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Women's Personal Health - FAQs About Pelvic Health

Q: What Are Pelvic Floor Muscles and Why Are They So Important?

A: The pelvic floor muscles form a “hammock” across the opening of a woman’s pelvis, holding the uterus, bladder, and rectum in place. When these muscles are weak, damaged and not functioning properly, women may experience problems such as pelvic organ prolapse, urinary incontinence, interstitial cystitis, chronic pelvic pain and sexual dysfunction.

Q: Why Should I Choose a Chesapeake Urology Female Pelvic Health Specialist?

A: Our pelvic health specialists provide women with a multidisciplinary care team who understands women’s unique health needs and specializes in female urological and pelvic health conditions. Our care providers know that pelvic health conditions can interfere with a woman’s life and cause physical and emotional stress. Continuity of care is important and our specialists include fellowship-trained physicians, pelvic health physical therapists, pessary specialists, a women’s health nurse practitioner and urodynamacists who focus on patient-centered care.

Q: Why Should I Turn To a Female Urologist When It Comes to Dealing With My Pelvic Condition?

A: Physicians who specialize in female urology and pelvic floor dysfunction understand the complexities of the most common, and not so common, pelvic health conditions. Our specially trained care team has the expertise needed to effectively treat these female urologic health conditions. But, beyond the science of medicine, our specialists know that sometimes female pelvic conditions not only cause a disruption in lifestyle but can also be embarrassing to talk about. You can rest assured that our team knows what you’re going through and how to treat you, medically and emotionally.

Q: What Types of Pelvic Conditions Do the Specialists at Chesapeake Urology Treat?

A: We have a comprehensive and integrated care team, our specialists treat the gamut of pelvic health conditions including:

Q: Is Surgery My Only Treatment Option for Pelvic Health Conditions?

A: Surgery is most often NOT the answer. Physical therapy plays an integral role in our treatment plan for most pelvic conditions with the goal of strengthening and rehabilitating the pelvic floor muscles. When these important muscles are weak or damaged, conditions such as pelvic organ prolapse, interstitial cystitis, urinary incontinence, chronic pelvic pain and even loss of sexual sensation can result. Specially-trained physical therapists work with women, in coordination with their urologist, to perform soft tissue mobilization of pelvic floor muscles as well as teach proper muscle relaxation techniques and pelvic floor muscle exercises to strengthen these muscles. Physical therapists may also use biofeedback to ensure exercises are being performed correctly and effectively. Other non-surgical treatments include pessaries for pelvic prolapse and medication therapy.

Q: I Have Pelvic Pain That No One Seems to Understand. What Can This Be?

A: You may have what is known as chronic pelvic pain, a real problem for many women. Sometimes, the cause of your pelvic pain can be a mystery and treatment is a trial and error process. Often pelvic pain is associated with another pelvic health condition such as interstitial cystitis (painful bladder syndrome), endometriosis or pelvic adhesions caused from prior abdominal surgery. Your doctor will perform a comprehensive work up to find the root cause of your pain and may try several treatments before finding one, or a combination that provide relief.