Blog123

9 Ways That Urogynecology Can Change Your Life

There are more than 13,044 practicing urologists worldwide. The majority of people that work in Urogynecology do so to help their patients with various pelvic issues that they might be experiencing.

If you’re experiencing one of the many pelvic floor issues, it’s time to see a UroGyn and reap the benefits of scheduling an appointment. We’ve taken the time to create a comprehensive guide about Urogynecology and what you can expect when you seek treatment.

What is Urogynecology?

Urogynecology is a specialization that merges both gynecology practices and urology practices. This specialization focuses on urological issues that a person might be experiencing.

Women who seek the services of a Urogynecologist can expect pelvic medicine to treat pelvic floor issues and reconstructive surgery if necessary. The pelvic area is home to several things, including:

  • Your reproductive system
  • The rectum
  • Bladder

Issues with the pelvic floor could leave women experiencing issues with their bladder-like urine leakage. If you’re experiencing issues, it’s best that you seek help from a urogynecologist as soon as possible.

What Does a Urogynecologist Do?

A gynecologist is a specialization; therefore, you need to think of a urogynecologist as an even more specialized physician that focuses intensely on female health and their reproductive system. A urogynecologist has received training in either gynecology or urology.

Once they’ve obtained the training they need, it will be used to continue focusing on providing pelvic medication and treatments to women that are in need. There are several issues that you might see a urogynecologists for, including:

  • Weakened pelvic muscles
  • Overactive bladders
  • Fecal leakage

Once your urogynecologist obtains the details of the problem you’re having, they can create a customized treatment plan for you. They will first perform a physical evaluation.

You can expect to be asked several questions about what you’re experiencing to ensure they make the correct diagnosis.

Causes of Pelvic Disorders

There are several reasons that you might be experiencing a pelvic disorder. The first reason is if you’ve given birth to a child.
When you’re pregnant, your body undergoes several changes to make room for the growing child in your abdomen.

Unfortunately, because of the pressure that is placed on your organs and pelvic floor when you’re giving birth, it can weaken your muscles causing problems after your child has been born.

Another common cause of pelvic issues in women is if there’s a history of these types of issues in their family history. If you’re seeing a physician regularly, they will have knowledge of your genetic history and be able to provide you with treatment options to manage your pelvic disorder.

Menopause is another factor that can play a role in causing pelvic problems. Your body experiences a host of hormonal changes when you’re going through menopause that you’ll have to learn to work with and manage.

Treatments for Pelvic Disorders

There are several treatments that your physician might prescribe for you to improve your condition. The first is pelvic floor exercises, such as Kegels, that will prove useful if you’ve experienced a prolapse.

The exercises focus on tightening your pelvic floor muscles for a designated period of time and then releasing that tension. As you continue to perform your exercise over time, you’ll notice that your muscle become stronger.

Another treatment that can be implemented is the use of medication. While medication won’t improve all pelvic disorders, it can be useful and beneficial for the management of discomfort caused by the pelvic disorder.

Surgery is also a possibility if the vaginal wall has been damaged and is in need of repair. If you’ve continued to experience bladder continence issues having surgery can help restore some of the control that was lost.

Sometimes the only option for a woman that has a pelvic disorder is to have her uterus removed. A urogynecologist can perform this surgery and help you through the recovery process as well.

Benefits of Urogynecology

While you might not have any issues that are bothering you to the point where you’re in dire need of a urogynecologist, there are several benefits that it can have in your life. The first benefit is improving your overall health.

The best way to ensure that you get treatment when a problem arises is prevention. Without seeing a physician regularly, you won’t know when you’ve got an issue. Or be able to make them aware of a problem you might be experiencing ahead of time to begin treatment.

Another way that Urogynecology can change your life is by providing you with relief. If you’re experiencing things like bladder continence issues seeking treatment can help you get the relief that you need.

A urogynecologist can help you to get your confidence back. When you’re experiencing pelvic issues, it can leave you embarrassed about your condition. But treatment will help you to take that power back and not be ashamed anymore.

Urogynecology: A Comprehensive Guide

We’ve created an in-depth guide about Urogynecology, its benefits, and treatments used for those experiencing a pelvic disorder. If you’re experiencing discomfort because of your disorder, there’s no better decision to make than to see a urogynecologist as soon as possible.

If you’re ready to get the relief you’ve been searching for, contact Peter M. Lotz. He can help to treat your issue and ensure that your overall quality of life is improved.

What are you waiting for? Stop what you’re doing and schedule your appointment today.

Dos and Don’ts Of A Pelvic Floor Diet

Are you someone who is suffering from a pelvic floor dysfunction, and you’ve had enough? According to a study, around 25% of women in the U.S suffer from pelvic floor disorders, which consist of urinary incontinence, fecal incontinence, and pelvic organ prolapse. While we understand your frustration, we would also like to tell you that your diet plays a huge role in strengthening the pelvic floor. No doubt, a visit to the doctor is just as important to know the underlying cause of the problem; however, exercising and diet play a significant part in the prevention and recovery process. 

So the question arises, what exactly should we include in our pelvic floor diet to strengthen the muscles down there? Here is a list of do’s and don’ts for your diet plan:

DO’S

Water

You must be aware that water cures most of our health problems, and a reduced intake of water causes the majority of the problems in our bodies. Most of our diet ideas revolve around solids sidelining liquids altogether. When we refer to fluids, we solely mean water. Water without any flavoring or gas is best for hydration and flushing out toxins from the body. It also helps with digestion and transport nutrients from one area of the body to another, helping all bodily functions run smoothly. 

A healthy bladder should give you the urge to go to the bathroom once every two to three hours, which is great for your health. 

 

Herbal Teas

Herbal teas and caffeine-free teas are other forms of fluid that indirectly help strengthen the pelvic floor. These teas offer natural nutrition to the body while hydrating it simultaneously, unlike caffeinated drinks and unnaturally sweetened drinks that dehydrate the body. These teas include chamomile, nettle, skullcap, peppermint, passionfruit, lavender, willow, and valerian. 

Anti-Inflammatory Herbs and Spices

Spices add flavor to your dishes and let you indulge in them. While some can irritate the body, green herbs such as rosemary, basil, parsley, cilantro, oregano, sage, dill, and thyme have healing properties. 

