Happy 3rd Birthday to Houston Female Urology!

As we blow out the candles, I am so incredibly proud of the way Houston Female Urology has grown over the last year. With God’s grace and guidance, we helped more women than ever get their lives back to normal so they can continue to do the things they love to do.

We are still the only practice in Texas dedicated entirely to Female Urology and Pelvic Restoration.

In case you’re wondering what we have been up to this year, here are some of the great ways we have grown:

1,000 new patients

That’s a lot of women! We are honored to have such a huge increase in the number of women who place their trust in our staff. From the bottom of our hearts…thank you.

Exceptional new staff

We are beyond fortunate to have added Rosemary Pinkard as our nurse practitioner. Patients continue to tell us how comfortable they feel in Rosemary’s care. She is one of a kind.

Another amazing addition is Stephanie, our LVN. Stephanie is a dream-come-true for surgery scheduling and triage.

We also added more front desk specialists to make sure your phone calls are answered quickly and your check-in process runs smoothly. And in just a few weeks, online patient registration will be available.

New clinic for Female Sexual Dysfunction (FSD)

It’s the problem many women don’t want to talk about, but it is real and it happens to more women than you think. Click here to find out how we can help.

New technology: ThermiVa

Women can’t say enough great things about their results from this painless treatment for vaginal restoration and urine leakage.

“I was tired of worrying about peeing in my pants every time I go running, but I really didn’t want surgery. Dr. Pramudji told me about ThermiVa and it has made a world of difference. I had no idea it was such a simple fix.”  -35 year old woman

“Intercourse was so painful that I completely avoided it. Now the problems with pain and dryness are gone and I feel great!”  -45 year old woman

Click here to learn about this amazing nonsurgical procedure.

As we look toward our fourth year, our birthday wish is to continue providing the very best in pelvic care. There’s truly nothing better than watching women’s lives change for the better, and we are so grateful to be able help.

Our wonderful patients and referring physicians are the best gifts we could ever receive. Thank you for trusting us. We can’t wait to see what the next year holds!

Cheers to a healthy you!

-Dr. P

 

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Help for Leaky Bladders. It’s Not Too Late!

Did you know there are ways to improve your bladder control without surgery, no matter how old you are? Leaking urine is often the result of a weakened pelvic floor, and our Pelvic Floor Toning therapy is helping women in all stages of life.

90% of patients notice a significant improvement in strength and bladder control.

When you think about strength exercises and toning, your pelvic floor muscles probably don’t come to mind. In fact, you may be wondering exactly what your pelvic floor is and why it’s important.

Let’s start at the beginning. Your pelvic floor is a group of muscles, connective tissue and ligaments that supports your pelvic organs and controls the flow of urine and bowel movements. When the pelvic floor is weakened – from things like childbirth and menopause – your pelvic organs don’t function the way they are supposed to. In many cases, this means you leak urine.

Remember when you were pregnant and newly post-partum, and your obstetrician told you to do Kegel exercises? If you are like most women, you had great intentions but probably forgot to do the exercises consistently. Now, years later, your leaky bladder is reminding you.

Fortunately it’s not too late, and we can help. The Houston Female Urology pelvic floor specialist is like a personal trainer for your bladder. Our Pelvic Floor Toning program is a combination of in-office treatments and exercises you can do at home, and most patients are healed without medication or surgery. In fact, about 90% of patients notice a significant improvement in strength and bladder control.

It’s a proven technique and it is covered by almost all insurance carriers and Medicare.

How does it work?

Our pelvic floor specialist will meet with you for a series of 4-8 sessions. First, she will assess your current pelvic floor strength. Then, she uses a painless vaginal probe to create electrical stimulation that speeds muscle growth and resets the bladder nerves. Treatments take less than an hour, and after completing all sessions, about 2/3 of women are healed and do not need surgery or other procedures.

The second part of treatment is at-home exercises. Based on your individual strength, our pelvic floor specialist will teach you the proper way to do Kegel exercises so that you can prolong your benefits. And, we can even prescribe a home therapy device you can use on your own.

If you are struggling with overactive bladder and making too many trips to the bathroom during the night, or frustrated by urine leakage when you cough, sneeze or exercise, this treatment may be just what you need.

Cheers to a healthy you!

-Dr. P

To learn more about the Pelvic Floor Muscle Toning treatment at Houston Female Urology please watch our below YouTube video.

Have you had a great experience with Houston Female Urology? We are so grateful for reviews from our patients, and would be honored if you would take a few minutes to tell others about your experience.

