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Do I need to see a urologist or urogynecologist?

There is a lot of confusion about what a urogynecologist is and how it differs from a urologist. The term "gynecologist" already suggests a doctor specifically for women. This makes sense because when we focus on our organs "below the belt," there is a difference between males and females.

2 paths diverge in a wood area

A urogynecologist specializes in treating women with pelvic floor disorders. This means addressing everything related to bladder malfunctioning, prolapse/abnormal descent of genital organs, fecal incontinence, and painful sex. When it comes to the kidneys, such as kidney stones or cancer of the bladder or kidneys, a urologist is the doctor who takes care of these issues.

A urogynecologist is trained to address women's issues with urine/bladder problems, prolapse/abnormal descent of genital organs, bowel incontinence, and painful intercourse, essentially focusing on pelvic floor disorders.

Suppose you have been diagnosed with a dropped bladder (cystocele), rectum bulging into the vagina (rectocele), prolapsing uterus, or after a hysterectomy, a prolapsing small bowel (enterocele). In that case, a urogynecologist is the specialist trained to treat these conditions.

Suppose you suffer from an overactive bladder, stress incontinence, chronic UTIs, trouble emptying the bladder, involuntary stool loss, or require manual help with a bowel movement. In that case, you should look for a urogynecologist.

Nowadays, most urogynecologists are board-certified in Female Pelvic Medicine and Reconstructive Surgery (FPMRS). A fellowship is required after a residency in Obstetrics and Gynecology or Urology to achieve this board certification.

In summary, if you are a woman experiencing issues with fecal or urinary incontinence, prolapse/descent of tissues/organs in the vagina, recurrent bladder infections, or painful intercourse, it is time to seek a urogynecologist.

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