Urology Plus Gynecology: What Is a UroGYN?
Is your leaky bladder preventing you from living a normal life? 1 in 4 women suffers from this condition but are too embarrassed to get it checked out by a doctor. Even when they go, some doctors are not specialized in specific matters of pelvic region organ disorders. There’s more to it than the simple factor of age. If you’re struggling with your pelvic disorder, it’s time to see a uroGYN.
Keep reading to find out what they do.
What Is Urogynecology?
Urogynecology is the combined specialties of gynecology and urology. It’s a direct focus of women’s health, specifically female pelvic medicine, and treats conditions that include the pelvic organs.
In general cases of female pelvic disorders, a general practice doctor, such as an OB/GYN, can provide urogynecology services, but will more often directly refer to the specialists for ongoing and complicated issues.
It’s a new specialty, which has only been around for a few years, but any professional urogynecologist in the field would have studied both gynecology and urology to get to where they are today.
Conditions That Warrant a Visit to the Urogynecologist
Urogynecology consists of treating various types of conditions that are grouped under the category of Pelvic Floor Disorders, or PFD. These conditions affect the organs of the pelvic floor and cause things like pelvic floor prolapses, incontinence, and UTIs.
Incontinence, or urinary incontinence, is a condition that causes a loss of bladder control. Each person affected by this will vary in severity and triggers that cause it. So while one person complains of some leaking, others may have difficulty making it to the toilet at all.
There are several types of incontinence to note:
- Overflow Incontinence is the frequent release of urine
- Urge Incontinence is when the urge to urinate builds and is sudden, which results in a loss of control
- Stress Incontinence is when urine is released from the force of a sneeze, a laugh, exercise, a cough, or even lifting heavy items
Incontinence is more common in female patients than males, with certain causes only being limited to women.
What Causes Incontinence?
The cause of incontinence relates to several factors, but some of the main risks include:
- Vaginal Labor and Childbirth
- Chronic Levels of Constipation
- Diuretic Medicine
A person experiencing incontinence may be in the groupings of one or more of these. But you and your urogynecologist work together to pinpoint the main cause to seek the best solution.
Pelvic Organ Prolapse
You may need to directly visit a urogynecologist if you feel as though you have a pelvic organ prolapse. This condition involves the slipping of the pelvic organs from their original positions into the bulge of the vagina.
The organs affected can be the uterus, bladder, bowel, and even the top of the vagina. This condition is quite painful but not life-threatening if you allow your urogynecologist to treat it accordingly.
Pelvic Organ Prolapse Causes
Similar to Incontinence, childbirth, and your health-based conditions (weight, smoking, etc.) all play a role in the risk of pelvic organ prolapse. But if you recently had a pelvic-related injury, you could be imposed on this condition as well.
Frequent Urinary Tract Infections
If you suffer from recurring UTI’s it’s in your best interest to see a urogynecologist right away. Bacterial infection is the main cause of this condition and without mediation, can continue to worsen in your bladder, urethra, and kidneys.
Suffering from an overactive bladder also warrants a quick stop at your local urogynecologist’s office. Overactive bladders involuntarily squeeze its muscles, and as a result, you’ll constantly feel the need to urinate, even when the bladder isn’t full.
Several causes, like age and gender, certainly play a role, but underlying health conditions are also very much a concern when checked out by a urogynecologist.
Urogynecology Treatment Methods
Though they affect the same region of the body, each condition is treated based on the variables of the patient’s medical history and lifestyle. A urogynecologist could prescribe any of these treatments or procedures.
If you exhibit certain signs and symptoms, your urogynecologist will want to test you for a definitive diagnosis. Some tests you may undergo will include:
- A Cystoscopy: A test in which a doctor uses a tube camera to examine the bladder
- Urodynamic Evaluation: A series of measurements of the bladder and urethra for assessment
- A Bladder Biopsy: A process that involves taking a small piece of bladder and examining it under a microscope
From here, your specialty doctors will relay the results and make an action plan of others treatments to resolve your condition.
Non-Surgical Action Plans
For patients diagnosed with either incontinence or pelvic organ prolapse, your urogynecologist may recommend non-surgical treatment plans as an alternative to surgery. Their main goal is to make the symptoms manageable to live with rather than fully cure.
They can include treatments like:
- Lifestyle and Behavior Changes
- Nerve Stimulation
- Physical Therapy
If after trying these, you feel or see little results, your urogynecologist will then provide you with surgical options.
Surgical Action Plans
In the cases of incontinence and pelvic organ prolapse, you may undergo one or multiple procedures from this list. Some surgical procedures consist of:
- Prolapse Repairing
- Pelvic Organ Sling Placement
- Damage Repairing Surgery
- Pelvic Floor Reconstruction
When Should You See a Urogynecologist?
Any physical or internal symptoms of pain and discomfort should be thoroughly examined by a practicing urogynecologist. Some of those symptoms include difficulty urinating, leaking, vaginal bulges, and many other similar feelings.
Book Your UroGYN Appointment Today
With the advancement of medicine, a new specialty has risen to better treat those suffering from pelvic organ disorders. Peter M Lotz MD and his team of experts specialize in UroGYN care and will help assess and give you the treatment you need.