Low Acidic Produce

Fiber that comes from vegetables and fruits is beneficial for several reasons, one of which is a smooth excreting experience. The fiber helps your faeces’ consistency be soft, allowing it to slide right out of your anus instead of being pushed out. Low acidic foods and alkaline foods do not irritate the pelvic floor muscles like high acidic ones such as citrus fruits, winter squashes and tomatoes. The foods that help are:

FRUITS – Cherries, Apples, Avocados, Mangos, Watermelon, Cantaloupe, Grapes, Kiwi, Bananas, and Blueberries. 

VEGETABLES – Zucchini, Broccoli, Green beans, Green peas, Cabbage, Leeks, Potatoes, Sweet potatoes, Pumpkin, Artichokes, Cucumbers, Mushrooms, Cauliflower, Celery, Carrot, and Kale. 

Quercetin

This is a flavonoid antioxidant that aids in reducing inflammation by regulating the cytokines. These foods include broccoli, apples and grapes; all work as double agents for fiber and quercetin; others are onions and peppers. 

Omega-3 Fatty Acids

These fatty acids in fish have inflammatory properties that help reduce irritations caused by other foods or drinks. Other than fish, there are other foods for pelvic muscles that you may take, such as flax seeds, tuna, anchovies, chia seeds, and omega-3 fish oil, and Atlantic mackerel. 

DON’TS 

Acidic Food

Acidic foods mess with our bladder and everything it passes through, especially when dealing with pelvic floor dysfunctions. These acids in the diet cause irritation to the bladder lining and also make the urine too acidic. Every person has a different threshold for tolerating spices. Therefore, there is no one formula for all. For females suffering from interstitial cystitis, all spicy food must be avoided. Foods to avoid are processed and frozen products, bread, rice, walnuts, oats, deli meats, milk, peanuts, to name a few.

Caffeinated Drinks

Some might argue, “but coffee or tea helps me poop” caffeine is known to dehydrate the body. While it might temporarily facilitate your pooping experience, it will cause more harm to the other parts. It makes you urinate more often, hence irritating the kidney, bladder, and urethra. If you suffer from a pelvic floor dysfunction, gradually reduce or eliminate your caffeine intake to give your bladder a break. 

Carbonated Drinks and Alcohol

As much as we encourage having healthy fluids, having carbonated drinks is toxic for your pelvic floor diet. The gases in these drinks tend to over-activate the bladder causing us to run to the bathroom more than usual and irritating. Regardless of having trouble with your bladder or not, reducing the intake of such drinks can better the pelvic floor’s health. 

Not only carbonated drinks but alcohol plays a part in making your urine more acidic and causes irritation to the bladder. Not only that, alcohol in general causes severe inflammation and hinders the natural process of detoxification. 

 

Sugar and Artificial Sweeteners

Sugar and artificial sweeteners cause inflammation in the body. Who knew that? As much as most people enjoy their drinks and desserts super sweet, we must stop it as this is causing harm to our bodies in numerous ways. Not only is it bad for our pelvic floor health, but artificial sweeteners and sugar in all forms also worsen the symptoms of our overactive bladder. 

While most of these food choices might not cure the pelvic floor dysfunction for you, they will surely help reduce the discomfort caused by the problem within. Make healthier diet choices to live a more accessible and happier life. 

Facing A Bladder Issue?

Contact our Dr. Peter M. Lotze and his team, to know more about your condition and how you can help make it better. Feel free to leave us a message.  

The Main Causes of Urinary Retention in Women and How to Deal With It

While anyone can experience urinary retention, it is most common in men who are in their fifties or sixties. This means that much of the information available is specific to older men even though it is possible for women to develop the same condition.

Urinary retention in women is relatively rare, with an estimated 3 cases per 100,000 women every year. By contrast, roughly one out of every three men over the age of 80 will experience this condition.

Are you wondering what you should know about urinary retention and its causes?

Let’s take a look at what you need to know.

What Are the Symptoms of Urinary Retention?

Urinary retention is a condition that has two different forms, acute and chronic. In both forms, your bladder doesn’t completely empty even once it has gotten full. People with this condition will feel like they have to urinate often.

Both men and women can be affected by this disorder. However, it is more common in men, particularly as they age. Some research has found that this condition is actually ten times more likely to occur in men than women.

Acute Urinary Retention

When acute urinary retention develops, it comes on all of a sudden and can develop into a life-threatening condition. With this disorder, you are unable to urinate but feel like you need to very badly. It can cause a lot of discomfort and pain in the region of your lower abdomen.

If you are concerned that you have acute urinary retention, you will want to get emergency medical care immediately. They will be able to help you release the urine buildup in your bladder.

(Are you experiencing bladder pain? If so, check out the five most common reasons this occurs in women.)

Chronic Urinary Retention

This type of urinary retention happens over a more drawn-out period of time. Your bladder doesn’t empty completely when you urinate, but you are still able to urinate. Sometimes you won’t display any symptoms at first, which can make it difficult to know that you even have the condition.

Complications can arise from chronic urinary retention. If you have any of these symptoms, you should see your doctor as soon as you can:

  • It’s hard to begin your urine stream
  • You feel like you need to urinate often, as much as eight or more times every day
  • Your urine stream starts and stops or is weak
  • You get up a number of times during the night to urinate
  • You feel like you have to urinate immediately after you just urinated
  • Throughout the day, urine leaks from your bladder
  • It’s hard to tell when your bladder is full
  • You have the strong feeling that you need to urinate frequently, only to be unable to stop yourself from urinating, also known as urge incontinence
  • You have an ongoing feeling of fullness or sense of mild discomfort in your lower abdomen/pelvis

Other symptoms include pain, severe discomfort, and a bloated lower belly.

Some of the complications that can arise from this condition include chronic kidney disease and urinary tract infection.

The Main Causes of Urinary Retention in Women

Your bladder and your urethra make up your lower urinary tract. Your bladder stores urine and your urethra is a tube that connects your bladder to the outside of your body. The prostate is an additional part of this system for men.

