Something strange is happening down there, and you need answers. If you find that there’s some burning, stinging or unusual changes to your urine flow, or maybe blood, you probably should consult with a urologist. But if you’re not sure what constitutes a urological emergency and when you should seek help, then this article should answer some of your questions.
Whether you’ve been experiencing bothersome symptoms or have received a diagnosis, visiting a urologist might be something you’ll want to consider. Urologists are medical professionals who specialise in the diagnosis and management of problems related to the urinary system, as well as disorders of male reproductive organs like the penis and testicles.
At Treasurehold Specialist Hospital, we constantly remind our male patients about the importance of paying attention to warning signs, especially as they grow older.
Here are a few signs that you should see a urologist immediately
In more ways than one, urologic health is just as important as your overall health. That’s why it’s good to be proactive about regular checkups with a urologist, who is a specialist in diseases that affect the urinary tract, male reproductive system, and prostate.
1. Blood in your urine
The first symptom you need to know regarding your urinary tract is blood in the urine. A lot of patients have a hard time determining whether or not there’s blood in the urine.
The truth is, you won’t always see it but the chemical reaction that comes from passing blood through your urinary tract and bladder will give your urine a bright red tint. This means there are red blood cells leaving the body through your urine, which can be alarming to think about.
If you use the bathroom and notice what appears to be blood, don’t panic and try to force yourself to go because this can lead to serious problems if caught early on. It’s best to pay a visit to a urologist at this stage.
2. Erectile dysfunction
When an individual is unable to achieve or maintain an erection, they are said to have erectile dysfunction. Sexual dysfunction can affect performance as well as reveal potentially serious conditions such as vascular disease, hypertension, or renal failure.
3. Difficulty urinating
Having difficulty urinating may be caused by an enlarged prostate. When the prostate becomes enlarged, it narrows the urethra. This makes it hard to urinate as the urine may get stuck in the narrow pathway. It can also lead to a blocked bladder, causing some discomfort when attempting to pass urine.
4. Painful urination
Painful urination, also known as dysuria, is the sensation of pain or difficulty when passing urine. Many people experience it on occasion, but in some cases, it happens frequently enough to disrupt daily activities. Regardless of its frequency, it’s an uncomfortable feeling that can inspire various responses out of our desperation to find relief. How do we deal with painful urination?
Closing your eyes and saying a prayer may help make it more bearable, but if you’re experiencing pain while urinating, it may be time to contact a urologist. Painful urination can be caused by many things including, an infection, stones or bladder leakage. It is important to seek treatment by a medical professional right away to prevent infections from spreading.
5. Frequent urination or the urge to urinate often
There are several symptoms of bladder infection that patients might experience. One of the most common symptoms, and perhaps one of the easiest to recognise, is frequent urination.
These repeated urges do not necessarily mean that the person has a urinary tract infection or any other related disease but can also be an indication of a medical condition such as diabetes or an enlarged prostate.
6. Testicular pain or lumps
Testicular pain is not necessarily a sign of cancer, but if your testicle ever hurts, go and see a urologist. Testicular pain can have several causes, ranging from an infection to cancer. Testicular cancer is one of the most curable types of cancer if caught early enough, so take any signs you don’t recognize seriously and find out as soon as possible.
7. Enlarged prostate
Staying longer than four hours without “going” when you have a full bladder. Even if you are a marathoner, this could also be an indication that you have an enlarged prostate.
The prostate gland is a walnut-sized gland that lies below the bladder. It surrounds the urethra, which is the tube that carries urine from the kidney to the bladder. This means if you suspect you have an enlarged prostate, your doctor will check your urine stream.
The passage of urine can be tested by inserting a catheter that has a balloon on the end. You need to urinate before insertion. Then you should try to urinate as much as possible into a container after the insertion. The longer it takes for your bladder to become completely empty, the larger the prostate must be.
If there is any slightest doubt that you have a prostate problem, immediately schedule an appointment with your urologist. He or she can help you by doing a digital rectal exam, followed by some diagnostic tests such as urine analysis and urinalysis.
8. An elevated or change in Prostate-Specific Antigen (PSA) level
If you’re a man over 50 years old and your doctor has told you your PSA levels are elevated, it’s likely time to schedule a visit with a urologist. PSA is an enzyme made by your prostate gland which helps in the production of semen; however, if there is an overabundance or an infection present, PSA levels can elevate.
Elevated PSA levels in many cases can indicate the presence of prostate cancer and/or benign prostate hyperplasia. A simple urinalysis and DRE (digital rectal exam) can help diagnose the cause of these elevated PSA levels.
9. Kidney abnormality
The most common test for kidney abnormalities is to monitor the amount of protein in your urine over 24 hours. Protein in your urine can indicate a damaged or diseased urinary tract, or a kidney disease like glomerulonephritis, which causes inflammation of the kidneys.
If you have a high degree of protein in your urine, your doctor will order a chest x-ray and examine several other sites including the joints, abdomen, and pelvis for signs of infection or other disease.
10. Male infertility
If you believe that your family’s inability to conceive is caused by infertility, it is probably a good idea to see a urologist. Although many cases of male infertility can be treated with medications referred to as “male fertility drugs”, there are times when surgery is required.
Are you having difficulty starting your urine stream? Having a weak bladder that won’t completely empty? Leaking when you sneeze, laugh, or cough? If you answered yes to these questions, it may be time to schedule an appointment with a urologist.
When something doesn’t feel right in your lower abdomen, hips or scrotum, it’s important to consult with a urologist. These problems can be signs of conditions that require treatment from urological procedures in order to live a normal life. Signs and symptoms of male diseases require an experienced and competent urologist to help you properly diagnose and treat the problem.