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PRIMARY CARE FOR WOMEN: Assessment and Management of Genitourinary Tract Disorders


  • Mary Barger CNM, MPH,

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    • Mary Barger is an Assistant Professor in the Health Services Department at Boston University School of Public Health and currently teaches in the nurse-midwifery education program. She graduated from the Johns Hopkins School of Hygiene and Public Health Nurse-Midwifery Program in 1979 and for the last 12 years has been active in full-scope nurse-midwifery practice and teaching

  • Barbara Woolner RN, CRNA

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    • Barbara Woolner is biofeedback certified and specializes in using biofeedback in the treatment of genitourinary disorders. She is the Continent Care Specialist for the Jewish Home for the Aging of Greater Los Angeles and a Continence and Pelvic Muscle Dysfunction Therapist at the University of California, Irvine Medical Center. She lectures and teaches workshops on the behavioral treatment of urinary incontinence and related disorders.

Mary Barger, CNM, MPH, Boston University School of Public Health, 80 E. Concord St., A-207, Boston, MA 02118.


This article reviews the basic anatomy and physiology of the genitourinary system and disorders commonly encountered in the primary care setting. The role of the nurse-midwife in the assessment and treatment or referral of complaints of dysuria, hematuria, and incontinence is discussed. The treatment of nonpregnant women with cystitis is addressed; symptoms associated with pelvic relaxation are discussed, and a management scheme for teaching effective pelvic floor exercises is presented.