When it’s time to urinate, the muscles that are in your bladder squeeze in order to push urine out of your body. Simultaneously, your nervous system is communicating to your sphincters that they should open. When all is going well, the urine will then travel through your urethra and leave your body.

You have two different sphincters, an internal sphincter and an external sphincter. While you do have control over the external sphincter, you can’t control the internal sphincter.

If there are issues with any of these structures it can lead to urinary retention. Additionally, if there are problems with the nerves that make them work it can also lead to this disorder.

Click here for a more thorough look at the urinary system and how it works.

Obstruction

If there is anything that is blocking the flow of urine from your bladder, it can lead to either acute urinary retention or chronic urinary retention. Both men and women can have obstructions caused by:

  • Urethral stricture
  • Urinary tract stones
  • Severe constipation
  • Cancer or a mass in your intestine or pelvis
  • A foreign object inserted into the urethra
  • A blood clot from bladder bleeding
  • Severe inflammation of the urethra

Additional potential causes include a rectocele or a cystocele. A prolapse, which is when your uterus moves down from the position it is normally in, can also get in the way of your bladder outlet.

Medication

It’s possible that your urinary retention is caused by the medications you’re taking. Some medications can impact your bladder’s ability to make the internal urinary sphincter contract or squeeze urine out.

Surgery-Related

Urinary retention can occur temporarily after surgery. This is particularly true after spinal or joint replacement surgery.

Nerve Problems

Your brain has to send signals through your nervous system to your bladder and sphincters in order to urinate. Even if one of these nerve signals isn’t working properly, it can lead to urinary retention.

Infection

For women, an infection of the outer part of the vagina known as vulvovaginitis can lead to urinary retention. Cystitis and bladder infections can also cause this condition.

Are You Looking For a Urogynecologist in Houston?

Urinary retention in women can be treated in a number of different ways. While acute urinary retention is a medical emergency and needs to be tended to immediately, chronic urinary retention can be treated if it is creating urinary tract complications or if it’s affecting your quality of life.

If you think you might be experiencing urinary retention, contact us today with questions or to schedule an initial consultation.

What Are the Treatment Options For Interstitial Cystitis?

Did you know that one to five people out of 100,000 live with interstitial cystitis (IC)? Even more, up to 12% of women in the population are living with early symptoms of the condition.

All of these people are dealing with bladder pain, pelvic pain, pelvic pressure, and overall discomfort. Some people are even dealing with ulcers on their bladder.

There is no cure for the condition yet, but there are several treatment options for interstitial cystitis. If you’re interested in knowing what the options are, keep reading. We have the most updated knowledge that you need right now.

Interstitial Cystitis Treatments

For many patients with interstitial cystitis, a combination of many treatments is the best way to go. These patients should see their physician so that they can talk about what their options are based on the kind and progression of their interstitial cystitis.

It’s important to note that some patients have to go through several trial and error processes before they find the right combination. So, all patients with interstitial cystitis should work closely with their doctors to find the right treatment plan for them.

If a physician hasn’t seen you for this condition yet, here’s what you can expect from your first visit.

Interstitial Cystitis Pain Medications

Physicians tend to focus on controlling and/or stopping the pain that comes with interstitial cystitis. And, there are plenty of options for pain medications when it comes to this condition. There are over-the-counter medications, non-narcotic pain medications, topical medications, and narcotic pain medications.

Usually, the physician will consider using these medications in that order. This is to avoid the complications that come with narcotics.

So, let’s start with over-the-counter medications. These do not require a prescription and are relatively harmless as long as you’re using them as your physician directs you to use them. Choices for interstitial cystitis include the following:

  • Aspirin
  • Acetaminophen
  • NSAIDs
  • Ibuprofen
  • Ketoprofen
  • Naproxen sodium

If those aren’t working, your physician may turn to non-narcotic medications next. These require a prescription, but they aren’t as risky as narcotics:

  • Phenazopyridine plus
  • Urelle oral
  • Uribel
  • Utira

If those aren’t working for your pain, your physician may turn to topical treatments. These are medications that go directly on your skin:

  • Lidocaine patch
  • Vaginal and rectal diazepam
  • Topical amitriptyline

Lastly, your physician may turn to narcotic pain medications if you’ve tried other options without any relief. These medications can be addictive, but they are very effective at removing pain:

  • Codeine
  • Hydrocodone
  • Oxycodone
  • Oxymorphone
  • Morphine
  • Hydromorphone
  • Methadone
  • Tapentadol

If you’re taking narcotic medications, you should stay in communication with your doctor about your pain. And, you shouldn’t stray from the prescription they’ve given you without their permission.

Interstitial Cystitis Diet

You may also be able to relieve the symptoms of interstitial cystitis by adjusting your diet. There are plenty of adjustments that patients have found to work for their condition:

  • Gluten-free diets
  • IC food list
  • Anti-yeast therapy
  • Alkaline diets
  • Nutrition supplements
  • IC-friendly recipes

Many patients even get tested for allergies to make sure that their symptoms aren’t a harsh reaction to eating the wrong things. 

When making diet modifications, it’s important to give it time. You’re not going to get results overnight from changing your diet. You have to wait a few days to a week to notice the results.

Interstitial Cystitis Lifestyle

Some lifestyle changes may also benefit those with IC. 

First, it’s important to manage your stress. A large amount of stress can exacerbate symptoms of the condition. So, patients should consider meditation, yoga, and the like.

Patients with interstitial cystitis should also consider managing their sleep. In order to care for your body, you need to make sure that you’re getting enough sleep. So, you should aim for eight to nine hours of sleep a night to give your body the energy it needs to fight off IC.

Lastly, patients with IC may want to consider bladder retraining. Sometimes, interstitial cystitis can cause urinary frequency, causing patients to struggle with urinating on themselves, their beds, and more.

In order to control this, these patients may need to retrain their bladders. If you’re experiencing mild symptoms, you can even do this on your own.

All you have to do is hold your bladder in for longer than your body is urging you to go. For example, let’s say that you have to go to the bathroom every 30 minutes. At the 30-minute mark, you should hold your bladder for 15 minutes.

If you’re feeling any pain, you should go to the bathroom. This exercise isn’t meant to harm you. Rather, it’s a retraining program for your bladder.

So, it may take some time for you to actually notice a difference in your bladder’s function.

