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.