Most women visit their gynecologist once a year, but what about a urogynecologist? If you are wondering what a urgogynecologist does or if it’s time to see one, read the question and answers below. We uncover the differences to help you decide.
Q: Does a urogynecologist replace an OB-GYN?
A: You can see a urogynecologist for your annual exam, as they perform PAP tests and well-woman exams in the office. Most women are referred to a urogyncecologist once they learn they have specific issues that a gynecologist does not directly treat, such as urinary incontinence, heaving bleeding, fibroid IC or other painful female issues.
Q: What are the treatments for urinary incontinence?
A: There are many treatments, including minor surgical options, muscle reconditioning, medications and even devices that can be put in place in-office. All these treatments can help lessen your symptoms. Many women are embarrassed to talk about these issues, but this is not a problem they have to suffer with in silence. A good urogyn practice will educate women about what treatments are available to them not just for urinary incontinence but all urogynecological issues. In women it can be caused by trauma to the pelvis from childbirth or from age. How it is caused will help determine what treatments are available. The most important thing is that there is a solution.
Q: I know I’m supposed to do Kegel exercises but I’m too busy. Is there anything out there that can help?
A: Kegels alone are not very successful. With the help of a pelvic floor rehab program and a trained full-time rehab specialist, patients can better understand how to control these muscles. Through age and childbirth, a woman’s pelvic floor can become weakened. Seek a practice that offers pelvic/Kegel rehab to help you strengthen these very unique and important muscles.
Q: What kind of treatment do you offer to lessen heavy periods?
A: There are many medications that can help, but for women who are done having children, endometrial ablation is a good choice. ThermaChoice, a uterine balloon ablation system, is more effective and has fewer long-term side effects than other options on the market.
Q: I’m healthy and just need a caring physician for my annual visits. I also have very private things to talk about, and I’m afraid to share my real issues. It seems like I’m another number to the doctor. How can I make going to the doctor less stressful?
A: If you want to take the stress out of going to the doctor, look for a board-certified urogynecologist with lots of experience who likes to teach and makes you feel cared for, listened to and respected. The doctor should be double-board certified in OB-GYN and urogynecology. Most times, gynecologists will have to refer you to a urogynecologist as they are the ultimate gynecological physicians.