Urogynecology is a specialty dedicated to the treatment of disorders of the female pelvic floor. The pelvic floor is a set of muscles, ligaments, and connective tissue in the lowest part of the pelvic that provides support for a woman’s bladder, vagina, uterus, rectum, and bowel.
Pelvic floor disorders occur when women have weakened pelvic muscles or tears in the connective tissue due to excessing strain on the pelvis. Pregnancy and childbirth, repeated strenuous activity, obesity, aging and menopause, chronic diseases, prior pelvic surgery, fibroids or pelvic tumors, and other factors like tobacco use and genetics can also affect the pelvic strength.
What Is Urogynecology?
Urogynecologists or urogyns are doctors that receive special training to diagnose and treat women with these disorders. Some of the common conditions urogynecologists treat include:
- urinary incontinence or leakage
- pelvic organ prolapse (dropping of the vagina, uterus, bladder, and rectum)
- overactive bladder
- fecal incontinence
- vaginal atrophy
- recurrent urinary tract infections
- hormone replacement
- interstitial cystitis
- neurological dysfunction of the bladder and pelvic floor
Urogynecology can also address female sexual dysfunction and painful intercourse. A urogynecologist completes medical school and a residency in Obstetrics and Gynecology or Urology. These physicians are specialists with additional years of fellowship training and certification in Female Pelvic Medicine and Reconstructive Surgery. The training provides expertise in the evaluation, diagnosis, and treatment of conditions that affect the muscles and connective tissue of the female pelvic organs.
What's the Difference Between a Urologist and a Urogynecologist?
When it comes to pelvic health, there are two specialists you might consider visiting: urologists and urogynecologists. While they both focus on conditions that affect the bladder, uterus, and pelvic floor, there are key differences between the two specialties. Here's what you need to know:
A urologist is a physician who specializes in the urinary tract system in both males and females, as well as the male reproductive system. They are trained to diagnose and treat a range of conditions, including:
- Bladder control problems
- Prostate cancer
- Kidney stones
- Erectile dysfunction
- Urinary tract infections
- Urinary incontinence
- Male infertility
A urogynecologist, on the other hand, is a specialist who focuses on pelvic floor disorders in women. They are trained in both gynecology and urology and specialize in conditions such as:
- Urinary and fecal incontinence
- Pelvic organ prolapse
- Bladder pain
- Painful intercourse
- Chronic pelvic pain
Urogynecologists can also provide surgical treatment for these conditions, including pelvic reconstructive surgery and minimally invasive surgical procedures.
Why see a urogynecologist?
If you are experiencing pelvic floor issues that are affecting your quality of life, a urogynecologist can provide a more specialized approach to your care. They can offer a range of treatment options, including physical therapy, medication, and surgery, to improve your symptoms and restore your quality of life.
Ultimately, the difference between a urologist and a urogynecologist lies in their specialized training and focus. While urologists primarily focus on the urinary and reproductive systems, urogynecologists specialize in pelvic floor disorders in women.
If you are unsure which specialist to see for your specific pelvic health concerns, your primary care physician can help guide you in the right direction.
Adult Pediatric Urology & Urogynecology
The attentive, compassionate physicians, providers, and staff at Adult Pediatric Urology & Urogynecology are committed to providing innovative, quality patient care in our state-of-the-art facility.
From screening and prevention to treatment and recovery, our women's clinic Omaha board-certified urogynecologists will be there for you. Our team of dedicated physicians has been serving residents of Nebraska, Iowa, and South Dakota for more than 25 years.