Duke urogynecologists offer a range of effective options to treat pelvic floor dysfunction. If your pelvic floor has weakened to the point that surgery is necessary, our use of minimally invasive gynecologic surgery hastens your recovery, and helps you return to your normal activities.
About Pelvic Floor Dysfunction
Nearly half of all women experience pelvic floor dysfunction that include:
- urinary incontinence, bladder leakage, and fecal incontinence
- pelvic organ prolapse (dropped bladder, vagina, uterus or rectum)
- recurrent urinary tract infections, voiding difficulties and vaginal fistulas
Childbirth, constipation, obesity, respiratory problems and other conditions can weaken the pelvic muscles. In advanced cases, the upper section of the vagina or portions of the pelvic area drop into the vaginal canal. Too often, women don’t seek medical care because they are embarrassed, or don’t realize a variety of treatments can help.
Duke Health offers locations throughout the Triangle. Find one near you.
After a consultation, your doctor will perform a pelvic exam and will determine whether additional tests are needed. They may include:
This in-office test records how much urine you produce and how fast it empties from your bladder. A long, flexible tube inserted into your bladder measures how much urine remains.
A camera is used to look at the inside of the bladder and urethra.
MRI and Ultrasound
Both MRI and ultrasound scans create detailed pictures used to diagnose pelvic floor dysfunction.
While sitting in a toilet-like seat called a defecography chair, X-rays record how fast your rectum empties and how well your muscles work.
A small tube, attached to pressure monitors, is placed in the rectum to measure the strength of the muscles involved in bowel movements.
Why Choose Duke
Nationally Recognized Leaders
Our surgeons work closely with leaders in pelvic medicine to help set standards and treatment guidelines. We are known for our work in helping to develop surgical treatments and implantable stimulators that are the gold standard of treatment today.
We developed one of the most effective minimally invasive options used today to treat recurrent pelvic organ prolapse, which results in smaller scars and fewer complications when compared to open surgery. Our surgeons have completed advanced fellowship training in female pelvic medicine and reconstructive surgery, and have a wealth of experience using robotic minimally invasive surgical techniques. As a result, you experience less pain, a shorter hospital stay, and faster recovery.
Experts in Transvaginal Mesh Placement
Our specialists are trained and experienced in the latest advances used to place transvaginal mesh which holds pelvic organs in place. We are a national referral center for patients with severe complications related to transvaginal mesh, including scarring, fistulas, and vaginal mesh erosions.
A Team of Specialists
We frequently collaborate with pelvic floor physical therapists, neurologists, and colorectal surgeons so you receive the most comprehensive care. Our urogynecologists and urologists are board certified, meaning they have undergone advanced training and certification in female pelvic medicine and reconstructive surgery.
Access to Clinical Trials
We are one of eight centers in the nation funded by the National Institutes of Health as a pelvic disorder network site. This means you may have access to new therapies to treat incontinence and prolapse before they become widely available. Learn more about the NIH-funded clinical trials we are involved with.
Where you receive your care matters. Duke University Hospital is proud of our team and the exceptional care they provide. That is why our gynecology program is nationally ranked, and is among the highest ranked programs in North Carolina, according to U.S. News & World Report for 2021-2022.