What is a Urogynecologist?
A urogynecologist is a sub-specialty surgeon who has been trained to care for women with pelvic floor disorders. The pelvic floor refers to the set of muscles, ligaments, and connective tissue that surround and provide support to the pelvic organs such as the bladder, uterus, vagina, rectum, and bowel. Pelvic floor disorders include incontinence (leakage of urine or feces), prolapse (descent of the pelvic organs, pressure, or bulge), emptying disorders (difficulty with urinating or moving bowels), overactive bladder (frequency, urgency, difficulty with control) – there are a large variety of conditions that these physicians can treat. A urogynecologist is unique because they have undergone additional training after a primary residency in either urology or gynecology. This includes further experience in colorectal issues, neurologic conditions, and pelvic surgery. Virginia Urology’s physicians are not only trained to treat these conditions but also keep up to date with the latest research pertaining to them.
This is a relatively recent medical subspecialty which resulted from observations by practitioners in separate fields related to women’s’ health, including urology, gynecology, and surgery. The American Board of Medical Specialties approved Female Pelvic Medicine and Reconstructive Surgery, also known as urogynecology, as a certified subspecialty in 2011, and the first doctors were board-certified in 2013. Urogynecologists often work in concert with other specialists to offer the most complete and effective care possible.
Typical disorders which urogynecologists treat:
- Prolapsed/descended pelvic organs, including bladder &/or uterus
- Bladder Discomfort/Pain
- Overactive Bladder