According to the Mayo Clinic, many health care providers can treat bladder control problems without referring you to a specialist.
But not all primary care providers have the necessary training or experience. And despite the current improved understanding and treatment of urinary incontinence, some doctors consider it an inevitable consequence of childbearing, menopause or normal aging. That belief may make them unlikely to consider treatment.
Another factor to be wary of is the fact that some treatments have proven hazardous for urinary incontinence patients.
Vaginal mesh implants, for example, have prompted thousands of lawsuits due to their tendency to fail and cause health problems including chronic pain, infection, organ perforation and even death.
If your doctor dismisses your symptoms or seems uninformed about possible treatments, the Mayo Clinic recommends that you ask for referral to a specialist.
Doctors who specialize in urinary disorders include:
Urogynecologist: This is an obstetrician-gynecologist with additional training in problems that affect a woman’s pelvic floor — the network of muscles, ligaments, connective tissue and nerves that helps support and control the bladder and other pelvic organs.
Urologist: A urologist specializes in male and female urinary disorders as well as the male reproductive system.
Geriatrician: This medical doctor specializes in the care of older adults, often with special emphasis on problems related to medications and quality-of-life issues, such as incontinence.
If you’ve received a vaginal mesh implant, you should consult with a doctor if you have any ongoing symptoms or health concerns. If you have significant injuries, you should also consult with a mesh lawyer to discuss your legal rights.
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