When I first signed up for a urology rotation in medical school, I thought I was going to spending the next 6 weeks seeing old men with prostate cancer. I really was not interested in urology at that time, but I needed something to fill my fourth year schedule. What I really wanted to do was anesthesiology: putting in IVs and breathing tubes, lots of fun procedures.
But, the anesthesia rotation was already spoken for. So, now what? Well, I was planning to be a gynecologist, so I thought, well, at least if I do urology, then I’ll get more exposure to the pelvic anatomy. Get a refresher course on all the blood vessels and structures. That will be helpful, right? Even if it is just old men and their prostates.
Well, I couldn’t have been more wrong. Even then I didn’t realize just how wrong I was. Now as I sit here practicing not just urology, but 100% female urology, it is ironic that I thought that it was only prostates!
Of course, urology does encompass prostates in men. It includes everything in the urinary tract from the kidneys through the bladder and out the urethra. Urologists have medical treatments and all kinds of surgeries to treat patients. We treat patients from birth through death, men and women, boys and girls for everything from bedwetting to terrible cancers. It is a great variety surrounding that one part of the body. That’s the reason I fell in love with urology and switched from my pursuit of gynecology.
Female Urology, of course, focuses on the female urological tract. We don’t have prostates, so we don’t need to worry about that (thank God!), but we do have other issues. The most common issue that we have is overactive bladder and incontinence. God made us with short urethras (the pipe that the urine comes through) and a big opening in our pelvis muscles to allow us to have babies. If that opening gets stretched out, such as after having babies, then we start to have problems with organs dropping and having a difficult time controlling our urine. Sometimes it happens even if one has had only C-sections, or has no children.
Female urology is here to help with that! We have everything from physical therapy to medications to surgery to pacemakers, Botox and more. It is a very exciting time because we have some very effective treatments for this now, whereas ten years ago, the options were very limited. You don’t have to live with those pads your whole life!
That is not all that Female Urology entails. It also includes urinary tract infections, painful bladder conditions, kidney stones, evaluation of blood in the urine, slow urinary stream, bladder and kidney tumors, and more.
There is even now a subspecialty, in which I am certified, called Female Pelvic Medicine and Reconstructive Surgery, which focuses on certain conditions of the pelvic floor, especially prolapse (dropped organs) and incontinence. There are even more advanced surgeries that can be used to treat these conditions, including robotic surgery, which I have been doing for several years with beautiful results (beautiful from a pelvic surgeon’s perspective!).
Over the last twelve years, I have narrowed my urology practice down to females only. I couldn’t be more pleased with my choice. I get to treat some lovely women and see them get their life back: from a life of pads and worrying about where every bathroom is to urine control. And for others, it is helping them with infections, pain, stones, or reassuring them that the blood found in the urine isn’t serious for them. Female Urology is my complete career focus and my mission.
I am thrilled to announce that I will be introducing a new vaginal laser treatment as an outpatient procedure this fall at Houston Female Urology. As the first urologist in Houston who’s taking advantage of this groundbreaking technology, I can’t wait for my patients to reap the benefits! Meet the MonaLisa Touch.
The MonaLisa touch is a treatment aimed at combating vaginal atrophy. Vaginal atrophy may be caused by hormonal changes during menopause, and it may also occur in women who experience a decreased estrogen production due to cancer or breastfeeding. Thinning, drying and inflammation of the vaginal walls are typical characteristics, and it may cause intercourse to be painful and contribute to problems with urination.
My patients who experience these symptoms will now be able to restore youthful, trophic conditions in the vulvo-vaginal area with the MonaLisa Touch. The MonaLisa Touch is a minimally invasive laser method that is completely reliable. Its CO2 laser source emits an impulse, and the method does not trigger negative effects like some hormone-based therapies.
Often during the period of menopause, the vagina is subject to a loss of swelling and hydration of tissues, which may cause discomfort for many women. As I mentioned earlier, some of the symptoms include itchiness, dryness, burning, loosening of the vagina and pain during sexual intercourse. Not only do these symptoms cause discomfort, but they can also interfere with your quality of life.
I am excited about the MonaLisa Touch because it naturally and painlessly overcomes vaginal atrophy by triggering physiological processes that eliminate signs of aging. Most importantly, the treatment brings an improvement in physical conditions that enable women to feel like their vulvo-vaginal areas are aging in reverse.
Stay tuned as we share more information throughout the coming days and weeks about the MonaLisa Touch. I think you’re going to love it!
Ah, menopause. It makes you think about hot flashes and weight gain, but do you know about the common urological and pelvic health problems it creates? Some women experience virtually no symptoms, others’ symptoms are severe, and there are plenty of women in between. But, when your estrogen levels drop, chances are you will notice some not so nice changes in both your vagina and your overall sexual health.
Declining hormone levels are to blame. Estrogen maintains the fluids that keep your vaginal lining thick and elastic. When hormone levels drop, they often take with them vaginal moisture, sexual desire and bladder control. Sounds pretty bad, doesn’t it? There are ways to ease the symptoms, though, and we can help.
Here are four of the most common urological problems due to menopause, and what you can do about them:
Cheers to a healthy you!
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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.