Your urinary and genital tract health is important and should be monitored accordingly. Unfortunately, patients often overlook or dismiss symptoms that may hint at underlying conditions that might be serious.
I know it is easy to put off seeing the doctor, but avoiding your urologist could mean delaying or preventing treatment that may prove life saving. Knowing when to schedule an appointment with your urologist is paramount to early treatment and care.
Need more persuasion? Below are five instances that necessitate an appointment.
- Abnormal PSA test: A PSA test screens for prostate cancer by measuring the level of prostate-specific antigen (PSA) in the blood. Because prostate cancer is the second most common cause of cancer death in men in the U.S., an abnormal or elevated PSA test should receive immediate follow-up.
- Hematuria: Hematuria is a fancy word for the presence of blood in urine. Hematuria can be caused by a number of potentially serious conditions including bladder cancer, kidney cancer, urinary tract infections and stones. Consult your urologist if you discover blood in your urine.
- Kidney stones: A key symptom of kidney stones is severe pain in the lower stomach, side of the back, groin or testicles. Left untreated, stones can wreak havoc on the kidneys and cause permanent, lasting damage. Remember, one of the biggest risk factors for kidney stones is inadequate fluid intake. Increasing the amount of water you drink could help reduce their occurrence.
- Enlarged prostate: As men age, their prostates tend to grow larger. If the prostate grows too large it puts pressure on the urethra and can obstruct urine flow. This condition is called benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH). BPH can cause many symptoms including an urge to urinate often, weak urine flow and pain in the lower back, pelvis or thighs.
- Vasectomy: A vasectomy is a surgical procedure that involves the sealing or cutting of the vas deferens from each testicle to prevent sperm from mixing with semen. It is considered a permanent form of birth control, and therefore should not be approached lightly. Your urologist can provide expert advice on what to expect as well as perform the procedure.
These conditions and procedures are only a few of the many reasons patients visit a urologist. If you have any concerns regarding your urinary or genital tract health, it might be time to schedule an appointment.