“A woman’s health often correlates to the overall health of her family. Her gynecologic needs evolve at every stage of life. As women mature, providers should recognize their needs and focus on those issues affecting their quality of life. Through education, access to timely screenings, preventative care and intervention, we strive to improve the overall health of each woman, and the health of her family.”
About Our Practice
Providing a Higher Level of Healthcare for Women
Consultations / Surgical and Non-Surgical Treatment for Female Pelvic Health
110 Goshen Rd.
Dr. Toni Sylvester is a board-certified gynecologist and a fellowship-trained urogynecologist. She is well-versed in medical advances, specifically for women.
Effingham Women’s Health serves women at all stages of maturity, from early adolescence through adulthood.
Our practice focuses on female pelvic health (outside of pregnancy). From diagnoses involving menstrual, sexual and menopausal health, to consultations for contraception, urinary incontinence, and pelvic organ prolapse, your care will be tailored to your needs.
Available at Effingham Women’s Health
- Diagnostic Laparoscopy
- Dilation and curettage (D&C)
- Endometrial biopsy
- Hysteroscopic ablation
- Implanon insertion/ removal
- IUD insertion/ removal
- Laparoscopy assisted hysterectomy
- Suburethral sling
- Tubal ligation
- Urodynamic testing
- Vaginal hysterectomy
- Vulvar biopsy
A Woman’s Guide to Taking Control of Her Bladder.
Urinary incontinence or overactive bladder (OAB) affects 30 to 50% of women. Urinary incontinence is seen in both men and women, though it is much more common in women. Although prevalence increases with age, incontinence among young women is quite common. Many women who have urinary incontinence are reluctant to discuss it with anyone, or are embarrassed to acknowledge that they have a problem, even to themselves. Sometimes women are made to feel that these conditions are “normal,” especially as they get older. However urinary incontinence should not be considered normal at any age.
If you are experiencing any of the symptoms you’ll read about in the “Bladder Health Guide”, it’s important to make your doctor aware of your concerns, specific symptoms and problems. Women over the age of 65 are also encouraged to make bladder health a topic to talk about with their doctor during their annual wellness exams. Because most urinary incontinence problems are rarely life-threatening, you may not perceive it as true health problem. The reality is that any issue impacting your quality of life is indeed a health problem.
At Effingham Women’s Health, improving your quality of life is our primary focus.
What is a Urogynecologist?*
A urogynecologist is a surgeon who has specialized in the care of women with pelvic floor disorders.
The pelvic floor is a set of muscles, ligaments and connective tissue in the lowest part of the pelvis that provides support for a woman’s internal organs, including the bowel, bladder, uterus, vagina and rectum.
A pelvic floor disorder occurs when women have weakened pelvic muscles or tears in the connective tissue due to excessive strain on the pelvis due to childbirth, repeated strenuous activity, menopause, chronic disease, or pelvic surgery. Other factors that can weaken the pelvic floor include repetitive heavy lifting, tobacco use, and genetics
The following are some problems that arise from damage to the pelvic floor:
- 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)
What Kind of Training Does a Urogynecologist Have?
Urogynecologists are physicians who have completed medical school and a residency in Obstetrics and Gynecology or Urology. These physicians become specialists with additional years of fellowship training and certification in Female Pelvic Medicine and Reconstructive Surgery1. 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.
When Should I See a Urogynecologist?
Although your primary care physician, OB/GYN, or urologist may have knowledge about these problems, a urogynecologist can offer additional expertise. You should see (or be referred to) a urogynecologist when you have problems of prolapse, and/or troublesome urinary or fecal incontinence or when your primary doctor recommends consultation. Other problems for which you or your doctor might think about consulting a urogynecologist include: problems with emptying the bladder or rectum, pelvic pain or bladder pain, fistulas, and the need for special expertise in vaginal surgery.
What Treatment Options are Available from a Urogynecologist?
A urogynecologist can recommend a variety of therapies to cure or relieve symptoms of pelvic floor disorders. You should choose the one that works best for your lifestyle and meets your goals.
Sometimes simple changes and interventions can have a significant impact on daily quality of life. He or she may advise conservative (non-surgical) or surgical therapy depending on your wishes, the severity of your condition and your general health. Conservative options include medications, pelvic exercises, behavioral and/or dietary modifications and vaginal devices (also called pessaries). Pelvic Floor Therapy with Biofeedback and Electric Stimulation are also treatments that your urogynecologist may recommend. Safe and effective surgical procedures are also utilized by the urogynecologist to treat incontinence and prolapse.
*Patient Education provided by the American Urogynecologic Society