The University of Toledo Medical Center

Obstetrics and Gynecology

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Urogynecology

The field of Urogynecology is a subspecialty within Obstetrics and Gynecology that specializes in caring for women's urology, pelvic problems, and the reproductive system. We our dedicated to the diagnosis, management, and surgical therapy of all urogynecologic conditions, including:

Bladder Control Problems

  • Overactive Bladder: A condition with the bladder function that causes a sudden urge to urinate. Overactive bladder causes a sudden and unstoppable need to urinate (urinary urgency), and can lead to the involuntary loss of urine (incontinence).
    • The symptoms of an overactive bladder include frequent urination, urgency of urination, and urge incontinence.
    • Management and treatment options may include behavioral therapy, medications, devices, and surgery.
    • Risk factors: Overactive bladder is especially common in older adults, but overactive bladder and urge incontinence shouldn't be considered a normal part of aging.
  • Stress Urinary Incontinence: A condition that causes loss of urine when you exert pressure or stress on your bladder when you cough, laugh, exercise, lift something heavy or sneeze. Accidental leaks occur when your sphincter muscle, which acts like a valve to the bladder, is weakened and can not stay closed when there’s pressure in your abdomen.
    • Management and treatment options may include behavioral therapy, medications, devices, and surgery.
    • Risk factors may include age, sex, obesity, smoking, vascular disease, and participating in high impact sports or exercises.

Bowel Control Problems

  • Fecal Incontinence: Sometimes called bowel incontinence, is the inability to control your bowel movements, causing stool to leak unexpectedly from your rectum. Incontinence ranges from an occasional leakage of stool while passing gas to a complete loss of bowel control.
    • Symptoms may include uncontrollable passage of gas or stools, inability to make it to the toilet in time to avoid an accident, diarrhea, constipation, gas and bloating, and abdominal cramping.
    • Management and treatment options may include dietary changes, medications, special exercises that help you better control your bowels, or surgery.
    • Fecal incontinence can occur at any age, but it is most common among older adults. Other risk factors include being female, nerve damage, Alzheimer’s disease, and physical disability.
  • Constipation: Constipation is a common condition that causes people to experience infrequent bowel movements, pass hard stools or strain during bowel movements.
    • Symptoms may include passing fewer than three stools a week, hard stool, excessive straining during bowel movement, sense of rectal blockage, a feeling of incomplete evacuation of stool during bowel movement, and needs to use manual maneuvers to have a bowel movement, such as finger evacuation or manipulation of abdomen.
    • Management and treatment options may include simple changes in your diet and lifestyle that will help relieve symptoms and manage constipation. These changes may include increasing fiber in your diet, regular exercise, adequate fluid intake, and  laxative use.
    • You are more likely to have constipation if you are an older adult, sedentary, confined to bed, eating a low fiber diet, inadequate fluid intake, certain medications, and chemotherapy use.

Pelvic Organ Prolapse Pelvic organ prolapse occurs when the pelvic floor muscles become weak or damaged and can no longer support the pelvic organs. There are four types of prolapse, including:

  • Uterine prolapse: The womb drops down into the vagina. It is the second most common type of prolapse.
  • Anterior vaginal wall prolapse: When the bladder prolapses, it falls towards the vagina and creates a large bulge in the front vaginal wall. This is the most common type of prolapse in women.
  • Vaginal vault prolapse (apical or top): The vaginal vault is the top of the vagina. It can only fall in on itself after a woman's womb has been removed (hysterectomy).
  • Prolapse of the posterior (back) vaginal wall: Part of the small intestine that lies just behind the uterus may slip down between the rectum and the back wall of the vagina.
Last Updated: 10/17/13