Posts for: July, 2019
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It is inevitable that most men, especially as they age, will at some point experience some sort of urological problem. These complications could also be a result of certain conditions, injury, genetics, or even a birth defect. Urinary health is a vital component of a man’s healthcare. Urology focuses on the health of the urinary tract, which encompasses the kidney’s, bladder, urethra, and reproductive system, and is responsible for removing waste (urine) from the body.
Urologists have special training and knowledge of men’s health and what to do for the male urinary tract and reproductive system, should an issue arise. Many times, problems like urinary incontinence, infertility, and bladder infections (UTIs) are common problems that are often associated with women. However, this is not always the case, as men can be affected too. This can often cause embarrassment, and effect self-esteem, confidence, and quality of life. Therefore, when issues do arise, it is crucial that a man seek help from a urologist as early as possible, so further complications do not occur.
Here are a few of the most common urological conditions that affect men:
- Enlarged Prostate (BPH): Having an enlarged prostate is one of the most common issues for men, especially older men. This condition is called Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia or BPH. BPH occurs when the prostate, a walnut shaped gland located between the bladder and urethra, becomes enlarged, making it hard to urinate. Some men experience a sensation that they need to urinate, but nothing comes out, due to swelling of the bladder and prostate. BPH can be dangerous if left untreated, with kidney problems and infections a distinct possibility. The urologist will test a man’s PSA level (Prostate-Specific Antigen, a protein produced by the prostate), and if levels are high, it can indicate a possible diagnosis of prostate cancer.
- Prostate Cancer: Prostate cancer happens to be the second leading cause of death for men. It occurs when cells in the prostate become cancerous and start to grow uncontrollably. All men need to have their PSA level checked annually as well as have a digital rectal exam. Depending on the man’s PSA levels, and severity of the cancer, treatment options will vary and may include chemotherapy and radiation.
- Erectile Dysfunction (ED): Erectile Dysfunction is a common condition that affects men, with 52 percent of men age 40 and up experiencing ED in the United States. ED occurs when a man is unable to get or maintain an erection for sexual intercourse. It’s not uncommon for a man to feel embarrassed or depressed in this situation, as sexual health is an extremely important part of an intimate relationship. If they feel like they are not providing or pulling their weight, it hurts their confidence and self-esteem. Fortunately, the urologist has many treatment options for erectile dysfunction, including medication, hormone replacement, surgery, etc.
- Prostatitis or UTI: Men can get a urinary tract infection just like women can. If it burns when you pee, or the urine is cloudy, this can be a sign that bacteria are in your urinary tract and could result in a UTI. Generally, a UTI can be treated with antibiotics. Prostatitis is an infection in the prostate that is similar to a UTI, but can cause painful urination, abdominal pain, pelvic and lower back pain.
- Urinary Incontinence: Urinary incontinence is a more common condition for men as they get older. This occurs when muscles in the pelvic wall weaken, causing a person to lose control of their bladder, causing leaking, or someone to have to pee frequently.
Infertility: Infertility doesn’t only affect women. A man is the other part of the equation. 15 percent of couples are infertile, meaning after having sex for about a year, they are unable to conceive a child. Half of that percentage of couples contributes to the male side. A urologist can help properly diagnose the cause of infertility and help create a treatment plan. Treatment for infertility depends on what is causing it, which could be hormone levels, mood, stress, low sperm count, etc.
To learn more about the common urological conditions that could affect men, and what treatment options are available, call Urology Specialists of Milford at (508) 473-6333, or request an appointment online. A Harvard trained and board-certified urologist, Dr. Steinberg has extensive knowledge of the many ways that men’s health can be affected. He will diagnose your condition, and find the safest, most effective treatment for each individual.
The medical field of urology focuses on caring for the health of the urinary system, meaning the kidneys, ureters, bladder, urethra, the prostate gland, and your reproductive health. In other words, urologists can diagnose, treat, and monitor disorders of the urinary tract and the external genital organs. Urological concerns can include the kidney, ureter, urethra, bladder, reproduction problems and prostate issues.
