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Finding The Right Specialist For Urinary Incontinence

Who do you see that cares about your bladder health? In this post, we’re taking a deeper look at the different specialists who treat bladder and bowel health conditions. While you may think that your general practitioner is the best choice, there is a whole slew of specialists that are specifically trained in treating your urological and pelvic floor health. And while your GP is often a good first step, it may be wise to seek out someone who specializes in these areas for your long-term treatment.

You may be asking yourself: What are the types of doctors I can see for bladder leaks?  This is a great question, and it really depends on so many things. Keep reading for tips on how to find the right specialist for your bladder or bowel health condition.

Finding The Right Specialist

First thing first, let’s start with your Primary Doctor or your GP. This is often the person you’ll see first and is a great step. Your GP is your home base, someone you go to for initial consultations, and who you’ve likely seen many times before for checkups and other health concerns.  This makes them a great first step when determining the causes of bladder and bowel leakage.

You hopefully also have a good relationship with them, which can ease some of the discomforts of talking about things like a leaky bladder or pelvic floor pain.  Because your GP knows you and your health so well, they will likely be helpful in diagnosing what is causing those pesky bladder or bowel leaks, as there may be other underlying conditions he or she is also treating you for that are contributing.

However, even if that is the case, your GP may not always be the right person for this job in the long run. Here are some reasons why:

  • It’s possible they will give an incomplete or incorrect diagnosis.

    Because a GP has not undergone specialized training in urological health, they may not catch things that a urologist would that contribute to your diagnosis and, in turn, your treatment.

  • They may not be completely focused on your bladder/bowel health issues.

    Because your GP treats your overall health, they may be more focused on other health concerns that you’re experiencing, and may not give much time for you to talk about those bladder leaks you’re experiencing.

  • Your GP may not be up to date on specialized procedures, or products.

    New medications, products, and procedures are always coming to market and while your regular doctor likely tries to keep up with all of them, it can be easy to miss some, especially if they are targeting a therapeutic area that he or she isn’t as focused on.

  • Specialized medicine is the way of the times.

    We live in a modern society, where we can measure our health stats up to the minute and can look at specialized data on just about everything that is going on in our bodies. While GP is always going to be in your corner, someone that lives and breathes bladder and bowel health may be better equipped to help you diagnose your problem and set up a treatment plan.

Be sure to seek out the right specialist.

As with anything, it may take a little trial and error before you find the right doctor. If you are having trouble getting a diagnosis, or think you may have been misdiagnosed, consider the other possibility that you are not seeing the right specialist. Your symptoms may stem from a completely different area of the body that your current doctor or specialist is not as, well, specialized in.

That being said, some common specialists that deal with bladder or bowel health conditions are:

  • Urologists

  • Gynecologists

  • Urogynecologists

  • Pelvic Health Physical Therapists

  • Gastroenterologist

When To Seek Out A Specialist

So, when do you know it’s time to look for a specialist? There are lots of reasons you may wish to look beyond your primary doctor:

  •  In many cases, a GP may refer you to a specialist if the treatment required is beyond what they can do.

  • If your condition is chronic, complex, or rare, and requires a more specialized approach.

  • If your doctor is unaware of the different treatment options you’ve researched.

  • If your doctor is unwilling to explore other treatment options even when you’ve requested it.

  • If your doctor doesn’t take your concerns seriously or acts like they’re nothing to worry about.

  • If your prescribed treatment isn’t working and your doctor doesn’t offer you any alternatives.

  • If you see improvements in your condition, but then your symptoms start showing up again or getting worse.

  • If you’ve recently been diagnosed with a life-changing condition that will alter your life significantly.

  • If you’d simply like a second opinion on how to treat your condition.

How To Find A Specialist

  • Ask your doctor for a referral.  If you trust your doctor, he or she should be able to give you a reliable referral to a specialist you can trust. Possibly even affiliated with your doctor’s practice.

  • Ask a friend for a recommendation. If you know someone who may be dealing with a similar condition, ask them who they see.

  • Research online and look for reviews.

  • Check out the NAFC Doctor Finder

  • Call a local hospital you trust

Beyond simply finding a new doctor, you’ll also want to take note of their demeanor. When speaking with a specialist, ask yourself these questions:

  • Are they patient with your questions?

  • Do they address your concerns?

  • Are they open to exploring treatment options you’ve already researched or are interested in?

  • Are they able to explain, in simple terms, your condition and their recommended treatment?

Ensuring you’re comfortable with your doctor is an important factor in finding the right fit.

Learn more about common specialists that treat bladder leaks at the links below.

Specialist Guide

Gynecologist

Urologist

Pelvic Floor Physical Therapist

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