The practice of urology is a vital component of men’s health care. This medical specialty focuses on the urinary tract system which encompasses the system responsible for creating and removing urine from the body, which includes the kidneys, bladder, ureter, urethra, and the reproductive system of men.
It’s very likely that most men will at some point in their lives have a urological problem as a result of aging, injury, illness, or birth defect. When such an issue comes up, it is important for men to seek the advice and help from a urologist — doctors having specialized knowledge and skill regarding problems of the male and female urinary tract and the male reproductive organs.
Following are eight conditions that a man may experience a problem with and will need to make an appointment with a urologist:
1. Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH)
Dr. Samadi: 7 ways to keep your prostate healthy and cancer-free
BPH refers to an enlarged prostate and is common in older men. This troublesome but rarely dangerous condition is when the prostate, a walnut-sized gland located between the bladder and the penis, enlarges causing problems with urination. Symptoms of BPH can include:
Difficulty initiating urination
Weak urination stream
Dribbling at the end of urination
Urge to urinate
Feeling of fullness in the bladder due to incomplete urine emptying
2. Erectile dysfunction (ED)
Erectile dysfunction is a condition in which a man experiences difficulties with getting or maintaining an erection. This can be treated with medication, testosterone replacement, surgery, psychological counseling, acupuncture, or lifestyle changes such as losing weight, quitting smoking, increasing exercise and reducing stress.
Dr. Samadi: Being overweight is linked to 40% of cancer cases
3. Urinary Tract Infection (UTI)
If a man notices painful or burning urination or cloudy urine, this could be a sign of a urinary tract infection. A urologist will test the urine to make sure it is a UTI and to rule out any other possible problems. Generally, a round of antibiotics will treat the UTI.
Prostatitis is swelling and inflammation of the prostate and is a common condition affecting many men. Prostatitis can cause many symptoms such as painful urination, fever and chills, pain in the abdomen, pelvic area, or lower back.
Dr. Samadi: What to do if your sex drive is stuck in low gear
It is easy to confuse prostatitis with other infections in the urinary tract, which is why a urologist is the best physician to see to get an accurate diagnosis. Antibiotics are usually prescribed for treating prostatitis.
Men having trouble being able to conceive a child may have infertility. Causes of male infertility could be abnormal sperm production, undescended testicles, genetic defects, health problems including diabetes, prior infections such as mumps, trauma or prior surgeries on the testicles.
To get a proper diagnosis, a urologist can determine what the cause of infertility may be and depending on the cause, can help create a treatment plan.
Dr. Samadi: 7 reasons why men experience pain during intercourse
6. Kidney stones
Kidney stones occur when minerals and other chemicals (uric acid and cysteine) accumulate in the kidneys or along any part of the urinary tract. The stones can be excruciatingly painful to pass but fortunately are easily diagnosed. Treatment for kidney stones depends on the size and location of the stone.
Medication can be used to reduce the size of the stone allowing it to pass. Surgical removal may be needed if the stone is large and is blocking the flow of urine.
Vasectomy is a surgical procedure for male sterilization or permanent contraception. During the procedure, the male vas deferens are severed and then tied or sealed in a manner so as to prevent sperm from entering into the urethra and thereby prevent fertilization. Vasectomies are usually performed in a physician’s office or medical clinic and rarely require hospitalization.
8. Prostate cancer
The second leading cause of cancer death in men is prostate cancer. Prostate cancer begins when cells in the prostate gland start to grow uncontrollably. Age, race/ethnicity and family history are some of the main risk factors for a man developing this disease.
The key to finding and treating prostate cancer successfully is early detection. Starting at age 40, all men should have a yearly prostate specific antigen (PSA) test along with a digital rectal exam. Depending on the stage of prostate cancer, treatment can include surgery, radiation therapy or active surveillance.
Dr. Samadi is a board-certified urologic oncologist trained in open and traditional and laparoscopic surgery and is an expert in robotic prostate surgery. He is chairman of urology, chief of robotic surgery at Lenox Hill Hospital. He is a medical contributor for the Fox News Channel’s Medical A-Team. Follow Dr. Samadi on Twitter, Instagram, Pintrest, SamadiMD.com, davidsamadiwiki, davidsamadibio and Facebook
For more DAILY VIEWS, The News’ contributor network, click here.
Send a Letter to the Editor
Dr. David Samadi