Suffering from Bladder or Pelvic Floor Issues? Here’s How a Urogynecologist Can Help   

Suffering from Bladder or Pelvic Floor Issues? Here’s How a Urogynecologist Can Help

Woman with her hands on her lower stomach suffering from bladder issues.

September 07, 2023

Clinical Contributors to this story:
Lauren Tennyson, M.D.

Urogynecology is a subfield of gynecology and obstetrics or urology. Urogynecologists focus on female pelvic medicine and reconstructive surgery, handling issues related to the pelvic floor and bladder. 

What symptoms should I see a urogynecologist for?

Issues involving your pelvic floor can cause symptoms such as urinary symptoms including:

  • going too frequently or urgently
  • a pressure sensation or bulge in the vagina
  • urine or fecal leakage

According to urogynecologist, Lauren Tennyson, M.D., “Bladder or pelvic floor issues can significantly impact a woman’s quality of life. Many women live with these issues for years prior to seeking treatment because of shame or embarrassment. However, these issues are common – nearly one in three women have some type of urine leakage.”

Consult your health care provider about seeing a urogynecologist if you are experiencing:

  • Leaking pee when you cough, exercise or laugh
  • A bulge coming out of your vagina
  • Fullness or aching in the vagina that is worse at the end of the day or during bowel movements
  • Frequent or urgent peeing
  • Frequent urinary tract infections (UTIs)
  • Pain during sexual intercourse
  • Difficulty peeing
  • Pelvic pain

Many of these symptoms may occur due to trauma from childbirth or strenuous activity such as frequent heavy lifting. 

When you see a urogynecologist, be prepared to share details about your medical history and any symptoms you have been experiencing, including how often they occur, what time of day they usually occur and how long they last.

What can a urogynecologist treat?

Urogynecologists can evaluate, diagnose and treat patients for various health issues, including: 

  • Bladder and rectum incontinence
  • Overactive bladder
  • Fistulas 
  • Stress incontinence
  • Prolapse of the uterus, bladder or cervix
  • Interstitial cystitis
  • Urge incontinence
  • Bowel control disorders

What does a typical appointment look like?

  1. Medical history & symptoms: After going over your medical history and symptoms, your urogynecologist will want to know how your symptoms have impacted your everyday life. These questions will help them to better understand how they can help you. 
  2. Examination: Your urogynecologist will conduct an exam similar to a typical gynecologic exam, but more focused on your bladder, uterus, vagina and rectum. The specific targets of the exam are your muscles, ligaments, nerves, connective tissue and organs in the pelvis. 
  3. Testing: Some tests may be involved to check for certain diagnoses such as an evaluation of your bladder health if you are experiencing urinary incontinence.
  4. Treatment: Once the exam is complete your urogynecologist will be able to establish the best course of action for treatment. 

Some examinations could include a test of your pelvic muscle, to test the strength of your pelvic floor and evaluate your bladder area for painful sites. In some cases Kegel exercises can help to prevent or control urinary incontinence and other pelvic floor problems that are discovered through this test.

Next Steps & Resources:

The material provided through HealthU is intended to be used as general information only and should not replace the advice of your physician. Always consult your physician for individual care.


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