Meet Our Researchers: What kind of doctor treats pelvic floor disorders (PFDs)?

In observation of National Women’s Health Week 2014, NICHD medical officer Dr. Susan F. Meikle and PFD Network grantee Dr. Matthew D. Barber discussed the importance of research in developing better treatments for PFDs, including urinary and fecal incontinence and pelvic organ prolapse. In this segment, Dr. Barber describes the new medical subspecialty devoted to PFD care.


Audio recording (MP3 - 900 KB)


Dr. Barber: But because of the complexity of the condition, there has emerged a subspecialty, which has been called lots of things—urogynecology, female urology—but in the last two years was officially approved as a subspecialty by the American Board of Medical Subspecialties, and the term is “female pelvic medicine and reconstructive surgery.” So, I am a board-certified female pelvic medicine/reconstructive surgery doctor. So my entire practice is dedicated to taking care of women with this condition.

If you speak about a general OB/GYN, in their gynecology practice, a significant portion of women they see will have one of these conditions. And they’re often general OB/GYNs, and as I said, general urologists will see these people on a weekly basis.

As Susie mentioned, it’s 25% of women who have one or more conditions. And more and more they’re willing to volunteer that and complain of it when they come to the doctor because they’re becoming increasingly aware of treatments that are available.

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