Leading the Way
Dr. Stephanie Molden of the Female Pelvic Health Center is bringing new procedures and innovation to women suffering from incontinence
by Amanda Hamm Hengel

Approximately one-third of people between the ages of 30 and 70 believe incontinence is just a part of aging that should be accepted, according to the National Association for Continence. While it may be a part of aging, Stephanie Molden, M.D., founder of Newtown’s Female Pelvic Health Center, does not believe it is something that women should simply accept. In fact, she offers solutions for women to take back their lives and escape being just another statistic.

“As a small, private surgery center and doctor’s office, we are able to offer treatment options to patients who have failed other options,” she says. “We are able to do different things for patients, and give them options they may not have had before.”

Along with offering solutions to medical problems associated with urinary incontinence and pelvic-floor-support abnormalities that many other centers do not, the Female Pelvic Health Center is also unique in that Dr. Molden works with an all-female staff whose goal is to make patients as educated and comfortable as possible.

“Patients usually remark on the aesthetics of our office, and also on how caring the staff is,” Dr. Molden says. “I often hear, ‘Your staff is so nice; I feel comfortable discussing this here.’ It’s an uncomfortable topic for a lot of women, so we try to make them as comfortable as possible.”

Most of the surgeries Dr. Molden performs are either outpatient or require only a one-night stay. Among her most common procedures is the treatment of stress incontinence, which is leaking caused by actions such as coughing or exercise. Unlike other providers, Dr. Molden is able to perform some procedures at her office in a certified surgical center. With access to the surgical center right at the Female Pelvic Health Center, the procedure is much more accessible to patients who may worry about the time surgical procedures can take.

“We are able to avoid major anesthetics, and patients are often in and out in less than an hour,” she explains. Dr. Molden says the option is very popular with active women who may be working or have children and simply do not have the time to take off for a procedure that requires an extensive recovery period. “It only requires a single small incision and most people barely realize they even had anything done. That’s the beauty of it—recovery is quick.”

Dr. Molden’s commitment to offering the latest in treatment solutions does not stop at incontinence and prolapse procedures or the various other procedures and treatment options she currently offers. This fall, the Female Pelvic Health Center will be part of several nationwide studies on certain procedures and surgery techniques that will allow her patients the opportunity to be part of clinical studies that could change the way women’s health is treated. “I also sit on innovation panels and work with companies to come up with new products,” she adds. “There are always new products coming out and procedures changing. The push nowadays is for less invasive office or ambulatory procedures.”

Dr. Molden has a reputation for leading the way in utilizing new techniques in her field, as she was the first to use the da Vinci robotic surgical system for urogynecologic surgery at both St. Luke’s University Hospital in Bethlehem and St. Mary Medical Center in Newtown. She also helped start the robotic program at St. Mary Medical Center, performing the center’s first robotic surgery in April 2010. Dr. Molden, who currently serves as director of urogynecology at the center, is also one of the few doctors in the tri-state area to complete a three-year fellowship in urogynecology, again showing how committed she is to providing the best treatment options for her patients. “I’m always trying to bring in new options for my patients and stay on top of the current and best treatments that are available,” she says.

Performing surgeries and meeting with patients is just a part of Dr. Molden’s dedication to her field. Specializing in treating conditions associated with pelvic floor prolapse, she is also a lecturer and noted researcher on the subject, and has won multiple awards for her work. She is an active member of the American Urogynecology Society, among other medical organizations, and is an advisor for the Fellows Pelvic Research Network, where she assists fellows in urogynecology in research projects.

What truly makes Dr. Molden a leader in her field, however, is her compassionate stance on making her patients feel as though she is invested in their well-being, and the outcome of their treatment. Having performed more than 1,000 minimally invasive procedures, she understands the different kinds of situations women can go through, and offers individual treatment plans for each patient she sees. “I had a patient just the other day tell me, ‘You just changed my life,’” she recalls. “That’s what keeps me motivated. That’s what we love to hear.”

With a mission to provide the highest quality of care to her patients in an environment where they feel unrushed, thoroughly listened to and well informed, it is clear her patients could not find a better doctor to help them take control and enjoy the healthy, active lifestyles they deserve.

Female Pelvic Health Center
760 Newtown-Yardley Road, Suite 115
Newtown, PA 18940

Photography by Kim Billingsley