Urology, Gynecology, Urogynecology… What’s The Difference?
It’s safe to say that most people are relatively familiar with the medical practices of gynecology and urology. Indeed, women begin seeing gynecologists regularly as teenagers, and it is recommended that men get regular checkups at a urologist starting around the age of 45. As you may have gathered, each of these practices is typically associated with treating a specific gender, but don’t be fooled — things are a little more complicated than that.
As a practice that specializes in urogynecology, we decided that it was worth the time to shed some light on the main differences between these fields in order to clear up any confusion.
Urology is a branch of medicine that deals with diseases of the urinary-tract as well as the male reproductive organs. This includes issues with the bladder, kidneys, prostate, genitals, etc. While urologists are typically associated with the treatment of men, urinary-tract diseases and similar issues that occur in women could still fall under the umbrella of urology. In fact, “female urology” is considered a subspecialty of urology and ties into urogynecology, but more on that in a moment.
Gynecology is the branch of medicine that deals with the health of the female reproductive system. Most gynecologists are also obstetricians (you have probably come across the acronym “OB-GYN”), which means that they also specialize in childbirth, pregnancy, and the postpartum period, due to the fact that there is a lot of overlap between the two fields. Note that there isn’t a version of gynecology called “male gynecology,” as the male reproductive system falls into the category of urology.
Urogynecology is a surgical subspecialty of urology and gynecology and is sometimes referred to as “female pelvic medicine and reconstructive surgery.” As that name suggests, urogynecology typically deals specifically with issues related to the pelvic floor, which is the “sling” of muscles that stretches from the pubic bone to the tailbone. In both men and women, the pelvic floor provides support to organs that make up our digestive tracts, urinary tracts, and reproductive systems.
It shouldn’t come as any surprise that one of the big differences between male and female anatomy is that women can give birth. This obviously puts a strain on the pelvic floor and surrounding organs and can lead to issues that are uniquely female. Treating many of these pelvic floor disorders often requires surgery, hence the specialization that is urogynecology.
Take a moment to explore some of the conditions and treatments that we cover at Austin Urogynecology:
- Uterine Prolapse
- Pelvic Organ Prolapse
- Perineal Descent
- Urinary Incontinence
- Labial Hypertrophy
- da Vinci Sacrocolpopexy
- Vaginal Prolapse Repair
- Mesh-Free Robotic Colpopexy
- Mid-Urethral Sling
- SottoPelle Testosterone Replacement Therapy
- Vaginal Rejuvenation
While some urologists may be able to help diagnose and treat some of these conditions, a urogynecologist like Dr. Shashoua is an expert in this area and is highly experienced at performing the treatment procedures.
If you have any questions or are experiencing any symptoms related to these conditions, don’t hesitate to schedule a free consultation today.
Got questions? Need an appointment? We’re here to help!