A urogynecologist is a doctor who concentrates on diagnosing and treating various conditions of a woman’s pelvic organs plus the surrounding tissues and muscles. They may also perform reconstructive surgery. They treat conditions such as incontinence and prolapse of the pelvic organs.
What is the difference between a urogynecologist and a urologist?
The biggest difference between the two is that a urogynecologist only treats women, while a urologist may treat both sexes. While a urologist also works on the urinary system and genitals, they don’t work on the pelvic floor.
The two specialists both undergo somewhat different educations. Both go to medical school, but the aspiring urogynecologist is first trained as a gynecologist, while the urology candidate is not. After securing their degree in gynecology, the urogynecology candidate then undertakes a fellowship that lasts at least three years. During this time, the candidate studies surgical procedures for reconstructing the pelvic floor, treatments for incontinence and other related matters.
What is the pelvic floor?
The pelvic floor is the network of muscles, tissues and ligaments that support the excretory and reproductive organs. If the pelvic floor becomes weakened, it can lead to conditions like pelvic organ prolapse, in which one or more organs drop from their normal position and press down on the vagina.
Pelvic floor disorders and incontinence are both often caused by things that damage the muscles, tissues or nerves. Such damage can be caused by childbirth, obesity, surgery, aging and chronic diseases. Smoking can also increase the risk of incontinence.
Childbirth is the most common cause of pelvic floor prolapse. Large babies, prolonged labor and extensive use of instruments during delivery also increase the chances of a pelvic floor prolapse
What happens during a first visit to a urogynecologist?
During your first visit to our office, we will take your medical history to learn the best ways we can help you. This will also be your first chance to talk about any symptoms you may have been experiencing.
We may also conduct a physical exam depending on the nature of your problem. For example, if you visit us for urinary incontinence, we can conduct tests to evaluate the workings of your bladder. These exams will help us provide you with the best treatment options for your problem.
What are Kegel exercises?
Kegel exercises, also known as pelvic floor muscle training, are a series of exercises done to strengthen the pelvic floor. They are often prescribed as a way to treat or prevent pelvic floor disorders, especially urinary incontinence. Dr. Thomas can give you information on how to do these exercises properly and effectively.
Your feminine health is personal and important. That’s why you should only trust an expert to care for it. Dr. Sherry Thomas has been helping women with their urogynecological concerns for over twenty years. If you are looking for professional care for your situation or simply want to maintain your health, schedule an appointment with the office of Dr. Sherry Thomas in Agoura Hills today.