Female urology is the specialty that diagnoses and treats urinary tract and bladder conditions in women. Urological conditions frequently emerge in women following pregnancy or in older age. Despite the prevalence of female urological conditions, these illnesses often go unaddressed. Female urologists are physicians with special training in female urology who aim to bridge this gap by caring for a broad range of conditions ranging from overactive bladder to pelvic floor prolapse. Female urology treatment may coincide or collaborate with gynecological services. Conditions a patient may visit a female urologist for include:
Urological conditions are diagnosed through a physical exam or through patients' reported symptoms. Urodynamics tests to assess bladder ability may also be performed. Imaging procedures such as X-rays and sonohysterography (uterus ultrasound) can reveal some pelvic floor disorders.
Initial treatment for overactive bladder (OAB) and incontinence may include the elimination of caffeine, alcohol, and diuretic medications. If conditions persist, female urologists can perform more advanced procedures such as biofeedback. During biofeedback a small needle is used to stimulate the bladder nerves, which allows for greater control of bladder muscles. Other treatments female urologists may perform to improve bladder function include targeted Botox injections, medication, and physical therapy. Post-menopausal patients with recurring urinary tract infections may benefit from oral estrogen medications or creams. Complex pelvic floor disorders may require pelvic reconstruction procedures which remove, support, or alter parts of the pelvic floor structure to improve urinary function.
Female urologists may collaborate with urogynecologists, gynecologists, OB-GYNs, colorectal or pelvic reconstructive surgeons, and physical therapists.