A urogynecologist treats conditions specifically related to the pelvic floor. If you experience leakage after coughing, sneezing, or laughing, it may be time to make an appointment.

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A urogynecologist is a medical specialist who has received additional training specific to pelvic medicine and reconstructive surgery.

Mixing the practice of gynecology and urology, a urogynecologist is a doctor that can test, diagnose, and treat conditions related to the pelvic floor.

Weak or torn pelvic muscles, urinary or fecal incontinence and reproductive concerns all fall under the scope of urogynecology.

If coughing, sneezing, or laughing causes you to experience leakage, it may be time to see an expert in pelvic floor care.

Other symptoms of a pelvic floor condition include:

A urogynecologist treats conditions specifically related to the pelvic floor.

Your pelvic floor is the foundation that stabilizes your internal organs. The connective tissue, muscles, and ligaments of your pelvic floor keep your bladder, bowel, vagina, and uterus cozy inside of your body.

A specialist can treat pelvic floor dysfunction, urinary and fecal incontinence, pelvic floor prolapse, and fistulas.

Urogynecologists also offer prenatal care and reproductive counseling.

More research is needed to truly understand what causes pelvic floor disorders.

Studies are currently being conducted on the following risk factors for the development of certain pelvic disorders:


Pregnancy and childbirth are actively being studied in connection with pelvic floor conditions, but the data is still uncertain. Some research shows that first-time birthing parents who deliver through cesarean sections (C-sections) are at a lower risk of experiencing pelvic disorders than those who deliver vaginally.

In some studies, the risk increased with the number of children delivered, while other studies showed a link between the use of forceps or a vacuum device during delivery and the increased risk of pelvic floor disorders.

The link between pregnancy and pelvic floor disorders remains unclear since pelvic conditions can affect people who have never been pregnant or delivered a baby.


Your pelvic floor muscles are like the other muscles in your body and can weaken over time. Menopause and aging could cause pelvic conditions to worsen.

Pressure on your pelvic floor

Obesity, chronic coughing as a result of smoking or other health conditions, chronic constipation, excessive straining during bowel movements, and heavy lifting can all put pressure on your pelvic floor.

This pressure could lead to urinary or fecal accidents and discomfort.


If you’ve had a hysterectomy or a prior surgery to correct prolapse, you may be at a higher risk of pelvic floor disorders.

Weak tissue

Your genes can influence the strength of your bones, muscles, and connective tissue.

Some medical conditions affect the strength of your connective tissue, which could cause pelvic organ prolapse.

Many factors could play a role in pelvic disorders. The specialist you talk with will need to know key details to build the best treatment plan for your needs.

This includes your:

  • age
  • weight
  • history of pregnancy or childbirth
  • history of chronic coughing or constipation

Discussing these issues with a doctor can be uncomfortable. It’s important to remember the specialist has likely seen it all, so there’s no need to be embarrassed. Your health and quality of life are more important than any temporary discomfort.

After discussing your medical history and symptoms, the specialist will perform a physical exam. This will allow them to get a better understanding of any changes or discomfort you may be experiencing.

Following the physical exam, the clinician will either give you a diagnosis and provide you with a course of treatment or recommend additional testing to gain a clearer picture of your condition.

What training does a urogynecologist complete?

A urogynecologist completes medical school and a residency in obstetrics and gynecology or urology to become board certified.

Formal fellowships (additional training after residency) are completed with a focus on the surgical and nonsurgical treatment of noncancerous gynecologic conditions.

Is there a difference between a urogynecologist and a gynecologist?

Urogynecology is a fairly new subspecialty of medicine. It didn’t become its own field of study until 2011.

Gynecologists treat conditions such as pregnancy, menstruation, menopause, and infertility. Urogynecologists are gynecologists or urologists who have completed additional training specific to pelvic disorders.

Can a urogynecologist perform a Pap smear?

Pap smears should take place with a gynecologist or primary care physician. A urogynecologist is an additional resource for chronic pelvic floor disorders.

You may receive a pelvic exam during your visit, but Pap smears should be performed and documented by an obstetrician-gynecologist (OB-GYN).

Is there a difference between a urogynecologist and a urologist?

Urologists treat UTIs, incontinence, infertility, and certain cancers, among other conditions.

A urogynecologist takes that care a step further by treating organ prolapse, ongoing urinary incontinence, and other pelvic floor disorders.

What is urogynecology surgery?

Sometimes surgery is required to repair chronic pelvic disorders. Urogynecology surgery is used in cases of prolapse or ongoing bladder or bowel control conditions.

A urogynecologist is a physician with additional medical training centered around pelvic floor disorders.

If you’re experiencing chronic pelvic symptoms that affect your mental health or overall quality of life, it’s important to consult with a doctor or other healthcare professional.

They can refer you to a urogynecologist, who can diagnose and treat organ prolapse, incontinence, and other pelvic floor conditions.

Catasha Gordon is a sexuality educator from Spencer, Oklahoma. She’s the owner and founder of Expression Over Repression, a company built around sexual expression and knowledge. You can typically find her creating sex education materials or building some kinky hardware in a fresh set of coffin nails. She enjoys catfish (tail on), gardening, eating off her husband’s plate, and Beyoncé. Follow her everywhere.