Interstitial Cystitis Surgery

Surgical procedures are reserved for patients with extreme symptoms of interstitial cystitis. Typically, these are the patients who are having painful ulcers.

A trained professional can use laser technology to remove the ulcers from your bladder. This procedure is specifically helpful for Hunner’s ulcers.

Your physician may recommend a cystoscopy with hydrodistention if they’re down to the last resort. This means that they may recommend this procedure if you’ve tried every other treatment and lifestyle adjustment out there.

If this surgical procedure doesn’t work, they may recommend an augmentation cystoplasty. This is a procedure in which they would remove part of the bladder.

If your condition is affecting your entire bladder, they may remove your entire bladder. If this happens, your surgeon should be able to divert your urine to exit the body through a urinary conduit. Although, this doesn’t hold urine like the bladder did so you’ll need to wear a urinary stoma to collect the urine.

See an Experienced Physician

If you have interstitial cystitis or believe you may have it, you need to see an experienced physician. Luckily, our medical team is experienced in interstitial cystitis and similar conditions.

No matter what treatment you have your eye on, our team can help you decide the best choice for you.

Make an appointment today to get started.

Vaginal Dryness: A Complete Guide to Causes, Symptoms, and Treatments

As many as 17% of women experience vaginal dryness pre-menopause, and this figure increases significantly after menopause takes place. Embarrassment and a lack of awareness mean that this common issue is not discussed openly, leaving many women in the dark.

You might be wondering what causes vaginal dryness, or how you can prevent this condition from occurring?

Keep reading for a guide on everything you need to know about vaginal dryness.

Causes

First, let’s start with a discussion of what causes vaginal dryness. One of the principal reasons for vaginal dryness is a reduction in estrogen levels.

One of the main changes to the body that occurs during menopause is that the ovaries produce less estrogen. This happens naturally as women age, thus, vaginal dryness often occurs in women going through menopause.

There are also other factors that cause low estrogen levels. These include childbirth, breastfeeding, cancer treatments such as chemotherapy and radiotherapy, the removal of the ovaries, and some anti-estrogen medication.

If you’re affected by any of these, your chance of experiencing vaginal dryness is more likely.

There are a few other common causes of vaginal dryness to know about, that are unrelated to levels of estrogen. Certain allergy and cold medications, as well as antidepressants, can include vaginal dryness as a side-effect.

Finally, Sjogren’s syndrome (an autoimmune disease), douching, smoking cigarettes, and not taking enough time for foreplay before sex can also cause vaginal dryness.

Symptoms

Now we know why it occurs, we can examine the most common vaginal dryness symptoms. Most women are aware that something is wrong due to the discomfort they feel in the vaginal and pelvic area.

They might feel pain during sexual intercourse, and even a loss of interest in sex. Light bleeding might also follow sex, as the lack of moisture causes friction.

Women might feel pain during other activities too; you do not have to be sexually active to experience the symptoms of vaginal dryness. Some women feel severe discomfort when sitting, urinating, or going about everyday activities.

Other common symptoms of vaginal dryness include a burning sensation or soreness, as well as itching and stinging. Finally, UTIs are another indication of vaginal dryness, in particular when they do not seem to go away.

Last, the vagina and vulva can look visibly different. Most often, the vaginal lips will become thinner, while there can also be changes in texture and color to vaginal discharge.

Diagnosis

Next, let’s take a look at how doctors and urogynecologists diagnose vaginal dryness. If you experience any of the symptoms discussed above, it’s well worth scheduling an appointment with a doctor to investigate the issues further.

Vaginal dryness is rarely an indication of a serious medical issue, but it can nonetheless worsen the quality of life for many women. When left untreated, vaginal dryness can cause sores and lead to cracking in the vaginal tissue.

Your doctor will most likely ask you the following questions during your consultation:

  • Have you had any previous conditions relating to the vagina or pelvis?
  • For how long have you experienced the current symptoms?
  • What seems to relieve or aggravate your symptoms?

Your doctor might also need to carry out a number of tests to confirm vaginal dryness, as well as to rule out any other possible conditions. This will include a pelvic exam, and sometimes a Pap test. Hormonal tests can also be carried out to determine if you’re experiencing perimenopause or menopause.

Treatment

So, what are the different medications and solutions available for vaginal dryness? The most common vaginal dryness treatment is topical estrogen therapy. This sometimes involves applying a vaginal dryness cream to the vagina. Topical options, meaning they are applied to a specific area of the body, have fewer side effects than taking estrogen pills.

In addition to creams, there are also rings that can be inserted into the vagina. Either you or your doctor can place a soft and comfortable ring into your vagina, which releases estrogen to the surrounding tissues. This needs to be replaced every three months.

There is also a tablet option that is placed in the vagina. This tends to be prescribed once a day for two weeks, then twice a week until it is no longer necessary. 

There are a few natural remedies for vaginal dryness, such as using coconut oil or aloe vera that can act as lubricants. However, it is advised that you consult with a medical professional before deciding on a treatment plan.

Prevention

Last, let’s take a look at the best ways to prevent vaginal dryness from occurring. It might not be possible to exclude the possibility of vaginal dryness entirely, as it is a natural part of aging, but these tips will help to minimize the occurrence.

Make sure to take enough time for foreplay and arousal before having sex. You can also use a water-based lubricant to help get more pleasure if necessary.

You should also avoid using perfumed products, lotions, and douches around the vagina area. The vagina is self-cleaning, so there is no need to use any products on the vagina itself. The vulva can be gently washed with water and unperfumed soap.

Last, try to maintain healthy habits such as not smoking and drinking plenty of water to help maintain moisture levels.

Do You Need Help With Vaginal Dryness?

If after reading this article you think you might have vaginal dryness, help is available. Expert urogynecologists, such as Dr. Lotze and his team, can help identify and remedy a wide range of pelvic health issues.

Get in touch here to schedule a consultation, and begin your journey back to a comfortable and pain-free life.

How Nerve Stimulation May Help Pelvic Floor Weakness and Disorders

Did you know that one in three women experience pelvic floor disorders? Pelvic floor muscles can weaken for a variety of reasons, which leads to urinary incontinence and other issues.

