When Should You See a Urologist?
Urology is a branch of medicine that specializes in the medical and surgical aspects of the female and male urinary tract as well as the male reproductive system. Urologists usually focus on any of these 7 subspecialties:
- Calculi for stones in the urinary tract
- Female urology for pelvic outlet relaxation disorders and urinary incontinence
- Male infertility
- Neuro urology for erectile dysfunction and voiding disorders
- Pediatric urology
- Renal transplantation
- Urologic oncology, which deals with cancer
Common Concerns That Need the Attention of a Urologist:
1)Recurrent Urinary Tract Infection:
UTI or urinary tract infection, as its name suggests, is the infection of the urinary tract. It is caused by bacteria and can be classified into 2 types, depending on whether they occur in the bladder or urethra. Bladder infections are almost always caused by Escherichia coli (E. coli), a typically harmless bacteria that can be found in the small intestine. Urethral infections are often caused by sexually transmitted infections such as herpes and gonorrhea. UTI symptoms include a burning sensation when urinating, bloody or dark urine, frequent urination, and kidney pain.
2) Urinary Incontinence:
Loss of control over one’s bladder is a common and embarrassing problem. Sometimes, incontinence only involves leaking a bit of urine upon sneezing or coughing. There are also episodes when it is so severe that getting to the toilet in time is pretty much impossible. Do not hesitate to see a urologist if your daily life is being disrupted by incontinence.
3) Painful Bladder Syndrome:
Also known as interstitial cystitis (IC), painful bladder syndrome is a chronic bladder problem that causes pain and pressure below the belly button. Cases vary from person to person, and symptoms may change every day, or last weeks, months, or even years. At worst, the condition sends the patient to the bathroom anywhere from 40 to 60 times a day. For women, the condition is sometimes accompanied by pain in the vulva, vagina, or behind the vagina, while men experience pain in the testicles, penis, scrotum, or the area behind the scrotum.
4) Kidney Stones:
Kidney stones, also called renal lithiasis and nephrolithiasis, are small mineral and salt stones formed in the kidney. Any part of the urinary tract can suffer from the presence of kidney stones, and passing them through urination can be quite painful. Mild cases only require the patient to drink lots of water and pain medication. Stones lodged in the tract, however, can cause complications and may require surgery for removal. Kidney stones are usually accompanied by cloudy or foul smelling urine, fever and chills, pain when urinating, and severe pain in the side and back.
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Clinical Nephrology and Research: Open Access