Going to the doctor is not something that people like to do. Research shows that men in particular are often the ones who refuse to go to the doctor as much as they should. This seems to be true, especially when needing to see a urologist. Men are often embarrassed about having to see a urologist for problems such as erectile dysfunction (ED), but there are conditions and other problems that should not be ignored. Whatever you do, don’t put yourself further at risk by ignoring your symptoms.
Just because you think nothing could happen to you, it certainly can. While there is no recommended age for a urologist visit, as men get older there are certain things that should be screened for. And if you are experiencing some of the more obvious urological concerns you should make an appointment right away. Early diagnosis and treatment can make all the difference. Here are several of the more common situations that should warrant a visit to the urologist:
- Blood in Urine: Having blood in your urine is abnormal, and this often indicates that something is seriously wrong. This could be a condition called hematuria, which occurs when your kidneys or other parts of your urinary tract allow blood cells to leak into urine. Urinary tract infections or other conditions can arise as a result if left untreated.
- Erectile dysfunction (ED): Erectile dysfunction (ED) is when a man has trouble getting or maintaining an erection for or during sexual intercourse, which could be caused due to a variety of factors, including hormones, low libido, stress, mood, etc. Sexual satisfaction is known to be an important part of overall relationship satisfaction, and therefore men who have these conditions are embarrassed because they can’t perform. A urologist can help evaluate your symptoms and give you the right form of treatment. While it does seem like a personal matter, it is one of the many sensitive subjects that your urologist is trained to help you with. They will not judge, they will only help you solve your ED so that you can get back to regular life.
- Male infertility: Male infertility is rare, but still accounts for 25 percent of infertility issues. Male infertility, such as low sperm count, can also be a sign of testicular cancer and should be seen by a urologist, as this can affect you and your partner’s chance of having children.
- Elevated PSA levels: Your Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA) levels are used to detect early prostate cancer. While a change or higher level of PSA in the blood is not entirely indicative of prostate cancer, a urologist can determine the cause.
- Urinary Incontinence: Urinary incontinence is the loss of bladder control. It is very common and your urologist can help treat it.
- Testicular Pain: Pain in the testicles can be a sign of testicular cancer. If you see an abnormal lump, get it checked by your urologist immediately.
- Urinary Tract Infections (UTI): Urinary tract infections commonly affect women, but can also happen to men. Men are more prone to UTIs if they are also experiencing urinary incontinence. This is an infection in any part of the urinary system, meaning the bladder, kidneys, or urethra.
- Difficulty Urinating: Not being able to pee can be frustrating and cause discomfort. This is typically a sign of an enlarged prostate, and your urologist can prescribe medication to shrink the prostate, relieving the bladder and allowing you to urinate.
- Painful Urination: Having pain when you pee is an awful feeling. This could be a sign of bacteria being in your urinary tract, or there could be a blockage such as with a kidney stone. Your urologist can target the cause of the infection and administer the correct form of treatment.
- Kidney Problems: Kidney problems can be painful, and one of the most common is kidney stones. Kidney stones are stones that form in the urinary tract, and causes severe pain in the lower stomach, back, groin or testicles. Left untreated, stones can cause many problems for the kidneys and if severe enough, could cause permanent, lasting damage. Staying hydrated, by increasing the amount of water you drink could help reduce the occurrence of kidney stones.
To learn more about reasons to visit your urologist, call Urology Specialists of Milford at (508) 473-6333 to request an appointment with board-certified urologist Dr. Steinberg.
One of the most common problems affecting the urinary tract are kidney stones. As anyone who has experienced it knows, kidney stones can create intense pain.
A kidney stone is a concentration of hard materials, usually mineral salts, that develop within the urinary tract, the body’s drainage system for excess waste. The stones can occur anywhere along the urinary tract – from your kidneys (which filters blood and produces urine) to your urethra (the duct that expels urine from the body).
According to the National Kidney Foundation, one in 10 people will get kidney stones in their lifetime. Kidney stones affect nearly twice as many men than women and each year, more than half a million people go to the emergency room complaining of pain from kidney stones.
