Women's Incontinence and Sexual Health

U.S. News & World Report Award

Recognized as High Performing

Froedtert Hospital is recognized as high performing in six medical specialties, including gynecology.

Certain health concerns in a woman’s life can be difficult to discuss with others — even with her physician. These concerns include urinary incontinence, pelvic organ prolapse and sexual health issues. In addition to causing discomfort, inconvenience and sometimes pain, these health problems often cause embarrassment.

Some women choose to live with these problems rather than seek help. It’s important to know these issues are common and, in most cases, very treatable.

  • Incontinence — About 30 percent of American women suffer from urinary incontinence at some point in their lives, and women are twice as likely as men to develop urinary incontinence. Fecal incontinence — the inability to control bowel movements — occurs in 5 percent of women. Incontinence can cause unnecessary stress, embarrassment and social isolation. There are many ways to treat or manage incontinence, including medication, physical therapy, behavior modification, surgical options and special exercises. 
  • Prolapse — It’s believed that a third of all women or more experience pelvic organ prolapse, which can affect a woman’s quality of life. Many surgical and non-surgical treatments are available today to treat this and other pelvic floor disorders. 
  • Sexual Health Issues — Between 25 percent and 50 percent of women experience a range of sexual health issues, including low libido and painful intercourse during their lives. Sexual difficulties may begin early or later in a woman’s life and can develop suddenly or gradually. The causes may be physical, psychological or both. Fortunately, most sexual health issues are treatable.

Personalized, Comprehensive Care

When seeking treatment for a pelvic floor disorder or sexual health problem, it’s important to receive care from physicians who are specially trained in diagnosing and treating these problems. The Women’s Incontinence and Sexual Health Program brings together experts in treating incontinence, organ prolapse and women’s sexual health issues. The program is unique in Wisconsin in the size and expertise of its staff and in the scope of services offered.

The program is based on feedback from women who told us the types of services they want. All services are provided with patient privacy in mind, including a discreet clinic entrance, a separate waiting room and a bathroom in each exam room.

Multidisciplinary Team

The Women’s Incontinence and Sexual Health Program team dedicates its practice to women with urologic and sexual health issues — with a goal of having a positive outcome for each woman.

All team members — urogynecologists and urologists who focus on women’s urologic conditions, as well as obstetrician/gynecologists and internal medicine physicians with expertise in women’s sexual health, a physician assistant, registered nurses, a physical therapist, a nurse practitioner and a psychologist — are highly experienced and work together to provide optimal treatment. The program coordinator, a registered nurse, oversees all patient referrals and inquiries and is dedicated to talking to you, evaluating your problem and coordinating care with the program team.

Program physicians will conduct a thorough evaluation to determine the physical and/or psychological causes of problems, and personal, comprehensive care plan based on each woman’s unique needs. If desired, care will be coordinated with the woman’s primary care or referring physician.

Because some women experience more than one health concern (such as incontinence and a sexual health issue), team physicians may refer women to other physicians within the program or in complementary programs to ensure all health concerns are addressed.

Trial Studies New Incontinence Device

Froedtert & the Medical College of Wisconsin have begun a clinical study of InTone, a new medical device that treats female urinary incontinence. The study will evaluate its effectiveness in women with stress incontinence, urge incontinence, or mixed (stress AND urge) incontinence.