Female Pelvic Conditions & Treatments
If you have a urogynecologic condition, such as recurrent urinary tract infections (UTIs), urinary incontinence, pelvic organ prolapse, or bladder pain syndrome (interstitial cystitis), you may be searching for an experienced and compassionate doctor to help you.
Conditions We Treat
At NYU Langone’s Center for Female Pelvic Medicine, our specialists treat women for a wide range of conditions and provide you with many different treatment approaches.
Urinary and Stress Incontinence
Urinary incontinence is the unintentional loss of urine. Stress incontinence occurs when a physical activity—such as coughing or sneezing—puts pressure, or stress, on your bladder, causing urine to leak. It results from the weakening of the muscles and tissues that support the bladder.
Pelvic Organ Prolapse
Pelvic organ prolapse happens when the muscles and ligaments that support your pelvic organs weaken over time. The weakening causes the organs—including the bladder, rectum, uterus, ovaries, and fallopian tubes or intestines—to slip out of place, or prolapse. The prolapsed organs then push against the vaginal walls, causing pressure, discomfort, or pain.
Also known as voiding dysfunction, bladder dysfunction occurs when your bladder either does not empty completely, or it empties too frequently or “without permission.”
Recurrent Urinary Tract Infections
UTIs occur when bacteria invade and multiply in the urinary tract system, which includes the kidneys, bladder, ureters, and urethra. Women are more susceptible to UTIs than men because of their shorter urinary tracts. Some women experience recurrent UTIs, meaning that they contract the infection three or more times a year.
Urologic Consequences of Neurologic Disease
Certain neurologic conditions may cause UTIs and bladder dysfunction. A stroke or spinal cord injury or chronic conditions such as multiple sclerosis or Parkinson’s disease may affect your bladder health as well.
Bladder Pain Syndrome
Bladder pain syndrome, also known as interstitial cystitis, is a chronic inflammation of the bladder wall that causes severe pain. The cause is unknown and doctors only arrive at a diagnosis of interstitial cystitis after ruling out all other urologic and pelvic conditions.
Radiation-Induced Lower Urinary Tract Dysfunction
Women who undergo radiation therapy as part of cancer treatment may find that the radiation leads to urogynecologic problems, such as incontinence, urinary frequency and urgency, difficulty emptying the bladder, and kidney problems. These problems may not occur until many years after radiation therapy is completed.
Fistulas of the Urinary Tract
A urinary fistula is an abnormal opening between the bladder and vagina, between the urethra and the vagina, or between the ureter and the vagina. Common causes of urinary fistulas include surgery such as a hysterectomy, radiation to the pelvis, or pelvic trauma. The fistulas cause urinary incontinence because the urine flows directly from the bladder or ureter into the vagina.
Urethral diverticulum is a condition in which a small pouch forms next to your urethra. The pouch connects to your urethra and fills with urine, causing pain during or after urination, irritation, dribbling of urine, incontinence, recurrent UTIs, and painful intercourse.
Treatments We Offer
We offer a variety of treatment options for female pelvic conditions, such as medications, depending on your particular condition. We also work closely with NYU Langone physical therapists and physiatrists, or rehabilitation experts, to help you make lifestyle changes through exercises, weight loss, diet changes, and control of chronic cough, which can help relieve your symptoms.
Your doctor may recommend physical therapy to relieve symptoms associated with pelvic floor disorders. Physical therapy can strengthen weakened muscles, improve the flexibility of tight muscles, teach self-care and relaxation techniques, and improve the coordination of your pelvic floor and abdominal muscles.
Surgery is a treatment option for a variety of urogynecologic conditions, both common and rare, including pelvic organ prolapse, reconstruction of the lower urinary tract and vagina, urethral dysfunction, and other bladder conditions.
If you are concerned about how surgery may affect your fertility, talk to your doctor. There are a number of fertility-sparing surgeries available. We also offer uterine-sparing operations for women who are no longer in their childbearing years.
In addition, several of the procedures we offer are so minimally invasive that you do not even need to enter an operating room. These include urethral bulking, a procedure used to manage urinary incontinence in which your doctor injects synthetic materials or collagen around the urethra to augment the urethral wall and increase resistance to urinary flow; transvaginal tape, which can support the middle of the urethra; a pubovaginal sling, which can stop urine leakage; and injections of botulinum toxin (Botox®).