 

5 Questions to Ask Yourself About Your Sexual Health

Remarkably, almost a third of American women have reported a low sex drive. Women who are suffering from a low sex drive and are unhappy about their sexual health may be suffering from Female Sexual Dysfunction (FSD), which is typically broken into four types: low sexual desire, arousal disorder, orgasmic disorder or painful sex.

How do you know if your sexual health is affecting you? Below are a few questions to ask yourself:

1. Do you feel unhappy about your sexual relationship?
2. Do you feel stressed about sex?
3. Do you ever feel sexually inadequate?
4. Have you felt embarrassed about sexual problems?
5. Are your sexual problems affecting your relationship?

If you answered yes to any of the above, I encourage you to start the conversation with your doctor about your sexual health. Our Female Sexual Dysfunction clinic at Houston Female Urology is a great place to begin . I recently started the clinic because I realized that women were struggling to talk about their sexual health and they also didn’t know of a supportive environment where they could comfortably have the conversation. I am so glad our clinic can provide that healthy environment many women are looking for!

Please don’t ever forget that it’s okay to take care of yourself! If you feel unsatisfied with your sexual health please give us a call. Let my team help you feel confident and beautiful again!

To learn more about the Female Sexual Dysfunction treatment pathway at Houston Female Urology please watch our below YouTube video.

-Dr.P

How To Conquer Interstitial Cystitis (Bladder Pain) Symptoms

 

Interstitial Cystitis (IC), or simply referred to as bladder pain, is chronic pain and discomfort in the bladder. Shockingly, 3 to 8 million women in the US suffer from IC, according to the Interstitial Cystitis Association. Symptoms of this disease include: urgency, urinary frequency, burning with urination, burning in the bladder, and pelvic pain.

IC can be a hard disease for women to live and cope with. However, patients should be encouraged by the options available to help manage symptoms. At Houston Female Urology, we have several treatments to help women find relief from their pain. Depending on the patient, treatments can range from a simple medication to BOTOX for the bladder. Our staff works with every patient to make sure we determine the best path to relief.

Below are a few simple steps that you can try on your own to help conquer your symptoms.

  1. Modify your diet.

Often specific foods and beverages can impact bladder symptoms. It is usually best to shop for fresh foods when possible and keep a diary as you experiment to determine which foods may trigger symptoms.

  1. Take steps to manage stress.

Common stress management tools include meditating, getting a massage, or exercising.

  1. Try to establish healthy sleeping habits.

A few tips include: cutting caffeine and alcohol, keeping your bedroom cool and comfortable, start winding down about an hour before you go to sleep, and sticking to the same bedtime every night.

To learn more about Interstitial Cystitis and the treatment options available, please visit Houston Female Urology’s YouTube page!

-Dr. P

Hope for Leaky Bladders

Are you suffering from a leaky bladder?  Is it hard for you to empty your bladder completely? Or maybe you feel like you need to go way too often.

These are common issues for many women and frequently go unaddressed. The good news is that if you do suffer from the above symptoms, I offer specialized urodynamics tests in my office that allow me to narrow down the cause of your bladder problems to properly address your symptoms and provide treatment options specific to your needs.

Urodynamics consists of several tests that provide valuable insight to how a patient’s lower urinary tract (urethra and bladder) are functioning. These tests determine how well the bladder is holding urine and evaluates the bladder’s ability to empty properly. Urodynamic testing is key to determining the cause of bladder incontinence.

It is fascinating what all the tests can tell us! Urodynamics commonly includes the following:

  • Uroflowmetry: measurement of urine volume and speed
  • Postvoid Residual Measurement: measures the amount of urine remaining in the bladder after urination
  • Cytometric Test: measures how much the bladder can hold when it communicates with the brain that it is full
  • Leak Point Pressure Measurement: determines the point at which the bladder leaks are involuntary
  • Pressure Flow Study: measures the pressure the bladder requires to urinate
  • Electromyography: evaluates for nerve or muscle damage

If you are one of the 25% to 45% of women who suffer from bladder leakage, I encourage you to give my office a call! To patients, bladder symptoms may feel like an embarrassing or uncommon problem but I promise it isn’t. Don’t let your bladder condition hold you back from the things you love, my team is here to help you get your life back again.

-Dr. P

What is Vaginal Rejuvenation?

I am thrilled with the growth of vaginal rejuvenation treatments in my field. More and more women are starting to have the conversation with their doctors about their feminine health, and the range of non-surgical procedures to improve women’s vaginal health is expanding.

