Urologists are doctors who specialize in the treatment of diseases and complications of the urinary system. They also treat conditions of the male reproductive system, a function which, in women, is performed by a gynecologist. Urologists treat more male conditions than female ones, and men therefore are advised to visit urologists more often than women. The result is that women suffer from conditions of the urinary system in silence or they try to self treat. In almost all cases, this approach makes the condition worse.
Reasons Why Women Avoid Urologists
The main reason women avoid urologists is that female urological conditions carry social stigma. A lot of women are afraid that if they reveal they have a serious urinary tract infection, it will say something about their personal hygiene. Conditions such as incontinence and pelvic organ prolapse are looked upon as shameful. This kind of social stigma prevents many women from going to urologists.
Most women also confuse a problem of the urinary system with a condition of the reproductive system. They visit gynecologists for most of their medical problems, even when they are of the urological system.
Women should be taught from a very early age to feel confident about seeking treatment for any part of their bodies. They also should be made aware that problems of the urinary system are extremely common and that treatment options are readily available from most urologists’ offices.
Common Problems of the Female Urinary System
There are several conditions that women suffer from and which should always be referred to a urologist. These include:
1. Urinary Tract Infections. These are more common in women than men. They have a tendency to recur and may be simple infections or serious ones related to another health problem. Urologists are well trained to treat these.
2. Urinary Incontinence. This is also referred to as urine leakage. It can get very complicated if left untreated.
3. Kidney stones. These are very painful and should be treated at the earliest stages.
4. Pelvic Organ Prolapse. This occurs when the bladder, the upper roof of the vagina or even the rectum droops into the vagina. It affects a lot of women but it is not widely discussed. It makes all aspects of a woman’s existence very uncomfortable. Urologists are uniquely qualified to treat it.
Women should understand that a urologist is as important to their health as a gynecologist. They also should know that urologists understand the need to make female patients comfortable. And women should know that female urological problems are treatable and that most urologists, such as the Advanced Urology Institute, have invested heavily in the treatment of these problems. Their team of specialists can answer your questions, help with diagnosis and treatment of problems with the urinary system. For more information, visit the Advanced Urology Institute website.