Women's Health Oct 20, 2017

Women’s Health: Changing the Conversation

Local providers are tackling the most sensitive issues in women’s health

UT Health Austin urogynecologist Rebecca Rogers, MD, in Women's Health, speaks with two patients.

For women of all ages, the symptoms of prolapse can be terrifying. While some patients report feeling the sensation of their uterus “dropping out” of their body, others feel a physical bulge in their vagina. Known as prolapse, this pelvic floor disorder affects one in three U.S. women and occurs when organs including the uterus, bladder, urethra, small intestine, rectum, or vagina “drop down.” Despite their prevalence, these conditions are rarely discussed and, if they are mentioned among friends or covered in the media, it’s often dismissed as a normal part of being a woman.

The hope is to not only treat these things, but change the conversation around them as well.

Addressing stigma head-on

It’s exactly this “normalizing” culture that the providers in Women’s Health, a clinical partnership between Ascension Seton and UT Health Austin, are trying to change. In addition to pelvic floor disorders, the care center is focusing on the treatment of chronic pelvic pain and vulvar disorders. The hope, say the founders, is to not only treat these things, but change the conversation around them as well.

“We’ve chosen to focus on disorders that typically have shame or stigma attached them,” says Rebecca Rogers, MD, who served as the Medical Director for Women’s Health and Associate Chair for Clinical Operations and Integration in the Dell Medical School Department of Women’s Health. “They require specialized care. Unfortunately, it can be challenging to treat these patients in a care center where you may not see it very often. To offer these high-level specialty services requires a concentration of providers that are ready to treat these patients.”

Comprehensive, patient-centered care

The high-level specialty service is unique open to everybody. “We’re trying to create a comprehensive approach to providing care,” says Dr. Rogers. Made up of Dell Medical School faculty and professional staff members, a patient’s care team may be comprised of a doctor, nurse practitioner, medical assistant, nutritionist, and physical, sex, and behavioral therapists, depending on the need.

Ultimately, it’s a comprehensive approach that relies heavily on the patient’s involvement — and communication. “It’s a partnership about figuring out what works for you, in your life, in your family,” says Dr. Rogers. “We’re also going to figure out how you’re doing. If you’re not where you want to be, we’ll work with you.”

For more information about Women’s Health or to request an appointment, visit here.

About the Partnership Between UT Health Austin and Ascension Seton

The collaboration between UT Health Austin and Ascension brings together medical professionals, medical school learners, and researchers who are all part of the integrated mission of transforming healthcare delivery and redesigning the academic health environment to better serve society. This collaboration allows highly specialized providers who are at the forefront of the latest research, diagnostic, and technological developments to build an integrated system of care that is a collaborative resource for clinicians and their patients.

About UT Health Austin

UT Health Austin is the clinical practice of the Dell Medical School at The University of Texas at Austin. We collaborate with our colleagues at the Dell Medical School and The University of Texas at Austin to utilize the latest research, diagnostic, and treatment techniques, allowing us to provide patients with an unparalleled quality of care. Our experienced healthcare professionals deliver personalized, whole-person care of uncompromising quality and treat each patient as an individual with unique circumstances, priorities, and beliefs. Working directly with you, your care team creates an individualized care plan to help you reach the goals that matter most to you — in the care room and beyond. For more information, call us at 1-833-UT-CARES or request an appointment here.