Urogynecologists and How Do They Differ from Your OB-Gynecologists

Doctors referred to as urogynecologists, or urogyns, receive special training to diagnose and treat women dealing with pelvic floor disorders. Even as your primary care physician, OB/GYN, or urologist may studied these conditions, a urogyn offers greater expertise. Ask your physician for a referral to a urogyn if you are having issues with prolapse, or fecal or urinary incontinence. Also, if you have difficulty emptying your bladder or bowel, or if you have any kind of pelvic or bladder pain, a urogyn can help.

Defining a Urogynecologist

Urogynecologists are graduates of medical school and a residency in Obstetrics and Gynecology or Urology. These physicians are specialists who had extensive training and experience in assessing and treating conditions involving the female pelvic organs, including the muscles and connective tissue within and around them. Urogynecologists generally go through formal fellowships (more training after residency) that deals with non-cancerous gynecologic issues, either through surgery or non-surgical treatment. 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

S. As a requirement for maintaining their certification, urogyns engage in ongoing education as a way to stay current in terms of their knowledge.

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). Or it can also mean that the doctor has passed exams given by the American Osteopathic Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology (AOBOG) and the American Osteopathic Association (AOA). Whatever the case, board certification is your only assurance that the physician is a tried and true urogynecology specialist.

It was in 2013 when the first ABOG/ABU board certification exams were administered. Doctors who completed their training beyond 2012 must have gained their board certification eligibility through an accredited fellowship. 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 someone who will not only be a competent urogynecologist but also a medical care provider in the truest sense of the term.

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