You may not be aware, but September marks the start of Urology Awareness Month. The Urology Foundation suggests that 1 in 2 people will be affected by a urology condition in their lifetimes, but often people are either too embarrassed to ask for help when they have a problem, or don’t think a doctor would be able to assist.
Urology Awareness Month is designed to break down the stigma around talking about urology problems and to encourage people to actively take care of their urology health. With this in mind, we’ve looked at common problems your urologist can help you with.
Common reasons for seeing an urologist
One of the most common reasons people see an urologist is for a recurrent urinary tract infection. Urinary tract infections (UTIs) are very common and they can be painful and uncomfortable, but they usually pass within a few days or can be easily treated with a course of antibiotics.
UTIs are more common in women than in men and it's estimated half of all women in the UK will have a UTI at least once in their life and 1 in 2,000 healthy men will develop one each year. Children can also get UTIs, although this is less common.
If you develop a UTI, you're likely to experience:
Pain or a burning sensation when urinating (doctors refer to this as dysuria)
A need to urinate often
Pain in the lower abdomen (tummy)
Urinary tract infections usually get better on their own, within four or five days. Antibiotics can help speed up recovery time and are normally recommended for women who keep getting UTIs. In some cases, long-term use of antibiotics can help prevent the infection returning.
At LivingCare, we can offer a number of different procedures for patients who have recurring UTIs to investigate the cause. These include a cystoscopy and an ultrasound examination, which your doctor will explain in detail if they feel you need further investigation.
Another common reason for seeing your doctor is if you have blood in your urine. The medical name for blood in the urine is haematuria. In most cases, blood in urine isn't usually caused by anything serious, but you should get it checked out by a doctor.
The blood will have come from somewhere within the urinary tract – the kidneys, bladder or the tubes that urine passes through and is often the result of a UTI, such as cystitis.
Common causes for blood in urine can be:
A bladder infection (such as cystitis), which typically also causes a burning pain when you urinate
A kidney infection, which may also cause a high temperature and pain in the side of your tummy
Kidney stones, which may be painless, but can sometimes block one of the tubes coming from your kidneys and cause severe tummy pain
Urethritis, an inflammation of the tube that carries urine out of the body (urethra); it's often caused by a sexually transmitted infection, such as chlamydia
An enlarged prostate gland, which is a common condition in older men and nothing to do with prostate cancer. An enlarged prostate gland will press on the bladder and may also cause problems such as difficulty urinating and a frequent need to urinate
Bladder cancer, which usually affects adults aged over 50 and can also cause you to urinate more often and more urgently, as well as experiencing pain when urinating
Kidney cancer also usually affects adults aged over 50 and can cause persistent pain below your ribs and a lump in your tummy
Prostate cancer, which is usually only seen in men aged over 50 and often progresses very slowly. Other symptoms can include needing to urinate more frequently and urgently, and difficulty emptying your bladder
If you have blood in your urine, our expert urologists will discuss your symptoms with you and carry out an ultrasound examination and cystoscopy procedure to investigate further.
At LivingCare, we can also help you if you’re suffering with: bladder dysfunctions, renal pain, incontinence, scrotal pain and lumps, penile conditions, prostatitis or lower urinary tract symptoms.
We provide all of our services for NHS patients as well as on a private basis. To be seen through the NHS for any of our services, we just require a referral from your GP.
To find out more information about our services, or if you would prefer to be seen privately, please call 0113 249 4655 and a member of our team will be happy to help you.