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Frequent Urination and 5 More Reasons to See a Urogynecologist

October 12, 2023

Peeing when you sneeze – or cough, or laugh – is something many women chalk up to age.

But is it just a normal part of getting older? And is there anything you can do about it?

“Yes, the pelvic floor weakens as we get older, especially in women who have had children. But, there are many treatment options so women can continue to enjoy life without worrying about leaking,” says Amanda O’Meara, MD, a urogynecologist with the Hartford HealthCare Medical Group seeing patients in Hartford, New Britain and Farmington.

Here’s why it might be time to see a urogynecologist.

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A urogynecologist is an expert in all things pelvic floor.

A urogynecologist specializes in disorders of the pelvic floor, Dr. O’Meara continues. This means they can help women experiencing:

  • Urinary or fecal incontinence
  • Urinary retention
  • Frequent urination
  • Pelvic organ prolapse

“According to the National Institute of Health, 24% of women suffer from a pelvic floor disorder. That’s 1 in 4 women,” she says. “But, just because these conditions are common doesn’t mean they are normal.”

> Related: Women, Eliminate Urinary Stress Incontinence: It’s NOT an Inevitable Part of Aging

If you experience one of these 6 symptoms, it might be time to schedule an appointment.

If you are having trouble keeping things in (that should be in), having trouble getting things out (that should be out), or having pain, burning or dysfunction of the pelvic floor area, it may be time to see a urogynecologist.

Typical symptoms that could prompt a call to set up an appointment include:

  1. Leaking urine. This could happen with urge or activity such as coughing, laughing or sneezing.
  2. Difficulty peeing.
  3. Needing to go often. Sometimes, you might rush to the toilet and only a trickle comes out.
  4. Feeling a bulge coming out of your vagina. This is called prolapse, when the ligaments that support your bladder, vagina or uterus weaken causing the vagina to fully or partially slip out of place.
  5. Bladder pain.
  6. Pain during sex.

“Luckily these symptoms are not usually life-threatening but they do negatively impact quality of life, self-esteem and body image, which can lead to anxiety and depression. Not to mention the potential expense if incontinence products are needed,” Dr. O’Meara says.

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There’s a wide range of treatments that can help.

A urogynecologist can recommend a variety of treatments based on your particular symptoms and general health, she continues.

“There are many treatment options that start with getting a full picture of what’s happening anatomically with the patient and how it’s impacting her life,” Dr. O’Meara says.

The range of treatment options includes:

  • Medication
  • Physical therapy
  • Lifestyle modifications such as taking bathroom trips hourly so the bladder never gets too full.
  • In-office procedures
  • Surgery

“It is important to know that there are many treatment options out there to help resolve or improve the issue. Women need not suffer in silence,” Dr. O’Meara says.