What is a urologist?
A urologist is a doctor who specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of urinary tract diseases in both men and women. Urologists also deal with any problems involving the male reproductive system. They also perform surgery in some cases, such as opening up a urinary tract blockage or removing cancer. Urologists practice in hospitals, urology centers, and private clinics.
Urologists specifically treat any part of the urinary tract, which includes:
- Bladder: A hollow organ that stores urine until it is ready for excretion.
- Ureters: The tubes that take the urine from the kidney to the urinary bladder.
- Urethra: The tube that carries urine out of the body and a channel for sperm to pass during ejaculation.
- Kidneys: A pair of organs that remove waste from the blood to produce urine.
- Adrenal Glands: The glands that release hormones and are located above the kidneys.
All parts of the male reproductive system are also treated by urologists. They include:
- Penis: A male organ used for the excretion of urine and ejaculation of sperm.
- Testicles: The two oval-shaped organs that produce sperm and are enclosed in a bag of skin called scrotum.
- Prostate: The gland situated near the penis and underneath the bladder that produces fluid, which mixes with sperm to produce semen.
How to Find a Urologist
1. Gather Information
- Primary Care Physician: In most cases, patients are referred by primary care doctors to specialists, including urologists. They often give solid recommendations according to the specific medical need of each patient.
- Insurance Carrier: A list of participating urologists is available if you have health insurance. Consult your insurance carrier on this matter.
- Online Search: You can search for a reputable urologist online and find both good and bad reviews.
- Local Hospital: Urologists can split time between clinics and hospitals. Check with your local hospital to obtain a list of urologists.
- Family, friends, and colleagues: You can ask about their urologic procedure, their overall experience, and their urologists.
2. Check Background and Credentials
After gathering information, find out more about your chosen urologist, such as verifying if he or she is board certified to provide authorized services and urologic procedures. You can also contact medical societies or organizations to find out more about the urologist, including the years of practice and number of urologic procedures performed. Expert surgeons generally receive most patients with urologic problems.
When to See a Urologist
Below are some of the common conditions that prompt a visit to a urologist:
When there is a malfunction of the urinary tract, an involuntary loss of bladder control can occur. Women may develop incontinence, especially during pregnancy because of their weakened pelvic floor muscles caused by the pressure from the uterus.
2. Urinary Tract Infections or UTI
A urinary tract infection often occurs when bacteria from the digestive system migrate to the urethra. The symptoms of a UTI commonly include painful or burning urination, incontinence, fever, chills, nausea, and vomiting. Females are more prone to developing urinary tract infections than males.
3. Kidney Disease
Kidney damage can lead to the swelling of the hands, ankles, or feet. It can also lead to high blood pressure along with other symptoms. A few signs and symptoms may be experienced during the early stages of chronic kidney disease. The condition may not become noticeable until a person's kidney function is significantly impaired.
4. Enlargement of the Prostate
The condition called benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) is said to affect 1 out of every 3 men, especially those who are above the age of 50. When there is an overgrowth of cells in the prostate gland, constriction of the urethra can occur leading to urination problems.
5. Male Infertility
Infertility in males can occur due to a male reproductive tract damage and other sperm disorders. Infertility can also be corrected when the underlying problem is treated. When the problem is a varicocele or an enlargement of the veins in the scrotum, advanced techniques are needed to correct it. When it comes to the most challenging problems, microsurgical techniques may be required.
6. Renal Transplantation
There would be a need for patients to undergo kidney transplantation when they experience kidney failure.
Cancer is known to occur at any location in the body. It can also affect the kidney, testicles, bladder, prostate gland, and any other part of the urinary system.
8. Bladder Prolapse
This condition occurs when the muscles, as well as the tissues of the pelvic floor, would no longer be able to support the other organs present in the pelvis. When the organs tend to drop from their usual position, then there is a need for a medical treatment involving a urologist.
9. Stones in the Urinary Tract
Having kidney stones warrants a visit to a urologist. Even though there are many healthcare providers who can treat pain that is related to passing kidney stones, urologists are the only ones trained using advanced techniques for the surgical and nonsurgical removal of kidney stones.
10. Erectile Dysfunction
This condition occurs when the penis is unable to attain sufficient rigidity to completely participate in sexual intercourse. An erectile dysfunction is mostly seen as a symptom of an underlying condition that would need immediate medical attention.
11. Painful Bladder Syndrome or Interstitial Cystitis
Interstitial cystitis is a condition in which patients experience a recurring pain or discomfort in the bladder and the pelvic
12. Peyronie’s Disease
Peyronie's disease is a disorder that involves the growth of fibrous scar tissue within the penis causing curved and painful erections. Men having a curved erection is not always a cause for concern since penises usually vary when it comes to their shape and size. However, Peyronie's disease tends to cause a significant pain or penile curvature in some males.
13. Hematuria (Blood in Urine)
Hematuria is the medical term for the presence of blood in the urine. There are several conditions that can cause blood in urine. One of the most common causes of hematuria is a urinary tract infection (UTI). Individuals who notice blood in their urine must immediately consult their healthcare provider for proper diagnosis and treatment.
Prostatitis is the inflammation of the prostate gland. This condition often causes painful ejaculation as well as urination. Prostatitis can also be an acute or chronic condition.
15. Urethral Stricture
When there is scarring of the urethra, then it would have a tendency to narrow down or block the path of urine flow from the bladder, which can lead to inflammation, infection, or injury to that region. Few of its symptoms include a reduction in urine output and painful urination.
16. Lump or Pain in the Testicles
Males should see a urologist if they have been experiencing testicular pain that does not go away in a period of two weeks. It is very important to consult a urologist in such cases since the presence of a lump or mass in the testicles may indicate testicular cancer.
Dysuria is the medical term for painful urination. This condition often occurs when there is an infection in the urinary tract. A urologist would be able to determine the cause of your painful urination as well as recommend the best treatment for it.
- A urologist is a doctor who specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of urinary tract diseases in both men and women.
- Urologists also deal with any problems involving the male reproductive system.
- They also perform surgery in some cases, such as opening up a urinary tract blockage or removing cancer.