Northwestern Medicine Urogynecology & Reconstructive Pelvic Surgery
At least one in four women reports symptoms and a negative impact on her quality of life from a pelvic floor disorder, including pelvic organ prolapse, urinary tract symptoms or incontinence, and fecal incontinence.
Moreover, nearly one in five women will undergo surgery for a pelvic floor disorder with a 30 percent risk of needing repeat surgery.
Pelvic Floor Disorder Video Overview
Margaret G. Mueller, MD, discusses pelvic floor disorders, symptoms and treatment options.
While some risks for developing pelvic floor disorders can be mitigated by a healthy lifestyle, some risks are simply unavoidable. Aging is the most significant risk factor for developing a pelvic floor disorder, while childbirth is the second most important risk factor.
With increased longevity, the prevalence of pelvic floor disorders among U.S. women is increasing dramatically. Treatment for women with these disorders is expected to increase by 40 percent over the next 40 years—from 28 million in 2010 to 43 million in 2050.
Recognizing the growing need for research and high-quality specialty care for women with pelvic floor disorders, The American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS) officially approved the specialty of Female Pelvic Medicine and Reconstructive Surgery (Urogynecology) in the spring of 2011.
In so doing, ABMS acknowledged that care for women with complex pelvic floor disorders (such as urinary and fecal incontinence, pelvic organ prolapse, and congenital abnormalities of the genitourinary tract) requires advanced fellowship training and board certification beyond the training acquired by a general obstetrician-gynecologist or a general urologist.
In June of 2013, the American Boards of Obstetrics and Gynecology and Urology, began certifying individual surgeons, and Northwestern Medicine is pleased to have an internationally renowned group of board certified specialists in Female Pelvic Medicine & Reconstructive Surgery or Urogynecology.
We place a high priority on providing educational opportunities in an interactive and a collaborative environment and believe that it is critical to train the next generation of physicians to provide high-quality, patient-centered care for women with pelvic floor disorders for many generations to come.
We are training academic leaders in Female Pelvic Medicine and Reconstructive Surgery–Urogynecology through our ACGME-accredited fellowship program. These future leaders will advance healthcare for women as surgeon–scientists who not only provide outstanding clinical and surgical care but also serve as inspiring mentors and educators.
To schedule an appointment with one of our urogynecologists, call 312.694.PFDS (7337).
Northwestern Medicine Urogynecologists offer two additional distinctive clinical programs for special groups of women with pelvic floor conditions. Our Peripartum Evaluation and Assessment of the Pelvic Floor around Delivery (PEAPOD) Clinic is a specialized clinical and research program that offers prevention and early intervention for women who sustain obstetric pelvic floor injuries.
We have demonstrated improved patient satisfaction and outcomes in women who receive care in a specialized center with urogynecologists after obstetric anal sphincter injuries, and we have on-going protocols to study prevention programs for pelvic floor disorders around time of childbirth and to improve outcomes in women who sustain pelvic floor injuries at delivery.
In our Transition Urogynecology Clinic for Women with Congenital Anomalies, our team works jointly with expert pediatric surgeons in a nationally recognized program to care for young women with complex congenital anomalies.
Young women who underwent complex surgery for congenital genitourinary anomalies are transitioning to adulthood with unique urologic, obstetric, and gynecologic needs.
We work cooperatively with pediatric surgeons from Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital to provide comprehensive care plans for these women. By evaluating these young women together, trainees in FPMRS and pediatric surgery will go on to establish similarly, much-needed programs.
The urogynecologists and pediatric surgery faculty also work collaboratively to optimize the evaluation and reconstructive surgical care for women with congenital anomalies of the genitourinary tract, such as vaginal agenesis.