If you already have a gynecologist that you love, you may immediately dismiss the thought of seeing a urogynecologist. But, not so fast. Women who experience health issues related to the pelvic floor may reap incredible benefits from seeking out the expertise of a urogynecologist.
What’s the difference?
Gynecologists are doctors who specialize in female reproductive health. They usually see patients annually for a wellness visit and screening. Plus, they work with women more regularly if they are pregnant, experiencing fertility or menstruation issues, or are otherwise in need of more frequent medical attention.
Women usually develop a relationship with a gynecologist that they trust, and often that doctor cares for them through a variety of life stages. A gynecologist is an excellent resource for general women’s health concerns, including menstruation, sexual health, family planning, and hormone imbalances.1
But when it comes to complex cases involving the pelvic floor, your gynecologist may refer you to a urogynecologist who will be able to offer additional expertise related to your particular concern.
Urogynecologists receive primary training in either urology or gynecology, and then further specialize in Female Pelvic Medicine and Reconstructive Surgery. This additional training makes urogynecologists experts in providing care for women with pelvic floor disorders, including incontinence, prolapse, emptying disorders, and overactive bladder.
Our urogynecologists are highly specialized and are able to stay up to date on the most recent advances in Female Pelvic Medicine, because it’s their primary focus. Gynecologists on the other hand treat a variety of women’s health issues, which means they need to be top-notch generalists, but they don’t necessarily specialize in pelvic floor conditions like our urogynecologists do.
That being said, you don’t need to pick either a gynecologist or a urogynecologist.
Your gynecologist is still the best person to help you with your general wellness and of course with labor and delivery. Urogynecologists are an additional resource. Consider a urogynecologist if you have an ongoing issue, like overactive bladder or prolapse, or are dealing with fecal leakage. Urogynecologists are also helpful with recovery after childbirth – they can help you learn how to strengthen your pelvic floor to avoid the urine leakage that many mothers experience when they laugh or sneeze.
You may have heard that it “takes a village,” and that holds true for your health. Virginia Urology can be a beneficial component of your overall health plan.