Why and When Should You See a Urologist
You shouldn’t be alarmed when your doctor refers you to a urologist. This medical specialist diagnoses and treats urinary tract diseases and any disease involving men’s reproductive tract. Urological conditions affect people in the UAE and worldwide; it is crucial to seek help whenever you have a problem. Sometimes urologists perform surgery to remove a blockage in the urinary tract or cancer. You can find urologists in hospitals, urology centers, and private clinics.
When to See a Urologist
Although your family doctor can treat mild urinary issues like UTI, he might refer you to a urologist if the symptoms get worse or don’t improve or if your condition requires a specialist.
In various cases, you might need to consult a urologist and other specialists. For instance, if you have prostate cancer, you need a urologist and an oncologist (cancer specialist). Various symptoms should push you to seek medical care; they include;
- Blood in urine
- Trouble urinating
- Pain or burning when urinating
- Urine leakage
- Pain in the pelvis, lower back, or sides
- Urgent need to urinate
- Weak urine flow.
If you;re a man, you need to see a urologist if you notice these signs;
- A lump in the testicle
- A decreased libido
- Trouble keeping/getting an erection.
Reasons to See a Urologist
When your doctor refers you to a urologist, you might feel embarrassed or uncomfortable because it can feel awkward to address these issues. However, urologists are trained medical specialists who deal with various problems, including;
Most men associate a urologist with a prostate exam; this is true; the specialist performs this exam to ensure that you don’t have prostate or bladder cancer. Prostate cancer occurs in the prostate and is one of the most common cancers in the world.
Most prostate cancers develop gradually and are limited to the prostate gland, and might not pose any harm. Although some are minimal and harmless, others spread fast and are aggressive.
It is necessary to consult a urologist for a prostate exam because when prostate cancer is detected early, there is a high chance of successful treatment. Prostate cancer has no symptoms in the early stages, but it shows the following signs when it is advanced;
- Erectile dysfunction
- Trouble urinating
- Bone pain
- Blood in the semen
- Blood in urine
- Unexplained weight loss.
Although it is unclear what causes prostate cancer, certain risk factors like family history, age above 50, obesity, etc., can cause prostate cancer.
Like prostate cancer, bladder cancer starts in the cells of your bladder. A urologist diagnoses and designs the best treatment plan for you if you have bladder cancer. Early detection promotes successful treatment. However, you need follow-ups because bladder cancer can come back even after treatment. Make an appointment with your doctor if you notice;
- Painful urination
- Frequent urination
- Back pain
- Blood in urine.
Risk factors for bladder cancer include;
- Exposure to chemicals like arsenic
- Chronic bladder inflammation
- Previous cancer treatment
- Family history.
Prostate Gland Enlargement
Prostate gland enlargement or benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) is common in men as they grow older. It can be uncomfortable to deal with an enlarged prostate gland. Several treatments are available, for instance, minimally invasive treatments, medication, and surgery.
Treatment depends on what your urologist thinks is best, depending on the symptoms, the size, and other health conditions. It is crucial to seek medical care if you have these symptoms;
- Frequent or urgent need to urinate
- Inability to completely empty your bladder
- Difficulty starting urinating
- Increased frequency of urinating at night
- Dribbling at the end of urinating
- Weak urine stream.
You might also experience less common signs like blood in urine, inability to urinate, and urinary tract infection.
Kidney stones are hard sediments of salts and minerals deposited inside your kidneys. Some medical conditions, obesity, diet, and certain medications and supplements can cause kidney stones. They can affect any part of the urinary tract; when your urine is concentrated, stones form, minerals harden and stick together.
Although they cause no permanent damage when detected in the early stages, passing them can be painful. Most times, all you have to do is drink a lot of water and take pain medication to pass kidney stones.
In other cases, for instance, when kidney stones get stuck in the urinary tract, cause complications, or are associated with urinary tract infections, you might need surgery. The urologist might also advise you on ways to prevent the recurrence of kidney stones if you are at a high risk of developing them again.
You might have kidney stones in you notice these symptoms;
- Pain or burning sensation while urinating
- Severe, sharp pain on the back and side, below your ribs
- Pain that comes with waves and change in intensity
- Pain that spreads to the abdomen and groin
- Foul-smelling or cloudy urine
- Pink, brown, or red urine
- Nausea and vomiting
- Persistent need to urinate, urinating in small amounts, or urinating more often than usual.
Erectile dysfunction can increase as you age. If you have an ongoing erectile issue, you should consult your doctor. It could be a sign of an underlying condition that requires urgent medical care; it could also be a risk factor for heart disease.
Although it might be embarrassing or awkward, it is crucial to talk to your doctor if you have any concerns. Treating the underlying condition can fix this problem, or in some cases, medications might be ideal.
Pelvic Organ Prolapse
Urologists don’t just treat men; they also treat women. Pelvic organ prolapse is a pelvic floor disorder. Many women suffer from this or similar conditions at some point in their lives. Pelvic Organ Prolapse is the dropping of any pelvic floor organs like the uterus, bladder, vagina, rectum, and small bowel. This happens when these organs descend outside or into the anus or vaginal canal.
Visiting a urologist does not sound exciting; however, it is necessary, especially when you have any of the above symptoms. It is also important to go for the prostate exam if you have a family history of prostate cancer or are above 50 years.