About Urogynecology & Urogynecologists

Urogynecology (Female Pelvic Medicine and Reconstructive Surgery) is a sub-specialty of Obstetrics/Gynecology that is focused on the care of women with pelvic floor dysfunction.

Urogynecologists are physicians who become specialists with additional years of fellowship training and certification in Female Pelvic Medicine and Reconstructive Surgery (FPMRS). The training consists of providing expertise in the evaluation, diagnosis, and treatment of conditions that affect the muscles and connective tissue of the female pelvic organs. These physicians are also knowledgeable on the latest research in the field pertaining to these conditions. Dr. Melvin Ashford, director of Minnesota Women's Care, is one of very few board certified urogynecologists in the state of Minnesota.


What is pelvic floor dysfunction?

The pelvic floor is the system of muscles, ligaments, connective tissue, and nerves that help support and control the rectum, uterus, vagina, and bladder. Damage to the pelvic floor can occur because of childbirth, repeated heavy lifting, chronic disease or surgery.

What are the symptoms of pelvic floor dysfunction?

Urinary Incontinence: loss of bladder or bowel control, leakage of urine or feces.
Prolapse: descent of pelvic organs; a bulge and/or pressure; ‘dropped' uterus, bladder, vagina or rectum.
Emptying Disorders: difficulty urinating or moving bowels.
Pain: discomfort to the lower back, pelvis or bladder and/or urethra.
Overactive Bladder: frequent need to void, bladder pressure, urgency, urge incontinence (difficulty holding back urine when having the urge to urinate)
Fistulas: abnormal hole between the vagina and rectum (rectovaginal), vagina and urethra (urethrovaginal), or vagina and the bladder (vesicovaginal)

Does Minnesota Women's Care offer urogynecologic treatments?

Yes. Dr. Melvin Ashford is experienced in Female Pelvic Medicine and Reconstructive Surgery (FPMRS) and is board certified in this specialty. (A physician with this specialty is often known as a urogynecologist.) He is a well-regarded OB/GYN with wide-ranging experience diagnosing and treating female pelvic disorders. You may book an appointment directly with us. There is no need for a referral.

Dr. Ashford is an expert on the causes of and treatments for incontinence. If you'd like to read more in-depth information, feel free to download and view his PowerPoint presentation. Download with a click.