There are several exercises you can do to strengthen your pelvic floor; however, sometimes they aren’t enough. Another effective treatment option is electrical nerve stimulation. 

In this guide, we’re going to explain how electrical stimulation works and when it’s needed. We’ll also look at the common causes of pelvic floor disorders. Let’s get started. 

What Is Nerve Stimulation?

Electrical nerve stimulation treatments are used to strengthen the pelvic floor. It works by sending electrical currents to pelvic muscles and lower back. The treatment does not hurt, but you may feel a tightening in the pelvic area as the treatment contracts your muscles.

Most treatments last around 15 minutes, and they can be done twice a day for several weeks or months. However, your Urogyn can work with you on the right course of action for your needs.

There are a few different ways to deliver the electrical currents, including:

  • An electrode is inserted into your anus or vagina
  • Electrodes are placed on the skin near the vagina
  • A small needle is inserted near the tibia nerve in your lower leg
  • Electrodes are placed on your lower back

As the electrical currents stimulate your nerves through the electrodes, you will feel a gentle pulse. The process tightens and lifts your pelvic floor.

What Are Nerve Stimulation Treatments For?

As we said, this treatment is for strengthening weak pelvic floor muscles. However, it is especially effective at treating bladder incontinence. It can also remedy an overactive bladder caused by pelvic floor weakness. 

There are two types of urinary incontinence: stress incontinence and urge incontinence. Stress incontinence is when you can’t control your bladder during certain activities. For example, you may urinate when you laugh, jog, sneeze, or cough. 

Urge incontinence, on the other hand, happens when urine leaks uncontrollably, or when you can’t get to the bathroom in time. It is usually sudden and sometimes includes wetting the bed. Urge incontinence often overlaps with an overactive bladder. 

You may also have a mix of stress and urge incontinence. Either way, they are frustrating issues to deal with because they disrupt your day-to-day life. 

Who Are Nerve Stimulation Treatments For?

Anyone who experiences incontinence can benefit from nerve stimulation treatments. It is effective for both stress and urge incontinence. However, it is especially helpful for women who have tried other treatment methods that haven’t been successful.

For example, if daily exercises at home aren’t enough to make your incontinence go away, you may want to try nerve stimulation. 

You can also do nerve stimulation in conjunction with exercises at home or medication. Always consult your Urogynecologist to find the right treatment options for you. 

Nerve Stimulation Treatment Risks

Another reason why nerve stimulation treatments are a popular option is that they are low-risk and don’t have many side effects.

The therapy sessions should never cause pain; however, you will feel the tightening of your pelvic and vaginal muscles. If your treatments include using a needle, you may feel slight pain while it’s being inserted.

Some women say the electrical stimulation causes vaginal tenderness. Other women have also reported infections, but the likelihood of a serious side-effect is rare. Overall, it is an effective treatment method that delivers great results with minimal risks.

What Causes Pelvic Floor Disorders?

As we said, pelvic floor issues are common in women throughout different life stages. Many women experience it around pregnancy and childbirth.

If you give birth vaginally, your pelvic floor muscles become strained to support the size of the baby. Your risk of pelvic floor damage increases the longer you are in labor. Age, weight, and diet can also impact your outcome after giving birth.

Persistent urinary incontinence can also occur as women age and go through menopause. Hormone changes can weaken your pelvic muscles, which leads to involuntary urination when you laugh, cough, or sneeze. 

Some more serious causes of pelvic floor disorders include tumors along the urinary tract. Neurological disorders like Parkinson’s disease or multiple sclerosis can also be a cause. 

You can also experience temporary bladder incontinence when you have a urinary tract infection or constipation.

When Should You Consult a Urogynecologist?

For instance, if you can’t do regular activities, you should seek treatment. If it’s hard to get through social gatherings because you have to run to the bathroom, you should seek treatment.

A urogynecologist is the best specialist to see for your pelvic floor disorders. They focus on pelvic health along with obstetrics and gynecology. They will be able to provide the best treatment options for moderate and severe pelvic issues. 

If you are looking for a urogynecologist in Houston, Texas, the Lotze team can help you. Our practice was established almost 20 years ago, and we specialize in treating female pelvic health and urinary incontinence. 

We offer both medical and surgical treatments, and it’s our goal to find the treatment option that is customized for your specific situation. Our state-of-the-art technology provides the most in-depth assessments so we can focus on restoring your pelvic health.

Learn More About Nerve Stimulation

If incontinence is disrupting your daily life, you aren’t alone. Many women experience the frustrations of weak pelvic floor muscles, but the good news is that you can gain back your freedom at any age.

If you’re tired of doing kegel exercises at home and want to see faster results, nerve stimulation treatments may be right for you. It is a great low-risk way to strengthen your pelvic muscles and eliminate incontinence.

The Lotze team can create a customization course of action for you. Contact us today with any additional questions or to make an appointment.   

9 Surprising Benefits of a Strong Pelvic Floor

The muscles of your pelvic floor have an important job to do. They protect the bladder, bowels, and uterus–and can become weakened by a number of things including chronic coughing, childbirth, and more.

We tend not to think about the pelvic floor until it is in a weakened state. The reality is that having a strong pelvic floor is absolutely crucial if you want to maintain a happy, healthy life.

What are the benefits of a strong pelvic floor? We’re here to tell you!

Read on for nine benefits of a strong pelvic floor–and what you can do if you’re pelvic floor has become weakened.

1. Increased Bladder Control

One of the most common symptoms of a weakened pelvic floor is the loss of bladder control. It can also lead you to feel an increased need to urinate followed by minimal urine flow and eventually may cause bladder prolapse or bladder infections. A strong pelvic floor ensures that you will have better control of your bladder and regular urinary functions.

2. Easier Bowel Movements

Your pelvic floor muscles give you control over your bowels, making it easier to pass bowel movements. When your pelvic floor is weakened, it can lead to excessive straining and pain during bowel movements and may even cause constipation. Unfortunately, these issues can further weaken your pelvic floor, making it imperative to seek corrective treatment.

3. Protection Against Uterine Prolapse

Uterine prolapse is more common than you may think and for women over the age of 55, is the leading cause of hysterectomies. Uterine prolapse occurs when the pelvic floor muscles become too weak to support the uterus. In fact, a strong pelvic floor can not only protect you from uterine prolapse, but also from the prolapse of the bladder and bowels.  

