other times, more persistent UTI’s require more intervention by a urogynecologist.
  • Interstitial cystitis.
    Interstitial cystitis is a painful or uncomfortable bladder syndrome that is accompanied by a sense of urgency to urinate.
  • Fecal incontinence.
    Incontinence can be leakage of stool or lack of voluntary control of bowel movements.
  • Fistulas in the pelvic floor organs.
    Fistulas are an unusual opening between two or more of the pelvic floor organs. A genitourinary fistula is an abnormal opening between the vagina, urethra, bladder and ureter. A rectovaginal fistula is an unusual opening between the rectum and vagina.

What kind of procedures and treatments can urogynecologists offer

Urogynecologists can perform a variety surgical treatments, usually minimally invasively or robotically, for pelvic organ prolapse and urinary incontinence. There are also many treatment options that can be performed in-office. They may also recommend specialized testing, such as urodynamics or cystoscopy. Our urogynecologists partner with you to find treatment options that work for you. They also offer:

  • Botulinum toxin, also known as “Botox”, injections for urinary incontinence
  • Sacral nerve stimulation
  • Urethral bulking
  • Minimally invasive and robotic surgeries
  • Pessaries for pelvic organ prolapse

Why Choose a Urogynecologist at NGPG?

Urogynecologists at NGPG are board certified in Obstetrics and Gynecology as well as Urogynecology and Pelvic Reconstructive Surgery. These specialized physicians are experienced and knowledgeable in treating female pelvic health conditions. To schedule an appointment, visit www.ngpg.org/obgyn to complete our online form or call one of our office locations.