However, the language commonly used around the revolutionary treatments such as ThermiVa and MonaLisa Touch can be vague. What does the term feminine or vaginal rejuvenation mean and how does a woman know if the treatments can fix her uncomfortable symptoms?

Vaginal or feminine rejuvenation is the enhancing of the vagina’s function and cosmetic appearance.

The desire for better sex, a more youthful appearance, and convenience are the main reasons women are choosing non-surgical procedures for rejuvenation. Additional reasons include:

• Perimenopausal and menopausal women experiencing dryness, leaky bladder, or laxity
• Women suffering from dryness due to bioidentical hormones
• Women experiencing dryness from breast cancer treatments
• Women who have discomfort wearing yoga pants, a bathing suit, or riding a bike
• Women that have difficulty achieving orgasm
• Mothers that have vaginal laxity, leaky bladder, prolapse, or decreased sensitivity due to vaginal births

Lastly, I wanted to leave you with a few other notes about vaginal rejuvenation that I think are helpful to be aware of. First, the results can last up to one year and can vary from person to person. Secondly, the procedures are not typically covered by insurance.

If you are interested in vaginal rejuvenation, my team and I are available to help you determine which non-surgical treatment option is best for you. Email us today at info@houstonfemaleurology.com!

-Dr. P

7 Things You Need to Know About ThermiVa

For the past few months, I have had the joy of offering ThermiVa treatments to my patients. Many have seen incredible results with ThermiVa and I wanted to provide all of my readers more insight on the treatment and the impact it can have on feminine well-being.

First, what is ThermiVa? The ThermiVa treatments use radiofrequency energy to gently heat tissue and rejuvenate collagen. The treatment works on the internal and external areas of the vagina to restore and revive. After going through a strenuous childbirth, multiple births, or the effects of menopause, the idea of taking back control of vaginal health is enticing to many of my patients. However, they are usually left with many questions about how ThermiVa can help return youthfulness and recover relationships.

Below are a few facts that I believe are helpful to be aware of when trying to decide if the ThermiVa treatment is right for you.

1. The benefits of this treatment include:

  • Reduced dryness
  • Reduced vaginal laxity
  • Improved confidence
  • Increased sensation

2. If you are in good health, you are most likely a good candidate for ThermiVa!
3. There are no risks to the procedure.
4. ThermiVa is performed in 3 treatments that take about 30 minutes.
5. There is no downtime. Most patients resume their normal activities right after the procedure.
6. ThermiVa requires no anesthesia and patients have described the treatment as comfortable.
7. The results vary from person to person, but most patients report immediate improvement!

I know to many of my patients, ThermiVa can either sound too good to be true or just a little scary. My team is here to help answer any additional questions you may have! Please give us a call and set up your consultation to learn more.

Stay tuned for next month’s blog on vaginal rejuvenation. I will provide more detail on what exactly vaginal rejuvenation is and how it can impact your feminine health!

Dr. P

 

Squashing Myths About In-Office Cystoscopy Tests

Many women are frightened by the idea of a cystoscopy test. When I sit down with my patients to discuss the procedure, they mainly express concern about pain and discomfort.  However, this procedure can provide great insight into a patient’s bladder health and should not be feared. Below is a list of FAQ’s to help ease your mind about your upcoming cystoscopy test.

What is an in-office cystoscopy?
A cystoscopy test is a procedure that allows me to examine the bladder lining, by inserting a scope into the bladder through the urethra. A cystoscopy test can be compared to a colonoscopy, but for the bladder.

Why would a woman need to have this procedure?
A woman would need a cystoscopy test if she has a polyp, tumor, or other abnormality. Additional reasons for a cystoscopy include blood in the urine that a physician found in a laboratory exam, bladder irritation, overactive bladder, or continuous bladder infections.

What misinformation have women heard about this procedure that’s wrong? Why should they not be nervous?
Most women think a cystoscopy test is very painful. Usually women hear this from others who have had a cystoscopy performed in the past, using a rigid scope. Now, we use a flex scope that is much smaller and less painful. The cystoscopy test only takes two to three minutes and the level of discomfort felt can be compared to a pap smear.

How should women prepare for this procedure?
It is important to come to the office with a full bladder so we can take a urine sample.  If you feel like you might have an infection, please let my office know before the procedure so we can treat the infection before performing the cystoscopy.