4. Improved Recovery From Childbirth or Surgery

Childbirth and gynecological surgery are two of the most common causes of a weakened pelvic floor. The recovery process for both childbirth and surgery can be long and painful. A strong pelvic floor can help speed up that recovery process, relieve some of the related pain, and increase your overall wellbeing. 

5. Increased Orgasmic Potential

The pelvic floor actually has quite a big role in a woman’s orgasmic potential. During sexual intercourse and other stimulating activities, the pelvic floor tenses. The pelvic floor then releases when an orgasm is achieved, and a strong pelvic floor makes this process not only more possible but more powerful. 

6. Reduced Pain In Lower Back

Our lower back muscles need a lot of support in order to avoid straining, tearing, and other painful problems. We often hear that strengthening our core can help to protect the lower back, but did you know that strengthening your pelvic floor can also reduce back pain? The pelvic muscles are key in providing your lower back with the support it needs, which is why lower back pain is a common symptom of a weakened pelvic floor. 

7. Reduced Pain During Sex

The pelvic floor is designed to relax during sexual intercourse to allow penetration. In some cases, issues with the pelvic floor don’t lead to weakness. Instead, they lead to tightness. 

Many women whose pelvic floors are too tight experience pain during sexual intercourse. The good news is that many of the treatments designed for a weakened pelvic floor can also help with an overly tight pelvic floor, too. 

8. Increased Ability to Exercise Comfortably

As we’ve mentioned, a weakened pelvic floor can lead to problems like the loss of bladder control or the frequent feeling that urination is necessary. It can cause uterine prolapse, issues with bowel movements, and pain in the lower back. Ultimately, all of these problems can make it far more uncomfortable to exercise.

By strengthening your pelvic floor, you’ll find that it’s easier to move with ease. Whether you love to stretch it out with yoga or hit the treadmill, you’ll be able to enjoy your exercise without the pain caused by a weakened pelvic floor. 

9. Increased Confidence

A weakened pelvic floor causes a number of physical problems, but these physical problems are often accompanied by feelings of stress, anxiety, irritability, and frustration. It can also put limitations on stress-relieving activities, such as sexual intercourse and exercise.

With a strong pelvic floor, you can get back to enjoying life without worrying about your pelvic muscles. Most women find that having a strong pelvic floor provides an immediate confidence boost that’s well worth it!

How to Regain Your Strong Pelvic Floor

If you’re concerned about your pelvic floor, you’ve probably heard plenty about Kegel exercises. While Kegel exercises are useful for maintaining a strong pelvic floor, they often aren’t enough to help women who already have more serious pelvic issues. 

If you have a weakened pelvic floor that is causing serious problems, we recommend talking to us about urogynecological procedures. Depending on the nature of your pelvic issue, we may suggest surgical or nonsurgical options. Oftentimes, your regular OB/GYN provider can detect pelvic floor issues, but can’t necessarily treat them–which is where we come in.

Weak Pelvic Floor? We’re Here to Help

As you can see, the advantages of a strong pelvic floor are nothing to ignore. Having a strong pelvic floor can improve your quality of life but it can also reduce your risk of serious health problems, such as uterine prolapse.

Dr. Peter Lotze is here to partner with your primary and OB/GYN physicians to address issues related specifically to the pelvic floor. Our goal is to provide our patients with treatment and transition them back to their primary or OB/GYN physicians in a seamless way. To find out more, contact us today or talk to your primary provider about our services. 

How Often Should You Get Checked for STDs?

In 2019, there were more than 2,554,908 confirmed STD cases globally. With such a staggering number, it’s concerning and makes you wonder how often should you get checked for STDs.

Below, we’ve created a comprehensive guide about STD testing and some of the common signs of an STD that you might not know.

Who Needs to Get Tested?

The bottom line is if you’re sexually active, you need to ensure that you’re getting tested for STDS routinely. Primarily if you’re entering into new sexual relationships, it’s best to get tested before you become intimate with someone.

If you’re not practicing safe sex by using condoms during intercourse, you need to get checked because there’s no way to ensure that your partner doesn’t have an STD without a test. Also, if you’re someone who’s shared needles with people or has come in contact with a dirty needle, it’s useful to get tested.

If you get tested, and it’s confirmed that you have an STD, most can be treated and go away within a specific time frame. However, if you’ve got an STD that can’t be cured, there are ways that you can discuss with a certified healthcare professional to manage the STD.

How Often Should You Get Checked for STDs?

It should be noted that some factors would increase the number of times that you should get tested.

For instance, if you’re in the beginning stages of a relationship, both partners should get tested. Or if you’re someone who’s multiple intimate partners, it’s best if you get tested after sexual activity and before you become intimate with someone else.

If you’re not practicing safe sex, it’s recommended that you get tested once a year. The exception is if you notice any of the signs of an STD; you should get tested immediately.

Suppose you’re pregnant and continue to participate in sexual activity. In that case, it’s beneficial to get tested throughout the pregnancy because an untreated STD can have dire consequences for both you and your child.

Everyone that’s sexually active should be tested for HIV yearly.

Common STDs

Some STDs are more common to get than others. The first is HPV, otherwise known as the human papillomavirus. In 2018, there were more than 43 million HPV cases.

The thing about this virus is most people will catch at some time during their lives and never know it. For some people, they’ll exhibit no symptoms, and for others, it presents itself in the form of genital warts.

Another commonly caught STD is chlamydia. Signs of having chlamydia include pain or swelling around the testicles. Others symptoms are pain in the rectum and increased pain when urinating.

Gonorrhea is another STD that when treated, will go away. But it can cause more problems when it goes untreated.

If it’s not treated, it can cause issues like pelvic inflammatory disease, which would need to be treated by a urogynecologist.

How to Get Tested for STDS

When you’re looking to be tested for STDs, you’ll typically visit a clinic. Depending on the STD that they’re testing for, they may require that you provide:

  • Urine specimen
  • Blood sample
  • Cheek swab
  • Sore testing if sores are present
  • Discharge samples
  • Physical examination

Some places provide all-inclusive STD testing. This means that you can get tested for multiple STDs in one visit.

