If you have a possible urological issue, even if it seems like no big deal, it’s important to visit a urologist to get it checked out. If it’s minor, it can often be treated quickly and easily, and if it’s something more serious, the earlier it’s detected, the better your chances of a positive outcome and full recovery. At Westchester Health, we remind our male patients all the time, particularly as they get older, how crucial it is for them to pay attention to warning signs. To help men everywhere know what to look for, we put together this list of signs and symptoms to look out for.
10 signs that you need to see a urologist…soon
As important as good nutrition and proper exercise, a urologist needs to be part of your overall health maintenance too. Even though urologic and sexual problems are uncomfortable to talk about, they’re a crucial part of your overall health and need to be monitored by a urologic specialist.
A urologist can correctly identify and diagnose a problem, determine the level of severity and offer the best treatment options for you. Remember: The sooner you catch a potential health issue, the better the chances of treating and reversing it before it develops into something major.
If you notice any of the following 10 signs, we urge you to visit a urologist.
1. Erectile Dysfunction: Erectile Dysfunction, or ED, is the inability to achieve or maintain an erection. As well as affecting sexual performance, it can also reveal potentially serious conditions such as vascular disease, hypertension or renal failure. It may be uncomfortable to talk to a doctor about ED but remember, if you have underlying conditions, it’s really important to treat them as early as possible.
2. Blood in your urine: If you see this, you should see a urologist immediately because it could be an early sign of bladder or kidney cancer. Even if you only experience blood in your urine from time to time, it means that you have a condition that needs immediate attention.
3. Testicular pain, lump or masses: If you have pain in your testicles that is persistent and does not go away within two weeks, it’s time to see a urologist because it could signal testicular cancer. Fortunately, when caught early, cancer 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 then be referred to a urologist to diagnose your condition and discuss treatments, if necessary. Remember: If caught early, prostate cancer has a high cure rate.
5. Difficulty urinating: While not life-threatening, difficulty with urination can be annoying and uncomfortable. A common symptom of getting older, this is typically caused by an enlarged prostate. To help with urination, medications can relieve the symptoms and even shrink the prostate.
6. Painful urination: Infections can occur along any part of the urinary tract, most often caused by bacteria. A urologist can determine the cause of the infection and recommend targeted treatment.
7. Frequent urination or the urge to urinate often: It’s time to see a urologist if incontinence (leaking urine) starts suddenly and/or is interfering with your lifestyle. Male urinary incontinence is fairly common and can usually be managed and treated successfully.
8. An elevated or change in Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA) level: The PSA test is one of the ways doctors can detect early prostate cancer. Typically, a very low level of PSA is present in men’s bloodstream. When there is a change or a higher level of in the blood, a urologist needs to determine the cause.
9. Kidney abnormality: If your doctor detects anything unusual on an abdominal X-ray, you should be referred to a urologist.
10. Male infertility: Though rare, male infertility (including decreased sexual desire) can be a sign of testicular cancer and you should be seen by a urologist right away.
Concerned that you may have a urologic issue? Come see us.
If you’re experiencing any of the signs and symptoms discussed above, or have questions about your sexual or urologic health, please call (914) 232-1919 to make an appointment with one of our Westchester Health urology specialists. After examining you, conducting a thorough health history and answering all your questions, he/she will determine if you need treatment, medication or any further tests. Always, our #1 goal is to do whatever we can to help you be as healthy as possible. Whenever, wherever you need us, we’re here for you.
By Jerry Weinberg, MD, a Urologist with Westchester Health, member of Westchester Health Physician Partners