The physicians of Rogue Valley Urology understand the unique urological health conditions affecting women. We can help you find relief from urinary tract infections, pelvic organ prolapse, and female sexual dysfunction.
Urinary Tract Infections
You can develop an infection in any part of your urinary system – kidneys, ureters, bladder, and urethra, yet most urinary tract infections (UTIs) occur in the lower urinary tract, specifically the bladder and the urethra. Infections begin when bacteria enter your urinary tract through the urethra and start multiplying in your bladder. While UTIs can be painful and annoying, they do not usually result in serious consequences unless they spread to your kidneys.
Women have a higher risk of developing a UTI, which can be characterized by a strong, persistent urge to urinate, a burning feeling when you urinate, passing small amounts of urine frequently, or cloudy, dark, or foul-smelling urine. The typical course of treatment for UTIs is antibiotics. You can also take steps to prevent future UTIs from developing. These include drinking plenty of liquids, wiping from front to back, emptying your bladder after intercourse, and avoiding feminine hygiene products that can be irritating.
- The American Urological Association’s webpage on Urinary Tract Infections.
Pelvic Organ Prolapse
If you feel a bulging sensation in the vagina, heaviness in your pelvic area, or have difficulty with urination or bowel movement, you may have pelvic organ prolapse. Prolapse is what happens when organs inside the pelvis (the bladder, uterus, rectum, or small intestine) bulge into the vagina. This condition is due to weakened muscles or ligaments that can occur from a number of causes, including childbirth, previous surgeries, and obesity. Prolapse can also be caused by urinary or bowel dysfunction or incontinence. Treatment options include physical therapy, pessaries (implanted devices that hold the vagina in position), and surgery.
- The American Urogynecologic Society’s webpage on Pelvic Organ Prolapse.
Female Sexual Dysfunction
Female sexual dysfunction describes persistent or ongoing problems with sexual response or desire. Women typically experience four types of sexual problems: having less desire for sex than you used to, lack of sexual response or difficulty remaining aroused, inability to have an orgasm or pain during orgasm, and pain during or after sex. These issues can be caused by a variety of physical and psychological factors, including certain medicines, hormonal changes, nerve and small vessel disorders, diseases such as diabetes or high blood pressure, excessive alcohol use, vaginal infections, depression, relationship problems, or abuse. Everyday stresses can also impact your ability to have sex.
Medical treatment can include prescription medications (oral and topical), hormone therapy, and addressing any physical causes of pelvic pain.
- The Mayo Clinic’s webpage on Female Sexual Dysfunction.
- The National Institutes of Health’s U.S. National Library of Medicine webpage on Female Sexual Dysfunction.