Female Pelvic Health Services
Welcome to Female Pelvic Health Services. We promise to provide you with the highest quality of care, to treat you with dignity and respect and to ensure your privacy and confidentiality.
Wake Forest Baptist is an academic medical center – a place where the best medical education, research and care come together for the benefit of patients. Our health care providers are experts in their fields and are experienced in treating the full array of pelvic conditions. We look forward to working with you to find the best solution for your health concerns. Because we focus on cutting edge innovation, we can often offer patients access to the latest therapies before they are widely available.
Being an academic medical center also means that we see patients with complex problems who may require extra time. As a result, our schedule may be disrupted. We thank you for your patience and promise to devote as much time as necessary to assist you with your condition.
Along with physicians with expertise in female public health, your care team includes dedicated nurses, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, physical therapists and may also include students, residents and fellows. We take great pride in our role training the next generation of health care providers and thank you for partnering with us in this important endeavor.
Surgical and non-surgical treatment options are offered, and to help our patients relax and strengthen the muscles of the lower pelvis, we offer pelvic floor physical therapy which involves biofeedback and exercises under the guidance of a specially-trained physical therapist. Pelvic floor physical therapy can help address sexual problems by improving chronic vaginal or pelvic pain and urinary incontinence. Typically, several months of pelvic floor physical therapy are needed to achieve satisfactory results. Other options include:
- Special exercises and therapies to strengthen pelvic floor muscles
- Percutaneous tibial nerve stimulation for urinary incontinence
- Diagnostic services including video-urodynamics and cystourethroscopy
The major conditions we treat through Female Pelvic Health Services include the following:
There are two types of urinary incontinence. With stress incontinence, urine leaks during physical activity, such as sneezing or swinging a golf club. With urge incontinence, often called overactive bladder, leakage is associated with an overwhelming need to urinate. Triggers can include running water or the “key in the door” syndrome. Mixed incontinence is when someone has both types of urine leakage.
Accidental bowel leakage (ABL), or fecal incontinence (FI), can be an embarrassing condition, with symptoms that include accidents without warning, rushing to the bathroom, constipation and/or loose stool. Many women try to manage their symptoms without telling anyone. Some women think ABL is just a normal part of aging, which is not true.
Women have a group of muscles that form a sling or a hammock of support across the opening of the pelvis called the pelvic floor. These muscles work with surrounding tissue to keep pelvic organs in place and functioning properly. If these muscles are weakened or injured, a woman can experience pelvic organ prolapse. This often takes the form of a mass or bulge protruding into or out of the vagina, pelvic pressure or pain and difficulties having sexual relations.
Surgical correction to the pelvic floor is known as prolapse surgery. Sometimes, different types of synthetic and biological material will be used to augment a repair such as transvaginal mesh, a net-like implant.
Painful bladder syndrome, or interstitial cystitis (IC), is a condition in which the bladder lining is tender and easily irritated. Symptoms can include severe pelvic pain, urinary urgency and frequency and painful sexual intercourse. It is often misdiagnosed as other conditions such as endometriosis, kidney stones or chronic urinary tract infections. There are an estimated 8 million women over age 18 with IC.
Overactive bladder (OAB)
A common medical condition characterized by a group of urinary symptoms. OAB can happen when nerve signals between your bladder and brain tell your bladder to empty even though it is not full or when the muscles in your bladder are too active. About 46 million U.S. adults who are 40 years of age or older say they have signs of OAB at least “sometimes.”
A UTI is a painful urinary tract bacterial infection affecting a woman’s pelvic health and considered recurrent if they occur two or more times in six months.
Recurrent UTIs caused by a persistent infection in the bladder are also referred to as chronic cystitis or a chronic urinary tract infection.
A condition in which there is poor coordination between the bladder muscle and the urethra. This results in incomplete relaxation or over-activity of the pelvic floor muscles during urination.
Vaginal mesh complications
Can occur following the implantation of transvaginal mesh to repair pelvic floor disorders such as prolapse. Complications from mesh can include including severe pain, nerve damage and vaginal scarring.
Can be a sign that there is a problem with one of the reproductive organs in the pelvic area, such as the uterus, ovaries, fallopian tubes, cervix, or vagina. Some women have more than one cause of pelvic pain at the same time.
Vesical vaginal fistula
Often is experienced by women after childbirth. It is defined as a hole that develops between the vagina and the bladder, resulting in uncontrollable leaking of urine through the vagina.
Rectal vaginal fistula
Occurs when there is an abnormal connection between the lower portion of the large intestine – the rectum – and the vagina. The opening allows stool and gas to leak from the bowel into the vagina.
About Female Pelvic Health Services
Female Pelvic Health Services is under the leadership of co-directors, Gopal Badlani, MD, and Catherine A. Matthews, MD.
Badlani has directed the Female Pelvic Health Services program in collaboration with obstetrics and gynecology for many years. With Matthews, who is an Ob-Gyn trained pelvic health specialist, joining the Urology Department, as well as the initiation of an ACGME- ACOG fellowship training program, the time was right to initiate a center that focuses on women’s pelvic health in a comprehensive manner.
Our providers include Dr. Bob Evans with Urology and OBGYN, Dr. Candace Parker-Autry with Urogynocology and OBGYN, and Dr. Majid Mirzazadeh with Urology and OBGYN. Other members of our team are:
| ||Erin Kelly, NP, MSN|
| ||Lisa Ann Colombo, PT|
| ||Andre Plair, MD, Fellow|
| ||Whitney Smith, MD, Fellow|
The program, which offers a transdisciplinary approach, has its own dedicated space in the Urology Clinic located at 140 Charlois Boulevard, Winston-Salem, and focuses on treatment conditions which are common in women and can have a profound negative impact on quality of life.