If you have been referred to a urogynecologist, you might be wondering what the term means. Those women who have taken advantage of this type of practice know a surgeon that has specialized in urology, gynecology, and obstetrics fits this category. These doctors care for conditions of the pelvic floor, muscles, tissues, and organs of women; many patients seek help after childbirth, strenuous lifting, diseases, and menopause. Most importantly, they work with an established doctor like Dr. Margie Corney to provide comfort and compassion through any illness.
Do They Have The Same Educational Guidelines As An OB/GYN?
Yes, their educational credits are much the same as those of traditional OB/GYN doctors. A person needs to complete college with an emphasis on pre-med to begin their journey. They then go on to medical school and finish with an MD or DO degree. Next, their education consists of a four-year residency in obstetrics, gynecology, and urology. There is more training after residency in which a doctor learns about diagnosing and treatment for conditions related to the pelvic floor. Fellowships are done after residencies, most concentrating on surgical and non-surgical treatments in this specialty. After around seven years of training, they must pass a licensing exam; successful results mean they can start practicing in clinics, hospitals, private practice or turn to research or teaching.
When Should You Visit An Urogynecologist?
There are specific conditions that it would be best to see a urogynecologist; some of these are urinary or fecal incontinence, bladder and pelvic issues, and prolapse. A patient is usually referred by their family physician, ob-gyn or urologist when the issues are affecting normal activities and impacting the lifestyle of the patient.
What Can You Expect From Initial Exam
The appointment will start with the doctor getting a complete medical history; they may ask questions about any previous pregnancies and births. Also, any medical conditions such as constipation, daily activities as well as age and weight will be considered in their overall check. It is important to share any concerns and as many details as possible to make sure the doctor has the whole picture. There will be a pelvic and or a rectal exam; at this time, the doctor may decide other tests are required like a colonoscopy, cystoscopy or ultrasound. They may also order urine analysis and urodynamic testing for the bladder. After the exam is complete, a diagnosis and treatment plan can be developed.
The treatments can be surgical and non-surgical in nature. A doctor will try non-surgical ones first to minimize possible risks as well as unnecessary procedures. The non-surgical choices consist of behavior therapy but can extend into exercises that train the pelvic muscles or training of the bladder overall through lifestyle strategies. Doctors may also choose slings or injections that have worked for incontinence due to stress. Mesh and grafts can also be done as surgical options, but there may be lingering effects. In both cases, additional procedures may be necessary to address any unexpected issues. Of course, your doctor can talk through any option.