Urogynecology is a subspecialty within Obstetrics and Gynecology and is dedicated to the study and treatment of pelvic floor disorders in women through all stages of life.
Urogynecologists have completed medical school and a four-year residency in Obstetrics and Gynecology, or Urology. These doctors become specialists with additional training and experience in the evaluation and treatment of conditions that affect the female pelvic organs, and the muscles and connective tissue that support the organs.
Methodist Physicians Clinic Women's Center is home to a unique clinic focused entirely on urogynecological services.
Pelvic Floor Disorders
According to the American Urogynecologic Society, more than 50 percent of women age 55 and older suffer one or more of the problems caused by pelvic floor disorders.
The pelvic floor describes the muscles, ligaments and connective tissue that provide support for a woman’s internal organs (including the bowel, bladder, uterus, vagina, and rectum). Not only does the pelvic floor prevent these organs from falling down or out, but it also plays a very important role in making the organs function properly. The brain controls the muscles of the pelvic floor by way of nerves.
Any medical conditions or injuries that impact the health of nerves (such as diabetes, Parkinson’s disease, stroke, back surgery, spinal stenosis, or childbirth trauma for example) can result in weakness of the pelvic floor muscles.
Women with weakness of the pelvic muscles or tears in the connective tissue may begin to have problems controlling their bladder and bowels. They often describe urine leakage (urinary incontinence), bowel gas or stool leakage (anal incontinence), difficulty emptying their bladder (voiding dysfunction), or having a bowel movement (defecatory dysfunction). Some women also feel or see tissue coming out of the opening of their vagina. This can be a prolapsing cervix and uterus or the walls of the vagina.
It is possible to experience one or several of these signs and symptoms of pelvic floor disorders. Help is available. There are many treatments, both surgical and non-surgical, to correct these conditions. Methodist Physicians Clinic houses a special clinic devoted to these conditions, staffed by caring professionals with advanced training in this specialty.