Urogynecology is a subspecialty within obstetrics and gynecology that focuses on disorders of the female pelvic floor such as pelvic organ prolapse (bulging out of the uterus and/or vagina), urinary incontinence, fecal incontinence and constipation.
After completing a residency in obstetrics and gynecology, doctors who specialize in urogynecology complete fellowship training where they spend several years focusing only on these disorders.
Is urinary incontinence a disease?
No, urinary incontinence is a symptom. This means one or more other problems cause urinary leakage. Some common bladder and pelvic floor disorders are pelvic organ prolapse (POP), urinary tract infections, interstitial cystitis (IC) and bladder tumors and cancer.
What is stress incontinence?
Stress incontinence occurs when pelvic muscles have been damaged, causing the bladder to leak during exercise, coughing, sneezing, laughing or any body movement which puts pressure on the bladder.
What is urge incontinence?
Urge incontinence, the urgent need to pass urine and the inability to get to the toilet in time, occurs when nerve passages along the pathway from the bladder to the brain are damaged, causing a sudden bladder contraction that cannot be consciously inhibited.
What is overflow incontinence?
Overflow incontinence refers to leakage that occurs when the quantity of urine produced exceeds the bladder’s holding capacity.
What is pelvic organ prolapse (POP)?
The bulging, sagging or falling of pelvic organs (bladder, uterus, rectum, intestine). Prolapse develops slowly, so symptoms may be mild and vague at first, such as pain during sexual intercourse or inability to hold in a tampon. As prolapse progresses symptoms may develop into a feeling that something is protruding from the vagina, a heavy sensation in the vagina or an inability to urinate or have a bowel movement without inserting the fingers into the vagina.
What is a urinary tract infection?
One in five women will have a urinary tract infection in her lifetime. Infections happen when E. coli bacteria grow in the urethra and travel to the bladder. Symptoms include a burning sensation when urinating, the urge to urinate without much result, cloudy or reddish urine, smelly urine, a feeling of fullness or pressure above the pubic bone and general malaise. A simple urine test can detect the presence of an infection, and a course of antibiotics are all that is needed to treat the problem.
What is interstitial cystitis (IC)?
Inflammation or irritation of the bladder wall, causing chronic pain, stiffening and scarring of the bladder, a decrease in the amount of urine the bladder can hold, painful sexual intercourse and a frequent need to urinate. About 90 percent of people who get IC are women.
What are Kegel exercises?
Kegel, or pelvic floor muscle exercises, are done to strengthen the muscles, which support the urethra, bladder, uterus and rectum. The benefits of achieving and maintaining good pelvic floor muscle tone are many and include:
- Prevention of urinary “dribbling” when coughing, laughing, sneezing, or exercising.
- Possible prevention of need for surgery later in life to pull up sagging uterus or other pelvic organs.
- Leaky bladder solutions help women regain confidence
- How a simple procedure eases overactive bladder
- Physical therapy options for pelvic floor pain, incontinence