Just like women should see a gynecologist for “female problems,” men should see a urologist for “male problems.” It’s almost guaranteed, there will come a time in most men’s lives when seeing a urologist will be necessary. Urological health is vital to every man’s well-being and doctors in this specialty are often a man’s best bet for addressing many areas of men’s health in addition to a man’s “plumbing.”
Urological health is important for men since health problem in this area are common and likely to increase with age. Urologists are medical doctors specifically trained to diagnosis and treat a wide variety of medical conditions affecting men, including urinary incontinence, recurrent bladder infections, and weak pelvic floor muscles, to name a few.
But what are the top reasons to schedule an appointment with a urologist? Here are the top three best reasons why men should be referred to an experienced urologist for their unique care and understanding of the male urinary and reproductive system:
1. Erectile dysfunction
When it comes to men’s urological health concerns, sexual functioning is always top of the list. One of the most common concerns men come to me for is erectile dysfunction (ED) and the resulting decline in libido, which starts as early as the late forties and early fifties for many men. The cause is not always physical but a urologist will have vast knowledge and experience in treating these important issues affecting the quality of a man’s life.
All men want a robust and satisfying sex life – besides the obvious physical release, sex is very much a part of emotional and mental health, something most men might not think about or realize. That’s why if a man has been able to achieve erections with no problem and then suddenly ED hits, it’s a good idea to see a urologist.
It’s possible this type of scenario might be due to underlying vascular problems such as blocked arteries or could be a man has undiagnosed type 2 diabetes. Both of these medical conditions need treated right away before they advance further into more serious complications.
While no man likes to think about let alone talk about ED, the good news is there are excellent treatments for this concern. Most men can be treated rather easily with few side effects with 7 out of 10 men who do very well on medication to help their erections. No man should ever settle for a subpar sex life.
Treatments for ED can include medications like Cialis, Viagra, or Levitra; hormone replacement therapy; vacuum erection devices; or in more serious cases, penile implants or a penile prosthesis.
I want men to know, if their erections are not firm enough for sexual intercourse or they’re unable to achieve any kind of erection, all they need to do is simply tell their doctor, “I could use some help in this area.” That’s all it takes to get the conversation going and for finding the right treatment for reviving their love life.
2. Benign prostatic hyperplasia
The most common medical condition affecting a man’s prostate gland is benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH). BPH is an enlargement of the prostate gland to the point that this walnut-shaped gland has grown large enough to start squeezing the urethra. That pressure affects the flow of urine and causes other associated symptoms.
As men age, they likely will notice changes in their urinary functioning usually due to the noncancerous condition of BPH. Everyday men tell me their urine stream has changed; Instead of their urine stream being able to hit the back of the bowl or even in the middle, they may be dribbling in the front of the bowl on onto their shoes.
Or they may notice, “I’ve gotta-go now” frantically searching for a restroom, or having to urinate more frequently than before that’s disruptive to their everyday activities and lifestyle. Then there are the nightly visits to use the bathroom, two, three, four, or more times disrupting their sleep. All of these situations are quality-of-life issues that can be resolved.
BPH should not be ignored – if left untreated it can result in long-term damage to the bladder as well as to the kidneys. See a urologist to get an accurate diagnosis of BPH along with advice on how to treat it. The most common way to treat men with mild to moderate BPH is with medication. Talk to your urologist to find out which medicine may be best for you.
There are also several lifestyle changes that may help such as taking your time and to relax when urinating or practicing “double voiding” meaning when it feels like you’re done urinating, wait a few seconds and try again. Kegel exercises are another good solution that when started early before BPH happens, are especially effective.
3. Family history of prostate cancer
Prostate cancer is a slow-growing disease that can be treated very well today. Up to 98% of men diagnosed with prostate cancer will survive but knowing your family history of this disease is important. Even though most cases of prostate cancer occur in men without a family history of it, it has been shown that in some families, it may be inherited. Men who’ve had a father or brother with this disease, has twice the risk of developing prostate cancer (the risk is higher for men who have a brother with the disease than those who have a father who had it).
But men with both a father and brother with prostate cancer have about a 14 percent change of getting an aggressive type of the disease by age 75 compared with about 5 percent among other men, according to a 2016 Swedish study of more than 52,000 men.
Men, who fall into this category of a family history of prostate cancer, should be watched more closely. I highly recommend starting PSA testing (prostate specific antigen) at age 40, regardless of family history. For these men, I would strongly advise yearly PSA testing and to have a discussion with their urologist about taking care of themselves, knowing the signs and symptoms of the disease, and that finding it early is key to beating this disease back.
Urologists, who’ve chosen this particular field of medicine, genuinely care about men. They want the best for the men they treat and for their health. We are here to help men get the care they need to live a long, healthy life with as few urinary tract issues as possible.
Dr. David Samadi is the Director of Men’s Health and Urologic Oncology at St. Francis Hospital in Long Island. He’s a renowned and highly successful board certified Urologic Oncologist Expert and Robotic Surgeon in New York City, regarded as one of the leading prostate surgeons in the U.S., with a vast expertise in prostate cancer treatment and Robotic-Assisted Laparoscopic Prostatectomy. Dr. Samadi is a medical contributor to NewsMax TV and is also the author of The Ultimate MANual, Dr. Samadi’s Guide to Men’s Health and Wellness, available online both on Amazon and Barnes & Noble. Visit Dr. Samadi’s websites at robotic oncolo gy and prostate cancer 911.