Urinary Incontinence and Pelvic Organ Prolapse
Urinary incontinence (the involuntary leakage of urine) is a very common condition affecting between 30 and 50 percent of women over the course of their lifetime. Some women encounter problems after childbirth, while others develop issues later in life. Treatments include pelvic muscle physical therapy, dietary modification, behavior modification, non-surgical devices, urethral injections, medications and reconstructive surgical management.
Prolapse is another common issue in which a woman’s pelvic organs are displaced from their normal position, resulting in a vaginal bulge or a feeling of pelvic heaviness or fullness.
Development of prolapse can occur quickly, but generally it progresses over the course of many years. We routinely recommend three treatment options for pelvic prolase after a physical exam and appropriate evaluation by a physician 1) no treatment if the symptoms are tolerable and there are no other complicating factors, 2) pessary insertion (a rubber device that’s like a diaphragm), or 3) surgical intervention, including uterine preservation surgery or a hysterectomy with vaginal reconstruction to support the falling pelvic organs.
The conditions of prolapse and incontinence frequently occur together. Both conditions result from damage to the pelvic floor caused by childbirth, very heavy lifting on a regular basis, chronic coughing, severe constipation and obesity.
Our urogynecologists are fellowship-trained and have completed three additional years of specialized training in female pelvic medicine and pelvic reconstructive surgery. In the course of their practice, they also treat conditions such as painful intercourse/sexual dysfunction, voiding difficulties/urinary retention, recurrent urinary tract infections or symptoms, overactive bladder, interstitial cystitis and genitourinary fistulas. While surgery is a treatment option for many pelvic conditions, the majority of our patients select non-surgical treatments to manage their issues.