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Urinary Incontinence at Jefferson Hospital

Female Pelvic Medicine and Reconstructive Surgery

Female Pelvic Medicine and Reconstructive Surgery (Urogyneology) is a subspecialty within Obstetrics and Gynecology and is dedicated to the study and treatment of pelvic floor disorders in women, in all the various ways that it can present itself.

Urogynecologists have completed medical school and a residency in Obstetrics and Gynecology or Urology.

These physicians become specialists with additional years of fellowship training and certification in Female Pelvic Medicine and Reconstructive Surgery. The training consists of providing expertise in the evaluation, diagnosis, and treatment of conditions that affect the muscles and connective tissue of the female pelvic organs.

To make an appointment or to learn more about our program, call 412.854.7145.

What are Pelvic Floor Disorders?

Women with weakness of the pelvic muscles or tears in the connective tissue may begin to have problems controlling their bladder and bowels.

The following are some problems that arise from damage to the pelvic floor. Urogynecologists are specially trained to diagnose and treat these problems:

  • Incontinence: loss of bladder or bowel control, leakage of urine or feces.
  • Prolapse: descent of pelvic organs; a bulge and/or pressure; ‘dropped uterus, bladder, vagina or rectum.
  • Emptying Disorders: difficulty urinating or moving bowels.
  • Pain: discomfort to the lower back, pelvis or bladder and/or urethra.
  • Overactive Bladder: frequent need to void, bladder pressure, urgency, urge incontinence (difficulty holding back urine when having the urge to urinate)
  • Fistulas: abnormal hole between the vagina and rectum (rectovaginal), vagina and urethra (urethrovaginal), or vagina and the bladder (vesicovaginal)


At Jefferson Hospital, we have a fellowship trained Urogynecologist that will coordinate your care with a multi-disciplinary approach that involves physical therapists specializing in female pelvic floor disorders, menopausal specialists, sleep specialists, Gastroenterologists and Colorectal Surgeons.

Symptoms of Pelvic Floor Disorders

The symptoms generally begin gradually and the natural history is for the symptoms to progress with time. Symptoms may vary among women; however they can include:

Symptoms of Bladder Control Problems:

  • Urine leakage
  • Overactive bladder
  • Difficulty emptying the bladder


Symptoms of Bowel Control Problems:

  • Infrequent bowel movement
  • Constipation or diarrhea
  • Hard bowel movements
  • Abnormal stool consistency


Symptoms of Pelvic Organ Prolapse:

  • A bulging, pressure or heavy sensation in the vagina that worsens by the end of the day or during bowel movements
  • Difficulty starting to urinate or a weak or spraying stream of urine
  • Urine leakage with intercourse


Although your primary care physician, OB/GYN, or urologist may have knowledge about these problems, a urogynecologist can offer additional expertise. You should be referred to a urogynecologist when you have problems of prolapse, and/or troublesome urinary or fecal incontinence or when your primary doctor recommends consultation. Other problems for which you or your doctor might think about consulting a urogynecologist include: problems with emptying the bladder or rectum, pelvic pain or bladder pain, fistulas, and the need for special expertise in vaginal surgery.

What Treatment Options are Available?

A urogynecologist can recommend a variety of therapies to cure or relieve symptoms of pelvic floor disorders. Treatments can range from lifestyle changes, office-based, non-invasive treatments or highly sophisticated vaginal and minimally invasive reconstructive procedures. Our Urogynecologist can discuss your individual situation and the customized treatment options that are available to you.

To make an appointment or to learn more about our program, call 412.854.7145.

Additional Resources:

American Urogynecologic Society's Patient Information Website
American Urogynecologic Society's Website

*Clicking the links above will open a new window and take you to a website that is not part of the Allegheny Health Network website.

To make an appointment or to learn more about our program, call 412.854.7145.