If you’re a male with a possible urological issue, even if it seems minor, it’s important to visit a Urologist to get it checked out.
It’s a well-known fact that men avoid going to the doctor unless it’s an emergency. (As the old saying goes, “Women go to the doctor, men go to the emergency room.) Even then, they’d prefer to skip the entire experience if at all possible.
However, as men get older, it becomes that much more important for them to pay attention to their health and heed warning signs along the way that something might be amiss. Particularly when it comes to urologic issues, minor annoyances can actually be warning signs of potentially life-threatening problems.
10 Signs That You Need to Visit a Urologist
There are many reasons for men to consult with a Urologist, and if you experience any of the following symptoms, you should too. A Urologist can correctly identify and diagnose the problem, determine the level of severity and provide treatment options. Remember: The sooner you catch a potential health issue, the better the chances of treating it before it develops into something major.
1. Erectile Dysfunction: This is an uncomfortable conversation to have, but it is an important one to share with a Urologist. Erectile Dysfunction (ED), the inability to achieve or maintain an erect penis, affects sexual performance and intimacy but can also reveal complications such as vascular disease, hypertension and renal failure. Even though many men find it embarrassing to talk about this issue, it’s important to evaluate and treat any underlying conditions as early as possible.
2. Blood in your urine: This is a sign to see a Urologist immediately, as it could be an early warning sign of bladder or kidney cancer. Even if you only experience blood in your urine intermittently, it signals a condition that needs immediate attention. A Urologist’s exam includes urine tests, an x-ray or CT scan and a cystoscopy (using a fiberoptic scope to see inside the bladder).
3. Testicular pain, lump or masses: When testicular pain is persistent and does not go away within two weeks, it is time to see a Urologist. Any masses, firmness or nodules on the testicles should be examined by a urologic specialist, due to the chance of testicular cancer. Fortunately, when caught early, cancer found in the testes is one of the most curable cancers.
4. Abnormal prostate exam: Men over the age of 40 are advised to get a yearly exam by the same doctor, if possible. This way, any changes can be monitored more closely and early detection of prostate cancer is more likely. If any firmness, small nodules or irregularities are detected, you should be referred to a Urologist to determine any potentially serious problems. Remember: If caught early, prostate cancer has a high cure rate.
5. Difficulty urinating: While not life-threatening, difficulty with urination can be uncomfortable. This is typically caused by an enlarged prostate and is a common symptom of getting older. Fortunately, this condition can be treated with medications to relieve the symptoms or even shrink the prostate to help with urination.
6. Painful urination: Infections can occur in any part of the urinary tract, most often caused by bacteria. A Urologist can determine the cause of such an infection and recommend targeted treatment.
7. Frequent urination or the urge to urinate often: It’s time to see your Urologist if incontinence (leaking urine) begins suddenly or if it interferes with your lifestyle. Urinary incontinence is fairly common and can usually be managed or treated successfully.
8. An elevated or change in Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA) level: The PSA test is often used as a way to detect early prostate cancer. Typically, a very low level of PSA is found in the bloodstream. When there is a change or a higher level of PSA in the blood, a Urologist can determine the cause.
9. Kidney abnormality: If your doctor detects anything unusual on X-ray, you should be referred to a Urologist.
10. Infertility: 25% of infertility issues can be directly related to a male problem. If you partner is being evaluated, you should get a concurrent evaluation by a Urologist.
Your Urologist is Your Healthcare Partner
As important as good nutrition and proper exercise, your urologist needs to be part of your overall healthcare maintenance system. Due to the sensitive nature of urologic problems, it’s absolutely crucial that you and your urologist feel comfortable with each other so that together, you can achieve the best possible level of health. Please call (914) 232-1919 to make an appointment with one of our Westchester Health urologists to come in and talk about any issues you may be having. Whenever, wherever you need us, we’re here for you.