Urology is the medical and surgical specialty that focuses on the urinary tracts of both sexes and the reproductive system of males. This branch of medicine also deals with conditions that affect the kidneys, adrenal glands, bladder, urethra, and ureters.
Before booking an appointment with a urologist, it is natural to want to know more about what this specialist does. In case of surgery, always seek ways to guide you in lowering the cost of surgery so you can get the services.
These are some of the things you should look for:
- Their experience: You want to ensure that your urologist is experienced in treating the particular condition you seek help for.
- If they are board certified: This certification is an important marker of quality care.
- Which hospitals are affiliated: This can give insight into the level of care you can expect.
Here are some of the most common reasons why people see a urologist:
- Urinary incontinence or leakage
This involuntary loss of urine is a common problem, especially among women. It can be caused by pregnancy, childbirth, menopause, obesity, nerve damage, or prostate problems.
- Urinary tract infections (UTIs)
UTIs are more common in women than men and usually occur when bacteria enter the urinary tract through the urethra and multiply in the bladder. UTIs can cause severe discomfort and may lead to kidney damage if left untreated.
- Kidney stones
Kidney stones are hardened deposits of minerals and acid salts that form in the kidneys. They can cause severe pain when they pass through the urinary tract.
- Enlarged prostate (benign prostatic hyperplasia or BPH)
The prostate is a gland that surrounds the urethra and produces fluid that helps to nourish and transport sperm. As men age, the prostate can become enlarged, which can narrow the urethra and block the flow of urine. BPH is common among older men and can cause urinary frequency, urgency, and weak stream.
- Prostate cancer
Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men and the second leading cause of cancer death in men. It usually affects older men and can often be detected early with a digital rectal exam or prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test.
- Erectile dysfunction (ED)
ED is unable to achieve or maintain an erection sufficient for sexual intercourse. It can be caused by psychological factors, physical problems, or a combination of both.
- Male infertility
Infertility is the inability to conceive after one year of unprotected intercourse. It affects about 15% of couples and may be caused by various factors, including hormonal imbalances, genetic defects, infections, or structural problems.
- Testicular cancer
Testicular cancer is the most common cancer in young men and is usually curable if detected early. It can cause a lump or pain in the testicle, enlargement of the testicle, or a change in the shape or texture of the testicle.
A hydrocele is a collection of fluid in the scrotum that can cause swelling and discomfort. It is usually benign and does not require treatment.
If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, you should see a urologist for evaluation and treatment. Urology is a complex field of medicine, and urologists are specially trained to provide comprehensive care for patients with urological conditions.