If you are experiencing ongoing pain or other problems with your bladder, bowels, or pelvic floor muscles, you may need to see a urogynecologist. Urogynecology is a branch of gynecology that specializes in the surgical treatment of these types of conditions.
Most patients do not begin their treatment with a urogynecologist. They are often referred to a specialist after their general gynecologist determines that more advanced treatment or surgery is necessary for a condition that has worsened or failed to improve over time.
What can you expect from an appointment with a urogynecologist? In this post, we ar going to discuss what urogynecology is, what types of conditions are treated by urogynecologists, and what you can expect from your first appointment.
When Should You See a Urogynecologist?
There are a number of reasons why you might need to see a urogynecologist. If you are experiencing incontinence (leaking urine), pelvic prolapse (a condition in which the organs of the pelvis fall out of place), or pain in the pelvic region, these may be signs that you need to see a urogynecologist.
Your regular gynecologist may refer you to a urogynecologist if they suspect that you have a condition that requires surgical treatment. Urogynecologists are trained in both gynecology and urology, which gives them the unique ability to treat conditions affecting the bladder, bowel, and pelvic floor muscles.
Some examples of scenarios where receiving treatment from a urogynecologist might be recommended can include:
Your Condition Has Not Improved Following Nonsurgical Treatments
If you have been trying to treat your condition with lifestyle changes, medication, or physical therapy without success, an appointment with a urogynecologist may be recommended. In these cases, surgical intervention may be required if other forms of treatments have not led to progress or complete relief from symptoms.
For example, incontinence issues are often first treated through medication or lifestyle adjustments. Should these methods not aid in managing or relieving symptoms, your gynecologist may refer you to a urogynecologist to examine further and decide if more advanced treatments are necessary.
You Are Experiencing Pelvic Pain
Pelvic pain can be caused by a number of different conditions. If you are experiencing chronic or intense pelvic pain, a urogynecologist will be able to determine the cause and provide you with more specialized treatment as well as perform any operations if surgery is necessary.
You Need Surgery for Endometriosis or Fibroids
If you have been diagnosed with endometriosis or fibroids, a urogynecologist can offer you surgical treatment options. Endometriosis occurs when the bodily tissue that forms the lining of the uterus grows outside of the uterus. Fibroids are a form of noncancerous growths that develop in or on the uterus.
For many people, these conditions can cause intense pain and endometriosis can lead to other complications like infertility. Those experiencing these symptoms can often find much-needed relief following surgical intervention.
You Are Experiencing Vaginal Prolapse or Pain
If you are experiencing pain in the vagina following intercourse or bowel movements, this could indicate a potential prolapse. Prolapse can also produce feelings of fullness in the vagina as well as an aching feeling.
If you believe you are experiencing prolapse, it is important to seek treatment as soon as possible as this condition can worsen over time if left untreated.
Can a Gynecologist Provide These Services?
Yes, a general gynecologist can often perform the repairs and treatments needed for the symptoms and underlying conditions above. In some cases, however, your gynecologist may also refer you to a specialist for this treatment.
What to Expect From Your Appointment
When you see a gynecologist or urogynecologist for the first time, they will likely ask you about your symptoms and medical history. They may also perform a physical exam, which can include a pelvic exam.
If your doctor suspects that you have a condition that requires surgical treatment, they may order additional tests, such as a bladder function test or pelvic ultrasound. These tests will also help them determine whether or not the surgical intervention will be required at a later date.
After your urogynecologist has evaluated your symptoms and medical history, they will develop a treatment plan that is tailored to your needs. In some cases, surgery may be the best option. However, there are also nonsurgical treatments available for conditions like incontinence and pelvic prolapse.
When you arrive at your appointment, be sure to ask your doctor any questions that you have related to treating the condition you are visiting their office for. It is important that you understand all of your treatment options before making any decisions.
Get Gynecology and Urogynecology Treatment in Idaho Falls
At OB/GYN Associates of Idaho Falls, we provide the most complete women’s healthcare in the Idaho Falls region, including both gynecology and urogynecology. If you are experiencing any of the conditions mentioned above or similar symptoms, make an appointment with us today or contact us online for more information.