Here at Love Wellness, we preach to our customers to #takecaredownthere, but sometimes navigating our situation down below can be challenging. As females, we are all familiar with the common culprits that can disrupt our daily vaginal heath. But what about these less talked about things, like peeing yourself during exercise, painful sex, or bladder infections that never seem to go away? These problems can often lead to embarrassment, frustration, and isolation. But ladies, you are not alone and we are here to help! There is a whole field of gynecology that is dedicated specifically to treating pelvic floor disorders.
But what's a pelvic floor disorder? Your pelvic floor is like a hammock of muscles, ligaments, and connective tissue located in the lowest part of your pelvis. It helps keeps your organs, including the bladder, uterus, vagina, and rectum in place and helps these organs function properly. Pelvic floor disorders are a group of conditions that affect the pelvic floor. Common types of pelvic floor disorders include pelvic organ prolapse (dropping of the vagina, uterus, bladder, or rectum), urinary incontinence or bladder leakage, and fecal incontinence.
Many women aren't aware that pelvic floor disorders affect around 40% of women during their lifetime and 20% of women go on to have surgery to treat these issues. Pelvic floor disorders can affect any woman at any age, but often people notice symptoms after a pregnancy, during menopause, or with old age.
Urogynecology, also known as Female Pelvic Medicine and Reconstructive Surgery, is a board-certified subspecialty within Obstetrics and Gynecology and Urology. Urogynecologists complete residency in Ob-Gyn or Urology and then undergo additional years of training (a fellowship) in the evaluation and treatment of pelvic floor disorders. Urogynecologists are trained in various types of vaginal and minimally-invasive surgery. Some of the common things that urogynecologists treat include pelvic organ prolapse, urinary incontinence, fecal incontinence, sexual dysfunction, recurrent urinary tract infections, and pelvic pain.
If you find yourself wondering whether you need to see a urogynecologist, just ask your Ob-Gyn. They can refer you to a urogynecologist, or you can find one in your area if you identify with any of the above issues. Many urogynecologists also work closely on a team with pelvic floor physical therapists, urologists, and sex therapists to provide a multi-disciplinary approach to treating each patient.
At Love Wellness we are firm believers in empowering women with the information they need to achieve the best level of total body care. As always, the more you know, the more power to the vagina!
Dr. Shweta Pai
Fellow, Female Pelvic Medicine and Reconstructive Surgery
Dr. Pai is originally from Toledo, Ohio and graduated from Washington University in St. Louis in 2009. She then obtained her medical degree from the University of Toledo College of Medicine where she was inducted into the Gold Humanism Honors Society and named an outstanding student in Obstetrics and Gynecology. She subsequently completed her residency in Obstetrics and Gynecology at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas where she served as an administrative chief resident and was honored as resident of the year. She is now pursuing additional training as a fellow in Female Pelvic Medicine and Reconstructive Surgery in Houston. Dr. Pai is interested in educating women on the many aspects of pelvic floor disorders and believes in using a multidisciplinary approach to treating each woman with individualized care.