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A woman’s anatomy is designed to accomplish a variety of complex functions. Yet when many people think about the systems that make up the female urologic and reproductive functions, they envision them as one network. This would imply they need only one doctor.
But physiologically, these systems of the female body are quite different, regardless of their proximity. They don’t necessarily interact or require the same treatments. Therefore, when it comes to care, they require different experts: urologists and gynecologists.
I suspect this miscomprehension is due, in part, to the fact that so many women at a young age begin seeing a gynecology specialist for purposes of family planning. Few women visit a urologist, however, unless they experience symptoms of a urological condition, of which there are many. Let’s explore the difference between a gynecologist and a urologist.
Urologists Largely Treat Urinary Organs and Issues
In general, a urologist specializes in anything pertaining to the urinary tract – the kidneys, ureters (the ducts between the kidneys and bladder), bladder, and urethra. Conditions include:
Gynecologists Largely Treat Reproductive Organs
Gynecologists, on the other hand, specialize in conditions of the vagina, uterus, and ovaries, such as:
Some “Gray” Treatment Areas
The line between these two specialties blurs a bit when it comes to certain conditions, such as vaginal prolapse (pelvic floor weakness) and incontinence, both areas that could be treated by a urologist or urogynecologist.
A urologist, however, is specially trained and continually educated on all conditions and procedures involving the care of overactive bladder, UTIs, hematuria, stones, and other conditions specific to the urinary tract.
The guidelines we advise is for the patient to see the doctor she trusts the most, the one with whom she has a history of good care and who has expertise in her particular condition. When one looks at the systems of the female body as separate networks with distinct functions, the need for a specialist makes perfect sense.
The female urologic and reproductive functions require different experts: urologists and gynecologists. Dr. Rebecca Roedersheimer explains.
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