Pelvic Floor FAQs
What is the pelvic floor?
The pelvic floor is composed of muscles and ligaments that form a sling across the opening of the pelvis. Muscles and ligaments work together in women to support pelvic organs such as the vagina, uterus, bladder and bowel. Pelvic floor disorders are caused by weakening support of the muscles, ligaments and connective tissue in the pelvic area.
How prevalent are pelvic floor disorders?
Up to 75% of women will experience urinary incontinence in their lifetime and nearly 25% of U.S. women will undergo a surgical procedure to treat a pelvic floor disorder, according to a study funded by the National Institutes of Health. Fecal incontinence is the second-highest reason why elderly loved ones are placed into nursing homes.
What is female pelvic medicine & reconstructive surgery?
Female pelvic medicine and reconstructive surgery physicians provide women with care and comprehensive management for pelvic floor disorders, lower urinary tract disorders, pelvic organ prolapse and childbirth-related injuries. This specialty is also called urogynecology or female urology.
Urogynecology is a combination of two specialties – urology and gynecology. Urogynecologists specialize in both the urinary system and the female reproductive system. Urogynecology is a subspecialty of obstetrics and gynecology, and is the study and treatment of female pelvic medicine.
Female Urology is a subspecialty of urology, and is also the study and treatment of female pelvic medicine.
Should I see a urogynecologist or a female urologist?
When you call UF Health to make an appointment, we will ask a few questions and guide you to the most appropriate care team. If you have concerns about your cervix, uterus or ovaries, then our urogynecologists will be able to manage those topics with you. If you have longstanding urologic concerns, such as prior surgery on your kidneys or ureters, then female urology may be a good fit. Because we work together as a team, we will make sure that you get the best possible comprehensive care in an efficient manner.
When should I contact a doctor?
- If you feel a bulge or lump on the exterior of your vagina
- If you experience lower back pain or increased pelvic pressure that has an impact on your daily activities
- If you notice vaginal spotting or bleeding that is irregular in nature
- If any of these symptoms become chronic issues: urinary incontinence, urinary tract infections, difficulty urinating, frequent urination
- If sexual intercourse is painful or difficult
How will I be evaluated?
Your doctor will develop a health history to get a detailed explanation of your symptoms. In order to diagnose pelvic organ prolapse, a pelvic exam is needed. If diagnosed, the urogynecologist/female urologist will pinpoint the organs involved in the prolapse, as well as its severity. Other tests might be ordered depending on your individual exam.
Where can I go to find out more information or get treatment?
The Pelvic Floor Program at UF Health offers a wide array of services for patients with urinary incontinence, pelvic organ prolapse, fecal incontinence and other conditions associated with the pelvic floor. From consultation services to comprehensive treatment planning, the Pelvic Floor Program is committed to improving the lives of its patients. For further information, you can contact us at 352-265-8200 or 352.265.8240
What do I need to bring to my first visit?
Complete the questionnaire sent to your home or via the link sent to your email prior to your visit. By filling out the questionnaire, you’ll provide our team with important answers regarding your reproductive and general health, family history and your specific pelvic floor symptoms. Doing this will allow us to devote more time getting to the bottom of your individual needs.
Please bring relevant and important medical records, operative notes, radiology reports or laboratory reports. Please bring physical copies of all medical records to your first visit.