Doctors referred to as urogynecologists, or urogyns, receive special training to diagnose and treat women dealing with pelvic floor disorders. While your primary care physician, OB/GYN, or urologist may be knowledgeable about such conditions, a urogyn provides more expertise. Ask your physician for a referral to a urogyn if you are having issues with prolapse, or fecal or urinary incontinence. As well, if you have trouble with bladder or bowel movement, or if you have bladder or pelvic pain, a urogyn can definitely help.
Defining a Urogynecologist
Urogynecologists are medical doctors who have completed residency program in Obstetrics and Gynecology or Urology. These physicians are specialists who received additional training and experience in evaluating and treating problems of the female pelvic organs, as well as all supporting muscles and connective tissue. Many urogynecologists complete formal fellowships (more training following residency) that concentrate on treating non-cancerous gynecologic issues with or without surgery. Urinary incontinence, prolapse of a pelvic organ (for example, vagina or uterus), and bladder overactivity are typical problems a urogynecologist treats.
Female Pelvic Medicine and Reconstructive Surgery
received their board certification. As part of the requirements of maintaining their status as certified urogyns, these doctors take ongoing education courses to keep their knowledge current.
Board Certified Urogynecologist or Female Pelvic Medicine and Reconstructive Surgeon
If a physician claims he is board-certified in Female Pelvic Medicine and Reconstructive Surgery, that means he has passed exams conducted by the American Board of Obstetrics & Gynecology (ABOG) and the American Board of Urology (ABU). Alternatively, the doctor may have passed exams conducted by the American Osteopathic Association (AOA) and the American Osteopathic Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology (AOBOG). Whatever the case, board certification is your only assurance that the physician is a tried and true urogynecology specialist.
The first ever ABOG/ABU board certification exams were given in 2013. Doctors who finished their training after 2012 usually participated in an accredited fellowship as a requirement board exam eligibility. As mentioned, the first urogynecology board exams were conducted by the AOA/AOBOG in 2012.
As always, make it a point to ask regarding a urogynecologist’s training and expertise before you decide to put yourself in their care. Although you will find many equally credentialed urogynecologists these days, there will always remain a few nuances that you should find out before becoming their patient. Create a shortlist of prospects and spend time doing some research. This can go a long way in finding a urogynecologist who is not only competent but will also treat you a person instead of just a case.