Matthew Aungst, MD, FACOG, with Geisinger Holy Spirit OB/GYN, is one of the region's few fellowship-trained specialists in female pelvic floor disorders. He provides specialized care for urinary incontinence, vaginal prolapse, fecal incontinence, management of complications following vaginal mesh surgery, bladder pain and related disorders.
Pelvic Floor Disorders
A large percentage of women, especially older women, are dealing with a health issue they’d rather not discuss. Many are reluctant to talk about it even with their doctors.
Pelvic floor disorders such as urinary incontinence and prolapse are not a normal part of aging. But more than 50 percent of women 55 and older suffer from these health problems.
Pelvic floor disorders typically result from weakened pelvic muscles or tears in the connective tissue. These disorders include bladder control problems, bowel control problems and pelvic organ prolapse. Symptoms often begin gradually and progress over time. They may vary for each woman, but common symptoms include:
- Bladder control problems—urine leakage, frequent urination and urinary urgency
- Bowel control problems—bowel leakage and urgency
- Pelvic organ prolapse—protrusion of the vaginal walls outside the vaginal opening, pelvic pressure or heaviness that often worsens by the end of the day
Varied Treatment Options
Reluctance to talk about pelvic floor disorders truly can be a barrier to treatment for many women. Geisinger Holy Spirit OB/GYN encourages women to take the first step and be evaluated, if they are experiencing bothersome symptoms. There have been many exciting advances in this field in recent years and varied treatment options, both surgical and non-surgical, exist.