The advantage to doing it this way is getting the peace of mind that you don’t have any of these STDs. But the downside is you might have to give multiple specimens that will then be sent to the lab for testing.

Signs of an STD

If you’ve got an STD, there are several signs that you might begin to exhibit, with the most noticeable being pain or irritation around your genitals. The pain you’re experiencing may increase during sexual intercourse or when you’re attempting to use the restroom.

Another common side that infected people deal with is a change in the scent or consistency of their discharge. For men, if there’s discharge coming out of their penis, this is a sign that something’s wrong.

For women, if your discharge is foul-smelling or you notice a change in the color and consistency of your discharge, it’s worth having an STD test performed. In addition, if you begin to notice bumps or lesions around your genital areas, testing is needed because one of the signs of herpes is genital warts.

While these are noticeable changes affecting your genital regions, some signs can take place throughout the body. For example, with some STDs, you might become feverish and begin to feel exhausted without reason for your fatigue.

How to Protect Against STDs

There are several ways to protect yourself against STDs, with the first being to practice safe sex by using condoms.

31% of people admit that they’ve had overlapping intimate partners at one point in their lives. It’s also useful if you stick to having one sexual partner at a time because when you become intimate with more than one person, it makes it challenging to know who you got an STD from.

Another way to protect yourself against STDs is to have physical exams performed annually. By doing this, you can ensure that any issues you have are taken care of and treated accordingly.

If you’re old enough to be sexually active, you’ve got to remember that you’re responsible for your sexual health as well. Being sexually healthy means taking care of your body and treating STDs if you have them.

It’s also not fair to those you’re intimate with if you don’t take care of yourself by getting tested for STDs.

Know When to Get STD Testing

When answering the question of how often should you get checked for STDs, the simple answer is every couple of months or before you enter into an intimate relationship with a new partner. Several STDs are common for people to get, including gonorrhea.

But as we mentioned, if you don’t get treated for it as soon as possible, it can lead to pelvic issues. If you’re experiencing pelvic floor problems, contact Dr. Peter M. Lotze.

If you’re still not comfortable setting up your appointment, check out some of the past client testimonials that will vouch for the quality care provided by Dr. Lotze.

UTI: Symptoms, Causes, and Treatment

A Urinary Tract Infection, more commonly known as UTI, is an infection in any part of your urinary system. A UTI can affect your kidneys, bladders, ureters, and urethra. Most people afflicted by UTI are affected in the lower part of their urinary tract, namely, the urethra and the bladder.

Women have a more significant risk of developing UTIs than men. Many experts say that the risk of developing a UTI at least once in your life can be as high as one in every two women. Many women who do develop UTIs may face recurring infections that can even persist for years. Men can also develop UTIs, but their chances of getting a UTI in their lifetime is one in every ten men.

UTI problems can range from being uncomfortable and annoying to being dangerous if you leave it untreated. This post will discuss the symptoms of UTIs, the different types and causes, and how you can reduce your chances of getting one.

Some UTI Symptoms You Can Expect

Depending on the UTI, you can experience one or more symptoms. Here are some of the most common symptoms of UTI:

  • A frequent urge to urinate, but when you do, very little urine comes out,
  • A burning sensation when you urinate,
  • You may feel very tired and shaky,
  • Strange-smelling urine with a cloudy, dark, or bloody coloration,
  • Pain or pressure in your lower abdomen or back,
  • Fever or chills and these symptoms indicate that the infection might have also affected your kidneys.

Different Types of UTIs

UTI is effectively an umbrella term for any infection in your urinary tract. You can develop a UTI in different sections of your urinary system, and each type has a different name depending on where you have the infection. The different types of UTI include:

Cystitis

This UTI affects your bladder, and it gives you frequent urges to urinate. It can also cause you bladder pain when you pee. Some people might also experience cloudy or bloody urine along with lower abdomen pain.

Pyelonephritis

This UTI affects the kidneys, and some of the common symptoms of it include nausea, vomiting, fevers, chills, and pain in your upper back or to your side.

Urethritis

This UTI affects your urethra. It can lead to an unusual discharge and causes a burning sensation when you urinate.

What Causes UTIs?

UTIs are one of the most crucial reasons why doctors tell women that they should wipe from the front to back after using the bathroom. This is because the tube that takes the urine from your bladder and excretes it outside the body, the urethra, is close to the anus in women.

Wiping from back to front increases the risk of bacteria from your large intestine reaching your urethra from your anus. Once the bacteria reach your urethra, they may travel up your bladder. Failing to address the infection promptly can allow the infection to reach your kidneys.

Women are more likely to develop UTIs because they have shorter urethras than men. The anatomical difference makes it easier for bacteria to reach their bladder. In many cases, having sexual intercourse can also introduce bacteria into your urinary tract.

Women can develop UTIs due to other reasons. Some women are genetically dispositioned to develop UTIs. The shape of their urinary tracts can put them at a greater risk of getting an infection. Women with diabetes are also more likely to develop a UTI. The medical condition weakens their immune system, making it more challenging to fight off the infections.

Some other factors that can increase your chances of developing UTIs include multiple sclerosis, spinal cord injuries, stroke, kidney stones, hormone changes, or anything that can affect urine flow.

Chronic UTIs

When men get UTIs, it is more likely for them to develop another. About one in every five women has a second UTI in their lifetime, while others may face chronic UTIs. In many cases, each infection occurs due to a different bacteria affecting the urinary tract. However, some bacteria can also establish a colony of antibiotic-resistant bacteria that can lead to multiple infections over time.

How to Prevent a UTI

There are several ways to reduce the risk of getting a UTI or keep the infection from occurring again, including:

  • Drinking a lot of water.
  • Showering instead of bathing.
  • Wiping from front to back after using the toilet.
  • Urinating as early as possible when you feel the urge and ensuring that you empty your bladder each time.
  • Cleaning your genital area after having sex.
  • Keeping your genital area dry by wearing loose-fitting clothes and cotton underwear to avoid trapping moisture.

Do You Have Symptoms of a UTI?

