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Women's Behavioral Health: Urogynecology Services at UPMC in South Central Pa.

The psychiatrists and therapists at Women’s Behavioral Health Specialists help women manage stress, anxiety, and mood disorders that develop as a result of urogynecologic problems, including interstitial cystitis, pelvic floor prolapse, and incontinence.

Treatment for stress, anxiety, depression, and other mental health concerns linked to urogynecologic conditions depends on the specific cause, your symptoms, and the severity of your condition. Depending on your condition, your doctor may recommend one or more treatments, including:

  • Antidepressants and anti-anxiety medications. These medications may be prescribed to treat psychiatric symptoms that are moderate to severe, as well as pain caused by the urogynecologic condition itself. However, before prescribing medication, your physician will consider how the medication may interact with other medications you are taking. Our psychiatrists will work closely with you and your urogynecologist to determine the safest and most effective mental health treatment.
  • Counseling. Our practice offers one-on-one counseling and group therapy to help women discuss and manage stress, depression, anxiety, and mood disorders. We also offer psychotherapy to treat trauma-related conditions. Our specialists may also recommend light therapy, exercise therapy, or other alternative options to help you manage your condition.

What are urogynecology-related mental health concerns?

Urogynecologic conditions can cause pain and other symptoms that significantly affect your quality of life, which may lead to frustration, low self-esteem, social isolation, and embarrassment. As a result, some women develop feelings of depression and anxiety that are severe and don’t go away.

Distress related to some urogynecologic conditions, such as incontinence, pelvic organ prolapse, and interstitial cystitis, can be caused by physical, sexual, or emotional trauma.

Urogynecology-related mental health issues that may require treatment include:

  • Depression
  • Stress
  • Anxiety
  • Panic attacks
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)

What are the symptoms of urogynecology-related mental health concerns?

If you have been diagnosed with a urogynecologic condition, you should get help if you experience symptoms of depression or anxiety that last for more than a few days. Symptoms may include:

  • A loss of interest in everyday activities
  • Depression that doesn’t seem to go away
  • Strain in your personal relationships
  • Difficulty thinking about anything other than your condition
  • High levels of anxiety, stress, or worry
  • Inability to focus on completing tasks and difficulty concentrating
  • Changes in sleep patterns (difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep, early morning awakening, sleeping more than usual)
  • A marked increase or decrease in your appetite and weight
  • An increase in your use of drugs or alcohol
  • Thoughts of death or suicide
  • Social isolation
  • Persistent feelings of pessimism, guilt, worthlessness, bitterness, or anger

Who is at risk for urogynecology-related mental health concerns?

Anyone who is diagnosed with a urogynecologic condition can develop related emotional and behavioral issues.

However, if you have a personal or family history of mental health conditions, you may be at a higher risk of developing a mental health problem related to your urogynecologic condition. And, the more severe your urogynecologic condition, the higher your risk of experiencing anxiety and depression.

How can I prevent urogynecology-related mental health concerns?

The best way to prevent mental health issues is to be proactive about your mental and emotional condition and get help at the first signs of problems.

It may help to eat well, exercise, give yourself time during the day to relax, and spend time doing activities you enjoy. Deep breathing, yoga, massage, and guided imagery may help you relax.

Need more information?

Phone: 717-988-9430

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