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Urogynecology

Incontinence (loss of bladder or bowel control) and other pelvic floor disorders are uncomfortable and embarrassing, but they’re also common. More than one-third of U.S. women will suffer from a pelvic floor disorder at some point in their lives.** A urogynecologist — a specialist in women’s pelvic floor disorders — can help.

At Allegheny Health Network (AHN), our urogynecologists focus solely on women’s pelvic floor care. They work closely with the AHN Center for Women’s Pelvic Health, a highly specialized team devoted to treating these common, sensitive conditions using minimally invasive methods.

Urogynecology services at Allegheny Health Network: why choose us?

Women who choose AHN for urogynecology and treatment of their pelvic floor disorders receive compassionate, specialized treatment with the latest methods and innovations. You can expect:

  • Highly focused care: Our Center for Women’s Pelvic Health offers compassionate care for women with pelvic floor disorders. Our physicians receive specialized training in female pelvic medicine and reconstructive surgery to provide thorough diagnostic and advanced treatment options. Learn more about the AHN Center for Women’s Pelvic Health.
  • Minimally invasive treatment: At AHN, we want you to feel better with minimal disruption to your life. We offer many minimally invasive surgical options that offer rapid recovery time.
  • Sophisticated surgery alternatives: We offer noninvasive, highly specialized procedures that don’t require inpatient surgery, including physical therapy, and innovative clinical trials unique to AHN.
  • Convenience: We offer care at several facilities close to home for women in western Pennsylvania, so you can begin treatment quickly and more easily.

Pelvic floor disorders we treat at AHN

At AHN, we treat a broad spectrum of pelvic floor disorders, using minimally invasive treatments to help you feel better, faster. We can help women with conditions such as:

  • Bladder and Bowel Issues
  • Bladder incontinence: Loss of bladder control, including stress or urge incontinence and overactive bladder
  • Incomplete bladder emptying
  • Urinary tract infections: Infections that affect the kidneys, bladder, ureters (tubes connecting the kidneys to the bladder), or urethra (tube leading from the bladder outside the body)
  • Fecal incontinence: Loss of bowel (intestine) control
  • Painful bladder syndrome/interstitial cystitis: Urinary frequency, urgency, burning, pressure and pain.
  • Pelvic Disorders
  • Pelvic organ prolapse: Organs that slip out of place because of weakened pelvic muscles and other tissues such as your bladder, rectum, uterus and vagina
  • Pelvic floor dysfunction: Overactivity of the pelvic floor muscles causing vaginal pain, painful intercourse, and pain with activities
  • Vulvodynia: Irritation of the nerves outside the vagina with symptoms of pain, irritation, dryness. Patients often describe the feeling of recurrent yeast infection
  • Pudendal neuropathy: Damage to the pelvic nerves resulting in chronic pelvic pain or other pelvic floor disorders
  • Vaginal and Sexual Dysfunction
  • Vaginal bulge or pressure
  • Female sexual issues
  • Vaginal stenosis or non-functional vagina: a narrowing of vaginal diameter and length requiring corrective surgery
  • Mesh erosion, eroded slings, surgical complications
  • Developmental variations requiring corrective surgery

Symptoms and causes of pelvic floor disorders

It can be embarrassing to talk about pelvic floor disorders. Our teams specialize in these sensitive issues and treat every diagnosis with compassion.

We work with you every step of the way to evaluate and treat your symptoms, which may include:

  • A frequent need to urinate
  • Urinary leakage when you sneeze, cough, or laugh
  • Pelvic pain
  • Feeling that you need to have several bowel movements during a short period of time Constipation or straining, feeling that you can’t complete a bowel movement
  • Painful urination
  • Lower back pain
  • Pain during intercourse
  • Vaginal bulge or pressure

Although the causes of pelvic floor disorders are often unknown, some factors may increase the risk of developing one, including:

  • Pregnancy and childbirth
  • Obesity
  • Chronic constipation
  • Age
  • Radiation therapy to treat gynecological cancers
  • Surgery, such as hysterectomy or surgery to correct pelvic organ prolapse

Specialized, noninvasive treatment for pelvic floor disorders

We provide nonsurgical and minimally invasive surgical treatment options for pelvic floor disorders whenever possible, allowing you a quicker recovery time.

Sophisticated, minimally invasive treatments include:

  • Transurethral bulking, a non-invasive procedure that strengthens the urethra’s walls to prevent incontinence.
  • InterStim® therapy, which is similar to a “pacemaker” for the bladder. An electrode is placed alongside the nerve that stimulates the bladder to control leakage. This procedure can also treat fecal incontinence.
  • Posterior tibial nerve stimulation (PTNS), an outpatient procedure where an electrode is placed on the ankle, stimulating nerves through the leg into the pelvis to control urinary urgency and incontinence.

Noninvasive surgical options include:

  • Sacrospinous ligament fixation, a small incision through the vagina, attaching the prolapsed vagina to a muscle against the pelvic sidewall to provide support.
  • TVT vaginal sling, a small piece of mesh is placed under the urethra through abdominal and vaginal incisions to treat urinary incontinence.
  • Minimally invasive laparoscopic/robotic surgery, several small incisions are made on the abdomen to place instruments to anchor prolapsed pelvic organs like the vagina, bladder, and rectum.
  • Minimally invasive vaginal surgery, provides support to prolapsed organs through a vaginal incision without having to make an incision on the abdomen.

Our specialists See More

AHN Doctor Michael Pelekanos
Michael J Pelekanos, MD
Monroeville, PA
AHN Doctor Allan Klapper
Allan S Klapper, MD
Pittsburgh, PA
AHN Doctor Erin Lavelle
Erin S Lavelle, MD
Pittsburgh, PA

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*For Women’s Health services in the Erie region, visit our Erie Locations pages or Find a Doctor near you.

** Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development. Available https://www.nichd.nih.gov/health/topics/pelvicfloor/conditioninfo/pages/risk.aspx