Men go to their primary care physician for common health issues, their dentist for their teeth and an optometrist for eye checkups. But who should they see for male urinary or sexual issues? This is when the best type of doctor to treat such conditions is a urologist. A urologist is a doctor specializing and is knowledgeable in the genitourinary tract – the kidneys, ureters, urethra, bladder, prostate gland, male reproductive organs and male fertility. Urologists also specialize in male and female sexual dysfunction and issues.
Men will particularly benefit from seeing a urologist when certain symptoms arise that really need the attention from a doctor who sees these disorders all the time.
Seeing a urologist when men are having certain health issues is imperative for receiving the very best care of the urinary system. Here are 10 signs telling a man it is time to see a urologist:
1. Erectile dysfunction – If and when ED strikes, men take notice. Seeing someone who specializes in a condition that affects between 30 to 50 percent of men between the ages of 40 and 70 from the start is the first step in figuring out the cause. A urologist will investigate everything from checking into vascular health, hypertension, renal failure, obesity, and other factors affecting a man’s ability to achieve and maintain an erection.
2. Hematuria – Seeing blood in the urine or hematuria can scare any guy but this is not the time to see just any doctor. Hematuria whether visible or only seen under the microscope is never normal and could be a warning sign of bladder or kidney cancer. A urologist is qualified to treat whatever the condition causing blood to appear in the urine might be from.
3. Urinary incontinence – No man ever wants to deal with leaking urine throughout the day. Seeing a urologist will help as they will be on top of the most recent treatment options for this problem including medications and possibly surgery.
4. Enlarged prostate – Benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) or an enlarged prostate, affects more than half of men in their 60’s and up to 90 percent of men in their 70’s and older. An enlarged prostate causes many symptoms from frequent or urgent need to urinate, weak urine stream or difficulty starting urination, increased frequency of nighttime urination, or inability to completely empty the bladder. Seeing a urologist will be a man’s best method of treating this common condition.
5. Vasectomy – When a man decides he no longer wishes to reproduce, a vasectomy is one of the most effective forms of birth control he can get. Using a urologist to perform the procedure will ensure a man is getting the best qualified physician to accomplish the end result.
6. Male infertility – Male infertility can be due to numerous things such as undescended testicles, hormone imbalances, defects in the tubules that transport sperm, or even testicular cancer. A urologist will carefully look into each of these possibilities to figure out the main cause and how to possibly treat it.
7. Elevated PSA – The PSA (prostate specific antigen) test is one of the most sensitive indicators of prostate cancer. To thoroughly understand the reading of a PSA test really requires someone like a urologist who frequently deals with this condition. If a man’s PSA is elevated, he needs to be evaluated and followed over time. Failing to do so could result in a man being “missed” in his PSA indicating a serious issue such as prostate cancer.
8. Testicular pain or mass – If a man is experiencing pain or feels a mass, firmness or nodules in his testicle or scrotum, it is time to make an appointment with a urologist. Even though testicular cancer is rare, it is not worth taking the chance of ignoring it. If caught early, testicular cancer is one of the most curable cancers a man can get.
9. Kidney stones – Nephrolithiasis or kidney stones is a fairly common occurrence and if left untreated, it is more likely to come back. A urologist will do a thorough assessment and evaluation of a man’s symptoms and will have a comprehensive treatment plan to eliminate the problem.
10. Abnormal prostate or digital rectal exam – If any abnormality – firmness, nodules, or other irregularities – are found when performing a digital rectal exam (DRE), it could be indicative of prostate cancer and needs to be further evaluated by a urologist who specializes in this disease. This is why all men over the age of 40 should get a yearly exam as if any change is felt the cure rate for prostate cancer is high if caught early.