What is a Urogynecologist?
UroGynecology and UroGYNs
Although your primary care physician, OB/GYN, or urologist may have knowledge about these problems, a urogynecologist specializes in these issues and may be able to offer more detailed and advanced treatment options.
Talk with your doctor about a referral to a urogyn if you have problems of prolapse, and/or troublesome urinary or fecal incontinence. Or, if you have problems with emptying the bladder or rectum, pelvic pain or bladder pain, fistulas.
Urogyns dedicate themselves to the study and treatment of pelvic floor disorders in women.
What is a UroGynecologist?
UroGynecologists complete 4 years of medical school and a 4 year residency in Obstetrics and Gynecology and 3 year specialized 3 year fellowship in Female Pelvic Medicine and Reconstructive Surgery aka UroGynecology (see below). These doctors are 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.
Many, though not all, complete formal fellowships (additional training after residency) that focus on the surgical and non-surgical treatment of non-cancerous gynecologic problems. Some of the common problems treated by a uroGynecologist include urinary incontinence or leakage, pelvic organ prolapse (dropping of the vagina, uterus, cystocele, rectocele), and overactive bladder.
What is Female Pelvic Medicine and Reconstructive Surgery?
The American Board of Medical Specialties approved Female Pelvic Medicine and Reconstructive Surgery, also known as urogynecology, as a certified subspecialty in 2011, and the first doctors were board-certified in 2013. Urogynecologists are physicians who complete medical school and a residency in Obstetrics and Gynecology. These physicians are specialists with additional years of fellowship training and certification in Female Pelvic Medicine and Reconstructive Surgery. The training provides expertise in the evaluation, diagnosis, and treatment of conditions that affect the muscles and connective tissue of the female pelvic organs.
Pelvic floor conditions that urogynecologists commonly treat include urinary incontinence, overactive bladder, and pelvic organ prolapse. These physicians are also knowledgeable on the latest research in the field pertaining to these conditions.
What is a Board Certified Urogynecologist or Female Pelvic Medicine and Reconstructive Surgeon?
A physician who has passed an exam from the American Board of Obstetrics & Gynecology and American Board of Urology attesting that they possess exceptional expertise in Female Pelvic Medicine and Reconstructive Surgery. The first board certification exam was in 2013. Physicians who complete training after 2012, also participate in an accredited fellowship in order to be eligible for board certification.
As is always the case, feel free to ask about the training and expertise of any doctor caring for you.