One in three women will develop a pelvic floor disorder in their lifetime.
Many women experience unique health issues that require specialized care. When you start looking into gynecological care, you may wonder, “What is urogynecology?”
Urogynecology is a medical subspecialty focused on treating pelvic floor disorders. These disorders can have a significant impact on a woman’s quality of life if left untreated.
Despite the importance of urogynecology, many women aren’t familiar with the specialty or how it can help them.
In this blog post, we’ll explore what urogynecology is and what urogynecology surgery entails. We’ll also break down the difference between urogynecology and gynecology.
Read on to get a better understanding of urogynecology and how it can help you achieve optimal health and wellness!
What Is Urogynecology? An Overview
Urogynecology is a field of gynecology that deals with pelvic floor disorders in women. A urogynecologist is a medical doctor who specializes in this field and has training in both gynecology and urology.
Urogynecology refers to the treatment of conditions that affect the pelvic organs. The bladder, uterus, rectum, or vagina may be affected.
Common conditions treated by urogynecologists include:
- Urinary incontinence
- Pelvic organ prolapse
- Fecal incontinence
- Chronic pelvic pain
The goal of urogynecology is to improve the overall function of the pelvic floor. A properly functioning pelvic floor can prevent these disruptive conditions.
Urogynecologists use a variety of diagnostic tools to assess pelvic floor function. To diagnose issues, patients may receive physical exams, imaging tests, and urodynamic studies.
Treatment options depend on the severity of the condition. They may include behavioral modifications, medication, physical therapy, or surgery.
What Is Urogynecology and Pelvic Reconstructive Surgery?
Most surgeries on the pelvic floor are known as urogynecology surgery. Surgery is generally a last resort if the condition can’t be addressed non-invasively.
Patients with severe pelvic floor disorders may benefit from surgery. These surgeries can happen in a hospital or an outpatient setting, depending on the type of surgery and the patient’s needs.
So, what is urogynecology surgery? Types of urogynecology surgeries include pelvic reconstructive surgery and incontinence surgery.
Pelvic reconstructive surgery is a procedure intended to restore the normal anatomy of one or more pelvic organs. During this surgery, a urogynecologist may use a patient’s tissue or a synthetic mesh to support and reinforce the pelvic organs.
Incontinence surgery, on the other hand, aims to correct bladder or bowel incontinence.
Urogynecology surgery can have significant benefits for patients. Surgical treatment can reduce symptoms and improve quality of life.
However, as with any surgical procedure, there are risks involved. Potential complications include bleeding, infection, and complications related to anesthesia.
Patients have to discuss the risks and benefits of surgery with their urogynecologist before deciding on a treatment. The doctor will perform thorough evaluations to determine if surgery is the right option for their patients.
What Is a Urogynecology Doctor?
Urogynecology, as the name suggests, combines “urology” and “gynecology.” Doctors specializing in this field not only study both types of medicine but also how they overlap.
When a patient sees a urogynecology doctor, they can expect a comprehensive evaluation of their symptoms. This evaluation will include a physical exam to assess pelvic floor function.
They may also recommend diagnostic testing like urodynamic studies or imaging tests. These tests will help determine the most appropriate course of treatment.
Urogynecologists often collaborate with other medical professionals. Advice from physical therapists and pelvic floor specialists ensures the best possible care.
They may also work with urologists or colorectal surgeons to provide comprehensive care for their patients.
A urogynecology doctor is a specialist uniquely qualified to diagnose and treat pelvic floor disorders in women. Patients experiencing pelvic floor symptoms should consider seeking care from a urogynecologist.
What Is the Difference Between Urogynecology and Gynecology?
Gynecologists are medical doctors who specialize in women’s reproductive health.
Gynecology is the diagnosis and treatment of disorders of the female reproductive organs. Gynecologists also provide preventive care like Pap smears, breast exams, and contraception counseling.
On the other hand, urogynecology is a field of gynecology specific to pelvic floor disorders in women. Gynecologists usually have some knowledge of pelvic floor disorders. However, they won’t have the same level of expertise as a urogynecologist.
If a patient is seeking routine gynecological care, a gynecologist would be an appropriate choice. Examples of routine care include contraception counseling or routine screening exams.
What Is the Difference Between Urology and Urogynecology?
Urologists diagnose and treat conditions that affect the urinary tract. Unlike urogynecologists, their patients include men and women.
The primary difference between urology and urogynecology is the focus of their medical care.
Urologists focus on the urinary tract and the male reproductive system. Urogynecologists specialize in the treatment of pelvic floor disorders in women.
As with gynecology, there is some overlap between these two specialties. Some conditions may require the expertise of both a urologist and a urogynecologist.
For example, a woman might have symptoms of urinary incontinence or pelvic organ prolapse. She may require the expertise of both a urogynecologist and a urologist. This is especially true if the condition isn’t responsive to non-surgical treatments.
How Urogynecology Can Help You
Pay attention to symptoms like urinary incontinence or fecal incontinence. If you experience either, you may benefit from seeing a urogynecologist.
The urogynecologist will help you determine the underlying cause of your symptoms. With the diagnosis, they’ll work with you to develop a personalized treatment plan.
Even if your symptoms are mild, they may be the result of an underlying pelvic floor issue. Other pelvic floor symptoms to look out for are a bulging sensation or a feeling of fullness.
We hope this article helped you answer the question, “What is urogynecology?”
Pelvic floor disorders can significantly impact a woman’s quality of life. With the help of a urogynecologist, you can find relief from your symptoms.
AO Multi-specialty Clinic promotes pelvic health for each of our patients. Contact us today to schedule your consultation at our Pelvic Health Essentials location!