Nearly one in three women suffer symptoms that result from pelvic floor issues, most commonly from prolapse. Urogynecology has been a subspecialty since the 1990s, and Southeast Texas OB/GYN Associates, PA, of Beaumont, Texas, has Dr. James F. Kirby serving the practice.
Urogynecology Q & A
A gynecological specialty field, urogynecology typically deals with urinary and fecal incontinence due to the effects of pelvic organ prolapse, a condition that often affects older women who have experienced one or more vaginal births, or who have connective tissue disorders. This specialty covers disciplines of reproductive, urinary, and gastrointestinal health, which may combine in women who have experienced prolapse.
Pelvic floor disorders may affect the vagina, uterus, bladder, small bowel, rectum, as well as other structures and support tissues of the pelvis. Along with childbirth and connective tissue diseases, these disorders may develop due to aging, surgery, or repeated strain as from heavy lifting.
“Prolapse” is a medical term for “drop,” so if you experience prolapse in your pelvis, one or more of the organs in the area drops to a position lower than where it should be. Usually, these push against the outer walls of the vagina, which may cause a sensation of fullness in your vagina and, in extreme cases, prolapsed organs and tissue may protrude.
Prolapse occurs when the weight of pelvic organs overcome the strength of the support structures — muscles, ligaments and other supporting tissue — which lose their ability to hold these organs in place. Not all cases of pelvic organ prolapse are symptomatic, however, and it’s possible that no treatment is needed. Pelvic floor issues usually don’t resolve themselves, and early diagnosis typically results in less complex treatment than when prolapse is more advanced.
Treatment typically focuses on the symptoms you experience, although pelvic floor reconstructive surgery is possible. Dr. James F. Kirby is the urogynecologist on staff at Southeast Texas OB/GYN, and he’s fully qualified to assess, diagnose, and treat your pelvic floor issues, having completed a four-year residency in obstetrics and gynecology before taking on a three-year fellowship in urogynecology.
Dr. Kirby can advise you if lifestyle changes, medications, organ-supporting devices, minimally invasive or conventional surgery are right for you. While surgical procedures have led to high recurrence rates, contemporary techniques are refining and developing, and Dr. Kirby is ideally placed to deliver the most successful treatment options.