Are you experiencing any of the symptoms of a UTI? When treated properly and promptly, lower urinary tract infections rarely lead to complications. But leaving UTIs untreated can have serious consequences for your health. From developing recurrent infections to an increased risk in pregnant women delivering low birth weight or premature infants, and even sepsis, the complications can be dire.

You should consult with your doctor if you have any of the signs of a UTI without delay. Peter Lotze M.D. is a urogynecologist who specializes in female pelvic medicine and reconstructive surgery. He is also one of the first urogynecologists in the country to become board certified in female pelvic medicine and reconstructive surgery.

He specializes in the evaluation and treatment of female pelvic health and urinary tract problems. At our practice, we address your vaginal health with meticulousness and care. Schedule an appointment with Peter Lotze to ensure that you can properly and promptly address your UTI and other female health issues.

Natural Remedies for Vaginal Dryness

Are you suffering from vaginal dryness? Vaginal atrophy is one of the most significant complaints made by women going through menopause. It is second only to hot flushes.

Vaginal dryness is a distressing condition that can result in pain and itchiness for women going through it. The considerable discomfort caused by vaginal atrophy can become highly problematic and even lead to a stop in any intimacy within a relationship.

When women go through menopause, they experience several changes in their bodies, including tissue changes. The vaginal mucous membranes start becoming thinner, and the vaginal walls can lose their elasticity. These changes occur due to reduced estrogen and androgen levels brought about by menopause.

Many women can experience significant discomfort due to these changes, including soreness, itchiness, burning sensations, pain, and even bleeding during intercourse. Cystitis is also a condition they can face due to persistent vaginal dryness. If you want relief from vaginal atrophy, there are several lubricants that you can purchase. Additionally, there are a few effective natural remedies for vaginal dryness that can help ease the symptoms.

6 Natural Remedies for Vaginal Dryness

If you are not too keen on using lubricants or you prefer finding a more natural solution to the problem, here are some of the most effective home remedies you can try to address vaginal dryness.

1. Increasing Vitamin C intake

A diet with vitamin C-rich fruits and vegetables can be an excellent natural remedy for vaginal dryness. Vitamin C is anecdotally known for improving your eyesight. However, this essential nutrient can also help relieve you from vaginal atrophy. Vitamin C has a crucial role in collagen formation in our bodies. Collagen is essential for strong and healthy skin throughout our body, including the vagina.

Ideally, you should consider adding more vitamin C-rich fruits and vegetables. If it is not possible to add more vitamin C-rich foods, you can consider taking vitamin C-containing supplements to increase your intake.

2. Increasing Vitamin E intake

One of the reasons for vaginal dryness for women going through menopause is reduced estrogen levels. Increasing your vitamin E intake can help improve estrogen stability in your body. According to research, vitamin E plays an important role in estrogen stability. The result could be improvements in menopause symptoms, including vaginal dryness.

Vitamin E also helps maintain flexibility in our blood vessels, allowing improved blood circulation throughout the body. With better blood circulation, the vaginal tissues can receive adequate amounts of nutrients necessary to enhance the flexibility and moisture levels of vaginal walls.

Vitamin E can gradually affect tissue recovery and ease painful intercourse because it can heal the wounds caused by atrophy. Vitamin E can stimulate the vaginal mucosa and prevent infections. You can purchase vitamin E oil capsules, open them, and squeeze them on your fingers to apply directly to the skin inside the vagina.

You should ask your healthcare provider for advice on how to get the best use out of vitamin E capsules for your vaginal health.

3. Use Sea Buckthorn oil

Sea Buckthorn oil can be another exceptional natural remedy for vaginal dryness. The oil is derived from an orange berry-like fruit that grows on sea buckthorn shrubs. It has long been used in Chinese medicines for its beneficial effects.

The oil is rich in omega-7 essential fats. These fats are an important structural part of the mucous membrane that lines the vaginal walls. You can apply the oil to regenerate these membranes to keep the vaginal tract well-lubricated and healthy.

A double-blind study involving postmenopausal women found that sea buckthorn oil intake can increase the vaginal mucus membrane’s integrity, improving flexibility and natural lubrication.

4. Adding Red Clover to your diet

Reduced estrogen levels in menopausal women can cause decreased libido, vaginal dryness, and painful sexual intercourse. There is another natural remedy for vaginal dryness that can increase estrogen levels. Red clover is a herb that belongs to the legumes family of plants.

The herb is known to be rich in isoflavones, known to be beneficial for female hormone levels. These phytoestrogens are plant molecules with a similar structure to estrogen. They can mimic natural estrogen in the body to help our bodies regain the hormone balance.

Adding red clovers to your diet can help you increase your estrogen levels and reduce symptoms of vaginal atrophy and irritation.

5. Agnus Castus herb

Agnus Castus is another herb used widely to treat female hormone problems. The berries of this plant contain flavonoids known to affect estrogen receptors in our bodies positively. They are considered to regulate hormone levels indirectly.

The herb is also known as an adaptogen. It means that Agnus Castus can raise estrogen levels when they are low and reduce estrogen activity when it is too high. This normalizing effect can help you regain the balance in your hormone levels, possibly improving symptoms related to vaginal dryness.

6. Adding Flaxseeds to your diet

Flaxseeds are derived from a plant known for its health benefits. It is an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids and plant lignans. The chemical structure of the plant lignan compound is similar to the estradiol hormone. These compounds can have an estrogenic effect.

Lignans are phytoestrogens that can bind to estrogen receptors in our body to increase the production of compounds that regulate natural estrogen levels. Several studies have observed the beneficial effects of flaxseeds on vaginal atrophy in menopausal women.

A study found that flaxseed showed beneficial effects on hot flash frequency and intensity. It also showed estrogenic effects, showing promising signs of its effectiveness in addressing menopausal symptoms, including vaginal atrophy.

Are You Seeking Help for Vaginal Dryness?

Vaginal dryness can be quite uncomfortable. Depending on how bad it is, vaginal atrophy can affect your quality of life. We can provide you with all the help you need to regain the natural lubrication and an improved overall vaginal health.

Peter Lotze understands the unique requirements of each patient. You can learn more about what you can expect during your first medical visit with us. Once you are satisfied, you can contact us to schedule an appointment so we can provide you with the most suitable solution for your vaginal health.