Urogynecology (official name: Female Pelvic Medicine and Reconstructive Surgery) is a subspecialty within Obstetrics and Gynecology. It is dedicated to the evaluation and treatment of disorders of the pelvic floor in women.
Urogynecologists have completed medical school and a residency in Obstetrics and Gynecology. They become specialists with additional training and experience in the study and treatment of conditions that affect the female pelvic organs. Many have completed formal accredited fellowships (additional training after residency) that focused on the surgical and non-surgical treatment of pelvic floor disorders. We encourage you to feel comfortable asking about the training and expertise (and Board Certification in Female Pelvic Medicine and Reconstructive Surgery) of any doctor caring for you.
So what are the pelvic floor disorders (“PFDs”)? The pelvic floor is a set of muscles, ligaments and connective tissue that provides support for a woman’s pelvic organs (bladder, uterus, vagina, and rectum). The pelvic floor is important in keeping these organs in their proper place as well as in making them function properly.
Women with a weakened pelvic muscles or ligaments may have trouble controlling their bladder and bowels. They can experience leakage of urine, bowel gas or stool, difficulty emptying their bladder or having a bowel movement or overactive bladder. Some women can also feel or see tissue coming out of the opening of their vagina. This can be a prolapsing uterus or vagina (pelvic organ prolapse). It is also possible to experience several of these problems at the same time.
While primary care physicians, general gynecologists and general urologists can start the evaluation and initial treatment of PFDs, if the diagnosis is not clear, if you experience several pelvic floor problems at the same time, if the initial approach has not helped or if a surgery is considered as treatment, we recommend that you are evaluated by a Fellowship-trained Urogynecologist, with Board Certification in Female Pelvic Medicine and Reconstructive Surgery.
Alejandro Treszezamsky, MD