A urologist is a doctor who treats health problems that concern the urinary tract. They treat a wide range of conditions, including bladder and kidney cancer, as well as quality-of-life issues related to this system.
Men are encouraged to see a urologist for a checkup. But do they need to?
1. Pelvic Organ Prolapse
A urologist treats health issues that involve the kidneys, bladder, and male reproductive organs. They also help with problems such as erectile dysfunction and low testosterone.
A physical exam and medical history are the first things a urologist will do. They’ll look for signs of weakness in the pelvic floor muscles urologist online, which are needed to support the uterus, bladder and rectum.
Your doctor may also take urine samples or use a urinary tract X-ray (intravenous pyelography) to see how well your bladder and other structures are working.
If these tests don’t help, your urologist may recommend other tests. For example, a voiding cystourethrogram shows if your bladder leaks while you pee and measures how well your urethra works.
If the symptoms are severe or don’t improve with conservative treatments, your urologist may recommend surgery. Options include obliterative surgery that sews up the vaginal walls or reconstructive surgery that repairs the weakened areas of the pelvic floor.
2. Blood in the Urine
When blood appears in the urine, it’s called hematuria. It may be macroscopic (bright red) or microscopic (small amounts that are too small for humans to see), and it can be caused by many conditions.
Often, hematuria isn’t a cause for concern, but it is still important to get tested by a doctor. It could be a sign of an infection, kidney disease or cancer.
Hematuria can also be a symptom of a rare blood disorder called a hemophilia. Hematuria can be very painful and requires medical attention to avoid the risk of bleeding or clots that can block the flow of urine.
Other causes of hematuria include inflammatory disorders, urinary tract infections and kidney, bladder or ureter stones. Urologists often treat these issues, and they can give you a urine test to find the cause of your blood in your urine. Your urologist can also order tests to examine your urinary tract. These tests can help your urologist find the cause of your hematuria and develop a treatment plan for you.
3. Urinary Incontinence
There are several reasons why you should see a urologist. They can help determine the cause of urinary incontinence, treat it and prevent other problems.
Men have different internal systems than women, so it’s important to choose a urologist who specializes in men’s health. The urologist will need to perform a physical exam and take your medical history.
They may also conduct a cystoscopy, which is a procedure that allows them to look inside your bladder with a small camera. This is especially helpful when you have a serious medical condition, such as kidney stones or a bladder infection.
Some lifestyle changes, such as weight loss and quitting smoking, may help reduce or eliminate the symptoms of urinary incontinence. Other treatment options include medications, surgery and biofeedback. Kegel exercises can also help strengthen your pelvic floor muscles and improve bowel control.
4. Other Symptoms
Aside from urological issues, the urologist is also responsible for male reproductive health. They can treat various urinary tract disorders and problems related to the male and female reproductive system, as well as prostate cancers and erectile dysfunction.
Men are often referred to urologists by their primary care physicians for more serious conditions, such as a UTI or kidney stones. The urologist will examine the patient and order tests, such as blood or urine tests.
Another common symptom that men should see a urologist for is pain in the lower back or abdomen area. This pain may be caused by kidney stones, but it could also be from something more serious like bladder inflammation or a condition called interstitial cystitis.
Many men also see a urologist for issues such as painful bladder syndrome, urinary incontinence, or a bladder cancer diagnosis. These symptoms can be uncomfortable to talk about, but they can lead to major urologic issues that require treatment before they get worse.