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What a Urologist Does: From Kidneys to Prostate

Urologists are specialists in treating conditions of the male and female urinary tracts and the male reproductive organs.  While not every condition of the urinary and reproductive organs requires seeing a urologist, severe or persistent issues call for the intervention of these specialists.

After spending 4 years of study at medical school, a urologist takes at least 5 more years of special training. The doctor may even spend more years of training focused on a more specialized area of care, such as women’s urology, children’s urology, urological cancers, male infertility, kidney stones, sexual health, or reconstructive urology.

Therefore, a practicing urologist should have a deep understanding of the urinary and reproductive organs. The urinary system includes the urethra, ureters, bladder, and kidneys.  While the male reproductive system, including the scrotum, testes, prostate, and penis. 

What problems are commonly associated with these organs?

  1. Kidneys

These are two filtering organs located just below the ribs at each side of the spine. The urinary tract begins at the kidney and runs down to the urethra.  With the kidneys, the condition most frequently tackled by urologists is kidney stones.

  1. Ureters

Urine is made in the kidneys and passed to the bladder via these two tubes. When you have a severe urinary tract infection, it can travel up the ureters, requiring expert intervention by a urologist.

  1. Bladder

This is a pear-shaped organ found behind the pelvis. It is an expandable organ that stores up to 2 cups of urine.  Common bladder conditions diagnosed and treated by a urologist are urinary incontinence and overactive bladder.

  1. Prostate

Found only in men, the prostate is a tiny walnut-sized gland located at the base of the penis.  It increases in size at puberty. 

But it is its slow, steady growth after the age of 25 that often leads to an enlarged prostate and increases the risk of prostate cancer.

  1. Urethra

Urine and semen travel through the urethra before leaving the body. Most urinary tract infections (UTIs) tend to start at the urethra.

  1. Pelvic floor

The pelvic floor is the system of muscles and ligaments in the pelvis. It helps to hold the bladder, uterus and other organs. The weakening of these muscles can result in pelvic floor prolapse.

  1. Penis

This sexual organ in men may be associated with conditions such as erectile dysfunction—failure to have or sustain an erection for sexual intercourse. 

Some men also report the less common condition, Peyronie’s disease, which is characterized by curvature of the penis. Peyronie’s disease can sometimes be painful.

So when should you see a urologist?

While your regular doctor can treat mild urinary and reproductive system problems, you should see a urologist if your symptoms are severe or do not go away.

Urologists generally treat:

  1. Bladder problems
  2. Urinary tract infections
  3. Kidney stones
  4. Kidney blockage
  5. Bladder and kidney cancers
  6. Bedwetting in children

More specifically, in men, urologists treat:

  1. Erectile dysfunction
  2. Enlarged prostate gland
  3. Prostate cancer
  4. Testicular cancer

In women, urologists more specifically treat:

  1. Urinary incontinence after pregnancy
  2. Pelvic organ prolapse

You should see a urologist when:

  1. You have persistent urinary issues

When you have unending urinary problems, seeing a urologist is the most appropriate step.  Generally, it is advisable to visit a urologist when you have:

  1. Trouble starting or stopping a urine stream.
  2. Pain or discomfort during urination.
  3. Abnormal color of urine.
  4. Blood in urine (hematuria)
  5. Urinary incontinence (loss of bladder control)
  6. Pain in your lower back, groin, or stomach, which may mean kidney stones
  7. You are a man older than 40 years

After the age of 40, changes arise in the prostate gland that may necessitate regular check up. For instance, your risk of an enlarged prostate and prostate cancer increases around this time.

Equally, depending on your risk level, you may need regular prostate screenings when you reach the age of 50 years. The risk of bladder cancer also increases after 40 years.

Erectile dysfunction is also a common problem in men after the age of 40 years. And you should not live with it. So if you have trouble having or keeping an erection, see a urologist for help.

  1. You are a man who wants to undergo vasectomy

Vasectomy is a safe and permanent sterilization method. The outpatient procedure can be performed within 30 to 45 minutes by a urologist. And the recovery period is 8-9 days. 

 So if you’re interested in the procedure, visit a urologist to discuss whether the surgery is ideal for you and to schedule your day for getting the snip.

  1. You are a woman after menopause

With childbirth, the pelvic floor muscles weaken and results in increased risk of overactive bladder and incontinence. Should you experience any such conditions after childbirth, then you may need to see a urologist to help you achieve the desired relief.

Also, after menopause, you may experience vaginal atrophy, which may interfere with intimacy.  A urologist can provide the right treatment to help you cope with problems that arise after menopause.

Has your primary care doctor recommended that you see a urologist? Or are you having severe or persistent urinary symptoms that require specialist care?

At Advanced Urology Institute, we will guide you through the many decisions you need to make about protecting your urinary tract health. Our board-certified urologists have the training and experience to help promptly and accurately diagnose and treat urological disorders. 

Our urological procedures are designed to produce the best possible results. And we are proud that we achieve high success and satisfaction rates for our patients. For more information on how urology services can help improve your quality of life, visit the site “Advanced Urology Institute.”

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Advanced Urology Institute

Advanced Urology Institute is the largest urology practice in Florida. We are dedicated to improving the lives of our patients by providing excellent Patient-Centered Care. Set an appointment or visit our closest office near you.

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