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Pelvic floor issues like incontinence and prolapse can feel isolating, but they are more common than you think. Talking to your OB/GYN or primary care provider about your symptoms can help determine if a urogynecologist is recommended to help improve your condition. Urogynecologists are specialists trained in diagnosing and treating women with urinary and fecal incontinence, pelvic organ prolapse and other pelvic floor disorders.
“Bladder control issues or discomfort in your pelvic area, may be indicators that you should see a urogynecologist,” said Adam S. Holzberg, D.O., urogynecologist at Inspira Medical Group. “A urogynecologist can help identify what’s causing your symptoms and develop a personalized treatment plan to address your pelvic issues, and ultimately improve your quality of life.” Here’s what you can expect at your first urogynecology appointment.
Review of medical history
Before diagnosing and treating your condition, your urogynecologist needs to understand your medical history, including past events that may have affected your pelvic floor. Your medical past helps your doctor diagnose your condition and develop your treatment plan, so be prepared to share this information on the day of your appointment. Topics your doctor might ask you about include family history, past births and pelvic surgeries, lifestyle and diet questions.
Discussion of symptoms
“Your urogynecologist will also want to hear about your symptoms, when they occur and how they’re affecting you,” said Dr. Holzberg. “Having an open conversation about your symptoms can be uncomfortable, but giving your doctor as many details as possible can help them quickly diagnose your condition and find the most effective treatment options.”
Your urogynecologist may ask you to elaborate further on your symptoms, such as incontinence or leakage, pelvic pain or pressure, vaginal bulges, constipation and diarrhea.
After learning more about your medical history and the symptoms you’re experiencing, your urogynecologist will perform a pelvic exam similar to your regular gynecologist. Depending on your condition and symptoms, they may also perform additional testing to confirm your diagnosis.
Depending on your symptoms and the findings during your visit, your urogynecologist may recommend additional testing. For instance, if you’re concerned about bladder leakage, your provider may suggest a cystoscopy, which is a procedure that uses a tiny camera to look inside your bladder. They might also suggest urodynamic testing to better assess your bladder function.
Diagnosis and treatment plan
“After diagnosing your condition, your urogynecologist will work with you to develop a comprehensive treatment plan to address your symptoms and their underlying cause,” said Dr. Holzberg. “Depending on your condition, treatments may involve lifestyle modifications, physical therapy, vaginal devices or even surgery. There are plenty of options, and you have control to make the decision that is best for you. Sometimes that means doing nothing at all.”
Are you ready to address your bladder or pelvic floor disorder? Find a urogynecology specialist and schedule an appointment today.
Inspira Health is a high reliability organization (HRO), which means safety is the top priority for patients and staff. To make an appointment, call 1-800-INSPIRA.