What does the process of having an in-office cystoscopy look like at Houston Female Urology?
First, the patient comes in for a regular appointment. We then take a urine sample to check for infection. Next, the medical assistant prepares the area and inserts a numbing jelly in the urethra. Once the area is numb, I fill the bladder with water. The scope is then inserted through the urethra into the bladder for the quick test. The results are discussed with the patient right away. Once complete, the patient will get dressed and go to the bathroom to empty the bladder. If there is any discomfort, we can provide a medication to help.

Will the patient feel much pain after they leave the office?
A patient should not feel any pain once they leave our office. There can be a slight burning but the feeling should go away after a couple of hours and is not a common side effect.

Please call my office if you have any other questions about your cystoscopy test. My team is always available to make sure you feel comfortable before coming in for your visit!

-Dr. P

There’s blood in my urine?

It’s a scary thing to find. When a patient sees blood their urine (hematuria), there are often many unknowns that race through their mind. I always stress that patients need to seek medical attention the first time they see it. Don’t even ignore a small amount. Call our office immediately, and make an appointment.

During the appointment, we will look at the entire urinary tract, first with imaging of the kidneys by a CT scan or a renal ultrasound and follow that with a KUB. Then, we will do a scope of the bladder, called a cystoscopy. It is a quick procedure with numbing medicine. While it sounds intimidating, patients are often surprised at how easy it is. The discomfort is similar to a Pap smear.

The most common cause of hematuria is a UTI. The infection can irritate the bladder wall to the point that it often bleeds. Other things we look for are a kidney stone, kidney tumor or bladder cancer.

While it is uncommon, occasionally we find a bladder or kidney tumor as the source of bleeding. Obviously, the sooner that a tumor is found and treated, the better. Tumors in the kidney and bladder will need to be removed surgically. Fortunately, we have great, minimally invasive options to remove these tumors without a large incision.

Often we will see patients for microscopic blood in the urine detected by their primary care doctor. While not as serious, it still requires a complete panel of testing.

Your treatment options will depend on what the testing shows. A UTI will be treated with antibiotics, water and other measures of prevention. If we find a kidney stone, then the treatment could be a number of various options to eliminate the stone, including laser and shock wave therapy, which are both minimally invasive options.

Whatever the cause, it is of the utmost importance to call our office at the first sign of blood in your urine. Our caring staff is here to help you.

– Dr. P

FAQs for Mid-Urethral Slings

I often have patients ask me about Mid-Urethral Slings to treat and prevent their stress urinary incontinence. The first thing I tell patients is that the FDA has deemed Mid-Urethral Slings as safe, and I’ve personally seen this option work for many women who struggle with the loss of urine during physical activities. Here is a list of a few FAQs to review, originally published by AUGS. To see the full list, click here. Call my office to learn more about how this procedure can change your life.

What is a mid-urethral sling (MUS)?
A mid-urethral sling (MUS) is a small mesh strip used in surgery to treat stress urinary incontinence, a type of leakage that occurs during activity such as laughing, coughing, or exercise. The mid-urethral sling works to prevent or significantly reduce the loss of urine during these activities.

The surgery is done through a small incision in the vaginal wall below the urethra (the tube through which urine passes from the bladder). Through this incision a half-inch wide strip of polypropylene mesh is placed between the urethra and the vagina. The ends of the mesh are passed out incisions in the groin or above the pubic bone. Using absorbable suture, the vaginal incision is closed covering the sling.

Are mid-urethral slings safe?
The mid-urethral sling is considered safe and effective by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA). As with any surgery, complications can occur but they are typically minor and can usually be repaired.

What sort of evidence supports the efficacy and safety of the mid-urethral sling?
The mid-urethral sling procedure is the most studied surgery to treat stress urinary incontinence and there have been over 2,000 articles published about it. Results of these studies have appeared in prestigious medical journals such as the New England Journal of Medicine. Two large government funded studies have evaluated the mid-urethral sling’s safety and efficacy – both found the procedure to have a low complication rate and a high success rate. Other large scientific studies from around the world have supported the safety and efficacy of the mid-urethral sling.

What is the difference between a mid-urethral sling and vaginal prolapse mesh?
A mid-urethral sling is used to treat stress urinary incontinence. A vaginal prolapse mesh is placed through a vaginal incision to correct a vaginal bulge (ex. cystocele, rectocele or dropped uterus). Vaginal prolapse mesh is larger and placed in a different location than the mid-urethral sling mesh.

Does a mid-urethral sling cause cancer?
There is no evidence that any women have developed cancer as a result of a mid-urethral sling.

Does a mid-urethral sling cause any other diseases?
There is no evidence that polypropylene mesh or mid-urethral sling causes other diseases.