Of the many health issues that exist, there are some which directly affect women only. Over the decades, this face has resulted in many services specializing in women’s healthcare becoming increasingly available and accessible. There are many different kinds of specialists focused on women’s health, treating issues ranging from heart disease, to pregnancy difficulties, all the way to breast and ovarian cancers. The most common and well-known of these are obstetrician and gynecology specialists, which focus on the health of women’s pelvic organs and reproductive systems. In recent years, however, increasing numbers of women have been requesting the services of a new women’s health specialty called urogynecology.
Urogynecology is a women’s health specialty that combines the knowledge and functions of obstetrics, gynecology, as well as urology. While it is so that urologists do treat both male and female urinary-tract health issues, the addition of obstetrics and gynecology studies means that urogynecologists focus only on the health issues affecting women’s urinary, pelvic, and reproductive organs and systems. Urogynecology was only recently established as a sub-specialty between the years 2011 and 2013, and as such is still a relatively new area of health study and treatment. Yet, because of the specific health issues that it focuses on, as well as the numbers of women that are affected by these issues, urogynecology treatments have quickly become very important and helpful in the realm of women’s health.
Urogynecologists are trained to specifically evaluate and treat the varying conditions that affect women’s pelvic organs, as well as conditions that affect the muscles and connective tissue that support these organs. Some of the conditions they will treat include pelvic or bladder pain, other issues relating to emptying the bladder or rectum, pelvic prolapse and fistulas, and urinary or fecal incontinence. These issues can result from a variety of causes, ranging from childbirth, to menopause, to general aging, to even the effects of other medical or surgical treatments. Even more, the conditions that urogynecologists treat affect 1 out of every 4 women, which exceeds the numbers of women who suffer from diabetes or depression.
When treating these various conditions, a urogynecologist may utilize three main approaches to treatment, depending on the specific type and severity of the condition. Where it is evaluated that certain behavioral factors relating to diet, exercise, or environment are the causes of a condition, a behavioral approach to treatment may be utilized. In other cases, the urogynecologist may utilize a pharmacological approach to treatment and prescribe various pharmaceutical medicines. With those conditions and cases that are more serious, a urogynecologist may determine that a surgical approach to treatment is best.
While it is still a new field of medicine, urogynecology has been proven to be a crucial and valuable force in helping countless women attain better states of health and well-being in their lives. It is necessary for women who are experiencing issues relating to their pelvic and reproductive systems get a referral from their physician or ob/gyn to get an evaluation from an experienced urogynecologist.