Tips for Talking to your Doctor about Pelvic Floor Disorders

11/21/2016

It can be difficult to talk about problems such as incontinence or vaginal bulges, even with a doctor. But doctors are used to talking about these problems, and it’s worth asking about your symptoms because they can be treated. Your doctor may refer you to a urogynecologist – an expert in treating these problems – if your doctor thinks a specialist can help. Here are some tips to get the conversation started.

What should I tell my doctor?
1. My last pelvic exam was ______ (days, weeks, months, years) ago.

2. I have ______ child(ren) and delivered ______ (vaginally/by cesarean section).

3. I’m having some or all of the following symptoms:
. Pain, pressure or a bulge “down there”
. Trouble urinating or passing a bowel movement
. “Leaking” or needing to use the bathroom often
. Pain during urination
4. My symptoms started ______ (days, weeks, months, years) ago.
5. I have these symptoms ______ (daily, a few times a week, sometimes, etc.).
6. I want to find ways to treat or cure these symptoms.
Also, be sure to tell your doctor about any medicines you are taking and any allergies you may have.

What should I ask my doctor?
1. Do you think I have symptoms of a pelvic floor disorder?
. If so, what kind of pelvic floor disorder(s) do I have?
2. What is causing my symptoms?
3. Will my symptoms get better?
4. What can I do to lessen or end these symptoms?
5. Do you see a lot of other patients like me?
6. Do you know of any doctors who specialize in treating my symptoms, such as urogynecologists?
7. If so, can you refer me to someone you would recommend?
8. Will you work with the specialist to make sure he or she knows about my medical history?
9. Can I contact you again to ask your advice after seeing a specialist?
10. What should I do next?
11. If I think of more questions later, can I call or e-mail you?

Joseph Gauta M.D.
Board Certified Urogynecologist

Dr. Gauta is now the first physician in S.W. Florida dual board certified in Urogynecology and Obstetrics and Gynecology. Dr. Gauta’s practice, The Florida Bladder Institute, is  solely  dedicated  to Urogynecology.

One out of every six women suffers from overactive bladder and half of all women will suffer from pelvic organ prolapse. A challenge for women seeking treatment is that they would go to a urologist for one problem, a gynecologist for another and a gastroenterologist for another. Dr. Gauta explains “A Urogynecologist has the skill and experience to assess the entire pelvic region including the uterus, bladder, vagina, rectum as well as the muscles, ligaments, connective tissue and nerves that support those systems. Evaluating your pelvic system as a whole ensures the best treatment and outcome”. Some of the newer treatment options include biofeedback, electrical stimulation, Botox, and minimally invasive outpatient surgery. In addition to providing the most advanced medical care for his patients, Dr. Gauta is a preceptor for Boston Scientific, Medtronic and Olympus and trains other physicians from around the world on how to do the most advanced Urogynecology procedures. He is the recipient of the prestigious Castle Connolly’s Top Doctors award, and is amongst the top 1% of physicians in the country who are honored with the Patient’s Choice Award for 5 years in a row. Dr. Gauta received his training at Tulane University in New Orleans mentored by world renowned Urogynecologists David Herbert M.D. and Thomas Elkins M.D.

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