Expert in Female Pelvic Medicine Joins Einstein Healthcare Network
As a specialist in female pelvic medicine at Einstein Healthcare Network, Joshua Cohn, MD, is also, by necessity, a myth-buster.
That’s because many women who suffer from pelvic floor disorders—they leak urine when they laugh, say, or they run to the bathroom constantly, or they have painful sex—think it’s something they just have to learn to tolerate. Dr. Cohn’s first job is to dispel that myth.
“People think it’s age and there’s nothing that can be done about it,” said Dr. Cohn, who practices urology at Einstein Medical Center Elkins Park and Einstein Medical Center Montgomery.
In fact, these problems are treatable with a wide range of options, Dr. Cohn said, ranging from something as simple as a lifestyle change—reduce intake of caffeinated drinks, for instance—to medications, to minimally invasive procedures or, in some cases, major surgery.
“We can make a really dramatic difference in a patient’s quality of life,” Dr. Cohn said. He’s one of only three urologic surgeons in the Philadelphia area who are fellowship-trained in female pelvic medicine.
Although pelvic problems are often the result of pregnancy and childbirth, the body often compensates until hormones begin to diminish after menopause, Dr. Cohn said. At that point or even before, he said, the symptoms appear but are often ignored because of false assumptions about their treatability, or because attention to other health issues takes precedence. But the symptoms are uncomfortable, intrusive, and very common.
Studies show that one of every seven women suffers from an overactive bladder; one of every three suffers from urinary leakage, and one in every eight will undergo surgical treatment for urinary leakage or vaginal prolapse—in which pelvic organs drop below their normal position in the body, which may cause pelvic pressure, difficulty urinating or difficulty having a bowel movement.
In addition to treating urinary incontinence, pelvic organ prolapse and pelvic pain, Dr. Cohn also treats complex problems of the female bladder and urine channel, such as an abnormal connection between the vagina and bladder resulting from surgery or radiation, or narrowing of the urine channel due to scar tissue.
Dr. Cohn attended the University of Pennsylvania and the University of Michigan Medical school. He completed his internship and residency at the University of Chicago Medical Center and a fellowship in Female Pelvic Medicine and Reconstructive Surgery at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, Tennessee.
Dr. Cohn’s interest in medicine began as a child, when his father —an allergist and pulmonologist—took him on his patient rounds. He was drawn to his specialty through observation of, and recommendation by his mentors, he said, and also because it is a good fit with his personality.
“I’ve always been a very sensitive person, and I really care about my patients and their families,” he said. “I take it personally—I want every patient to be better off for having met me. Sometimes all that is required and appropriate is to listen, care and counsel. In other cases, I’m able to offer medical and surgical options with skills and knowledge afforded to me through training.” The issues he treats are “huge public health problems” and there is a paucity of clinicians trained to treat them. “I feel like I can really make a difference,” Dr. Cohn said.
Dr. Cohn lives with his wife and daughter in Chestnut Hill.
Photo by Wes Hilton