Counseling in urogynecology: A difficult task, or simply good surgeon-patient communication?

Int Urogynecol J. 2018 Jul;29(7):943-948. doi: 10.1007/s00192-018-3673-8. Epub 2018 May 29.


Surgical treatments for pelvic organ prolapse (POP) and urinary incontinence (UI) have greatly changed in recent years. Prompted by increases in reports of adverse outcomes in relation to such treatments, several scientific societies and researchers have emphasized providing patients with thorough counseling before treating them. Patient-centered communication has become the gold standard for excellence in clinical care. This challenges clinicians to be cognizant of their patients' perspectives, motivations, expectations, fears, concerns, and social contexts to enable them to reach a shared understanding with patients. Considering this, urogynecology counseling represents a crucial process through which women can gain a clear understanding of their clinical condition and the risks and benefits of potential treatment options. However, many urogynecologists believe that proposing a treatment and providing only enough detail to secure informed consent constitutes counseling. This article is intended to describe good counseling for women undergoing urogynecological surgery and to suggest optimal methodologies for implementation.

Keywords: Counseling; Pelvic organ prolapse; Urinary incontinence; Urogynecology.

MeSH terms

  • Communication*
  • Counseling*
  • Female
  • Gynecologic Surgical Procedures / methods*
  • Humans
  • Pelvic Organ Prolapse / psychology
  • Pelvic Organ Prolapse / surgery*
  • Physician-Patient Relations
  • Surgeons
  • Urinary Incontinence / psychology
  • Urinary Incontinence / surgery*