What is urology?
Urology is that medical-surgical speciality that is responsible for the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of diseases and disorders related to the urinary system (kidneys, ureters, bladder and urethra), both men and women, and the male genital system.
Urinary incontinence, erectile dysfunction, tumours, prolapse … are some disorders treated directly by the urologist. This specialist performs examinations on the urinary tract to obtain images, visualize cavities, obtain samples, establish a diagnosis and a subsequent treatment.
At what age should you go to a urologist?
Men from the age of 50 must include in their annual check-ups, an appointment with a urologist. Those with a personal or family history related to urinary system conditions should go from 40-45 years.
In any case, these age groups are relative, since any person who feels discomfort, regardless of their age, should see the specialist as soon as possible.
On other occasions, patients go to the clinic to do regular check-ups, answer questions about their sex life or to learn more about how to prevent future pathologies.
At the beginning of the visit, the specialist will prepare a medical history with the patient’s information regarding other existing pathologies, smoker, hypertension, diabetes, etc. In addition, he will be interested in the volume and strength of the urine, the times you go to the toilet, if you go at night, presence of blood or discomfort when urinating.
Also, when necessary, he can palpate the abdomen, perform an ultrasound of the kidneys, bladder, and prostate, in addition to performing a rectal examination to examine the prostate.
When should I go to the urologist?
It is recommended to go to the urologist in case of burning, obstruction or discomfort when urinating. Especially, men with issues related to the prostate should attend, and women when they have urine leakage and vaginal dryness caused by menopause.
These are some reasons why men should make an appointment at the specialist:
- Family history of diseases in the urinary system, such as cancer, stones …
- Urinary or sexual intercourse
- Difficulty or urinary incontinence
- Blood in the urine
- Inflammation or redness of the skin
- The appearance of the first abnormal symptom should be enough to consult a urologist in order to perform the examination and determine the origin of the discomfort.
Prostate cancer and other pathologies
Prostate cancer is one of the most frequent in men and usually appears after 60. Annually about 25,000 new cases of this type of cancer are detected, which causes 6,000 deaths in Spain each year (10% of all deaths in men due to cancer).
There are a number of risk factors involved in the development of these tumours, including smoking. Several studies highlight that smokers, for example, triple the likelihood of bladder cancer.
The detection in the early stages of these pathologies favours the prompt fixation of adequate treatment and a complete cure of the tumours.
Erectile dysfunction is another of the most common disorders in urology consultations, in fact, this affects 2.5 million Spaniards. This together with urinary infections and urinary lithiasis are considered benign disorders that cause changes in the patient’s quality of life.
Urological diseases are diverse, in addition to those already mentioned, we can highlight kidney cancer, benign prostate growth, kidney stones, testicular cancer, penile cancer, urethral cancer, symptoms of overactive bladder, nocturnal, urinary incontinence, male infertility or urological infections.
The treatment to be applied varies according to the cases and the degree of evolution of these diseases. In some patients, a drug-based medical treatment will be applied, while in others a surgical process will be carried out, which may include open-label interventions or laparoscopy.
Prevention of prostate pathologies
(Experts) recommends following a balanced diet and exercise regularly, in order to prevent prostate pathologies.
Overweight, tobacco and alcohol are risk factors that are involved in the onset and development of these urological diseases.
Erectile dysfunction is one of the most common urological problems in consultations.
This causes the total or partial inability to have an adequate erection, which prevents satisfactory sex.
Its prevalence is higher than estimated since many do not go to consultation because of shame, denial or ignorance.
This type of disorders can cause serious psychological disorders, such as frustration or depression. In addition, it is not a disorder only of elderly men, it can appear at any age, whether due to anatomical or hormonal causes, which must be assessed by the specialist.
Women and urologist
The speciality of urology is associated with exclusive attention to men. However, women should also go to a urologist to treat urinary incontinence or urine infections.
Cystitis, or infection of urine, is the main cause of consultation by women. Itching, painful urination or bleeding when urinating are frequent symptoms that warn of the need to see a specialist. By means of an urinalysis, the possible infection will be detected and, therefore, the most appropriate solution will be established.
Women are also susceptible to urinary tract stones or tumours of the kidney, bladder or adrenal gland.
They should make an appointment with a urologist, especially whenever they present any of the following signs:
- An urgent need to urinate
- Leakage or loss of urine during physical exertion
- Bleeding in the urine or stones
- Kidney pain, that is, is the lower back area
- Any other discomfort in the urinary system
Hospital La Paloma’s Urology Unit
In the Urology Unit of Hospital La Paloma we have the latest technological advances for the prevention, diagnosis and integral treatment of pathologies associated with the male genital system and urinary system.
In addition, the Unit is made up of an expert professional medical team in this area that will assess and study each case in a personalized and detailed way in order to offer the most effective solution.
From Hospital La Paloma we emphasize the need for regular urological exams with the aim of preventing and diagnosing urological pathologies early.