The field of Urogynecology (a subspecialty within Obstetrics and Gynecology) is dedicated to the treatment of women with pelvic floor disorders such as urinary or fecal incontinence and prolapse (bulging or falling) of the vagina, bladder and/or the uterus. After completing a residency in Obstetrics and Gynecology, Urogynecologists complete fellowship training where they spend several years focusing only on these disorders.
* Urinary incontinence (leakage of urine) is a very common condition affecting at least 10-20% of women under age 65 and up to 56% of women over the age of 65. While incontinence also affects men, it occurs much more commonly in women.
* Prolapse simply means displacement from the normal position. When this word is used to describe the female organs, it usually means bulging, sagging or falling. It can occur quickly, but usually happens over the course of many years. On average, 11% of women will undergo surgery for this condition.
* Prolapse and Incontinence frequently occur together. Both conditions are believed to result from damage to the pelvic floor after delivering a baby. Other possible factors in the development of prolapse and incontinence are very heavy lifting on a daily basis (as some paramedics and factory workers might do) chronic coughing, severe constipation and obesity.
Investigation of the complaint includes uroflowmetry, bladder diary, urodynamic testing, and pelvic floor assessment. Treatments cover both conservative and surgical approaches.