It's not always very easy to decide if you need to see a urologist, a gynecologist or a family physician. Finding out which doctor to see for your needs often proves difficult, particularly when there is some overlap between the different care they provide.
A urologist specializes in the organs that filter, hold and expel urine. That includes the kidneys, ureters, prostate and bladder.
Who Should See a Urologist?
Both women and men may seek the help of a urologist.
If a woman has urinary incontinence, kidney stones or blood in the urine, she may seek the specialty knowledge of a urologist. If medical concerns involve the uterus or vagina, she is more likely to go to a gynecologist. Some symptoms may overlap, requiring a multidisciplinary approach.
Men commonly seek a urologist if they have blood in the urine, kidney stones, difficulties emptying their bladder or an elevated PSA. A prostate-specific antigen, or PSA, is a protein found in the blood that, at elevated levels, may indicate prostate cancer.
Many people will first consult with their primary care physician when they have a bladder or kidney issue, but if the issue is not resolved, they should seek a specialist.
Common symptoms that indicate you should see a urologist include:
In women and men—
- Blood in urine
- Pain or burning while urinating, signaling perhaps a urinary tract infection
- Frequent need to urinate or difficulty urinating
- Severe constipation
- Pain in the lower stomach, side of back or groin
- Difficulty attaining or keeping an erection
- Fertility issues
- Elevated PSA
- A mass or pain in the testicles
- Enlarged prostate
What to Expect During a Urology Visit
You can see a urologist at any age, but most often, urinary problems arise after age 50. When you come into the office, your doctor will talk with you about your symptoms and concerns. The exam may include specific tests based on your symptoms. Your doctor will want to ensure the kidneys are working well and that the bladder is emptying properly. For men, your doctor may want to make sure a proper cancer screening is done.
Depending on the cause of your symptoms, treatment may include medicine, surgery or even specific exercises to strengthen muscles.
Maintaining a Healthy Urological System
You can take steps to keep your urological system in good condition. Maintaining a healthy weight, getting regular exercise and smoking cessation are keys to a healthy lifestyle.
Additional strategies to keep your system running smoothly include:
- Limiting salt, which can cause water retention
- Drinking water to flush your kidneys and bladder
- Limiting caffeine, which can irritate your bladder.
Choose to Leave No Stone Unturned
The doctors at Orlando Health Medical Group Urology are committed to reducing your pain and discomfort, and treating your medical condition as quickly and effectively as possible.Learn More