Pelvic Health

One in four adult women–and half of women over 50–have a pelvic concern of some type. And yet, more than 50 percent of women with pelvic floor disorders don’t seek treatment. Some don’t realize that most pelvic problems are treatable. Others rationalize that their symptoms are just a normal part of aging. Still more women are embarrassed to talk about symptoms as personal as incontinence or pelvic organ prolapse. At MarinHealth, we don’t believe women should have to have their quality of life impacted by pelvic health issues. That’s why we provide access to specialists in the emerging specialty of Urogynecology.

Female Pelvic Medicine (Urogynecology)

Female Pelvic Medicine deals with the diagnosis and treatment of pelvic floor disorders. In women, the pelvic floor includes the muscles, ligaments, and connective tissue supporting the vagina, uterus, bowel, bladder, and rectum.

Women most at risk for pelvic floor disorders include those who:

  • Are medically obese
  • Have had several vaginal deliveries
  • Have experienced some kind of injury during childbirth
  • Have had a hysterectomy

Most pelvic issues affect quality of life but are not life threatening. Severe prolapse, however, leads to urinary retention, which can be very dangerous. While pelvic organ prolapse symptoms may include urinary and/or fecal incontinence, not all prolapse leads to incontinence, and not all incontinence issues are prolapse-related.

Treatment for Urogynecologic Issues

Treatments vary according to the type and severity of the problems and the patient’s goals. Some problems can be managed without surgery—with medication, pelvic floor therapy, and core-strengthening exercises, or the use of a supportive medical device called a pessary that the patient can insert and remove herself. However, sometimes the best option is surgery.

A urogynecologist is an OB/GYN with a three-year specialty fellowship in female pelvic medicine and reconstructive surgery. Our urogynecological surgeons have a broad range of expertise in female pelvic surgery, including open surgery, laparoscopic procedures, and robotic surgeries utilizing the da Vinci® surgical system. Whenever possible, they opt for the most minimally invasive procedure.

Click on the video below to learn more about various topics affecting Women's Health, featuring Dr. K. Jennifer Voss and Dr. Sjuatha Pathi, OB/GYNs.

Conditions Treated

  • Pelvic organ prolapse (POP)
  • Pelvic pain
  • Incontinence or voiding dysfunction
  • Anal incontinence
  • Sexual dysfunction
  • Muscle spasms (vaginismus)
  • Pelvic joint laxity
  • Pain during intercourse
  • Interstitial cystitis
  • Endometriosis
  • Pain after hysterectomy
  • Painful bladder syndrome
  • Reconstructive surgery of the anal sphincter
  • Repair of vaginal and perineal lacerations
  • Fistula repair (A fistula is an abnormal opening between two organs, such as the bladder or urethra and the vagina, or the rectum and the vagina.)