The stones form when the fluid in your urine is unable to dilute or break up the amount of crystal-forming substances present, such as calcium and uric acid. Tiny kidney stones may travel down the urinary tract and out of the body without causing much pain. But stones that don’t move on can obstruct urine flow and cause and a great deal of pain in the abdomen and groin areas. It may also cause inflammation around the kidney.
Risk Factors and Diagnosis
Risk factors for kidney stones include dehydration, a family history of kidney stones, and the use of many different medications such as diuretics, which increase how often a person passes urine.
Paying attention to the color of your urine is a good indication of your level of hydration and can be used to gauge whether you are consuming enough fluids. A pale yellow or clear color means you are adequately hydrated; darker-colored urine usually indicates you are not drinking enough fluids.
Difficulty urinating, or severe abdominal pain may indicate the presence of kidney stones.
Your physician may conduct a variety of diagnostic tests such as a physical examination, urine analysis, ultrasound, X-rays or CT scan, and blood tests. These tests can help rule out other conditions, such as a urinary tract infection, and help determine your best treatment options.
Treatment Options for Kidney Stones
Waiting for kidney stones to pass usually takes patience and time. Sometimes the stones will pass through your urinary tract on its own, and sometimes a urologist may prescribe medication to relax the muscles of the ureter and help break down the kidney stones, so it can pass out of the body during urination.
If the kidney stones are too large to pass through the body on its own, a urologist may recommend certain in-office procedures.
There are several procedures that can precisely break up, remove, or help people pass kidney stones.
In a uretoscopy, a doctor inserts a thin scope into the urinary tract via the urethra to remove the kidney stones.
In a lithotripsy, a doctor uses ultrasound or laser technology to break up the stones, allowing it to more easily pass during urination.
Not only can the presence of kidney stones be excruciatingly painful, but it can disrupt daily life, lead to hospitalization and even kidney damage if left untreated.
Dr. Jeffrey Steinberg can expertly evaluate and treat kidney stones and help prevent them from reoccurring. To find out more, call Urology Specialists of Milford at (508) 473-6333 to request an appointment with Dr. Steinberg.
It’s a common scenario: You go to the bathroom to pee, and what you see next shocks you. But should you notice blood in your urine, don’t ignore it – report it to your urologist immediately.
The presence of blood in urine is called hematuria. There are two types: microscopic or gross hematuria. Microscopic hematuria means that the blood in your urine can only be seen under a microscope. Gross hematuria is when the blood is visible to the naked eye and appears red, brown, or pink.
Blood in the urine can indicate any number of medical conditions or disorders, including:
- Enlarged Prostate – enlargement of the prostate gland (also called benign prostatic hyperplasia) that can cause difficulty urinating
- Kidney Stones – small, hard deposits that form within the urinary tract and can be painful as it passes out of the body
- Urinary Tract Infection (UTI) – a common infection that may affect the kidneys, bladder or urethra (the duct through which urine exists the body)
- Cancer – blood in the urine can be a sign of cancer within the urinary tract, such as prostate cancer, kidney cancer, bladder cancer, or cancer affecting the urethra
- Kidney Disease – a chronic condition that leads to renal failure
In addition, certain medications, such as blood thinners, pain relievers, and antibiotics may sometimes cause blood to appear in the urine.
A urologist will likely begin with a urine test to assess the situation. A detailed medical history, including a current list of medications, is an important part of correctly diagnosing and treating the underlying reason for the blood in the urine.
A physical exam will also be done to check for pain in the bladder or kidneys. Men may be asked to have rectal and prostate exams to check for symptoms of an enlarged prostate. Women may undergo a pelvic exam to discover whether the blood may be coming from the uterus.
Treatment will depend on what is causing the hematuria. For example, a urinary tract infection may require antibiotics; kidney stones may require medication or in-office procedures to either break up or help the stones successfully pass out of the body.
To learn more about hematuria, and what to do if you see blood in your urine, call Urology Specialists of Milford at (508) 473-6333 to request an appointment with Dr. Steinberg.