Urinary Incontinence

5 Reasons to See a Urologist

5 Reasons to See a Urologist

Gulfshore Urology Reasons to See a UrologistA primary care physician may not always refer a patient when they should. Sometimes you have to make that executive decision for yourself, which is why it’s important to know the reasons to see your urologist.

A urologist is a specialist who centers their practice on treating disorders involving the male and female urinary tract and male reproductive system. This includes a wide array of concerns involving your urinary tract, bladder, prostate, kidneys, fertility, sexual dysfunction, and certain cancers.

However, there are certain problems in which a visit to your urologist is an absolute must! Gulfshore Urology has put together a list of 5 reason to see a urologist so you know when it’s time to pick up the phone and make an appointment.

Blood in Urine

Hematuria, or blood in your urine, is often a sign that something is seriously wrong. You never want to wait to see if it simply “goes away.” Bloody urine can be a sign of a urinary tract infection (UTI) or kidney stones, both of which can quickly become a serious problem. It can also be an early sign of bladder or kidney cancer. Experiencing this once is enough for you to pick up the phone and make an appointment with your urologist.

Issues with Bladder Control

Also known as urinary incontinence, struggles with bladder control can affect patients of all ages. Women are twice as likely to develop these issues as men. Bladder control issues can include the frequent need to urinate, leaking, trouble urinating, or pain when urinating. There is also a syndrome called interstitial cystitis in which the bladder feels as if it is always full. This form of discomfort may cause patients to feel the need to urinate as often as 60 times a day. Causes for these bladder control issues can vary and are best diagnosed by your urologist, not a primary care physician.

Male Infertility

If you’re a man have trouble getting your partner pregnant, you should seek the help of a urologist to diagnose and treat the condition. Male infertility is due to a low sperm count, sperm abnormalities, erectile dysfunction, or blockages that prevents the sperms’ delivery. There are multiple lifestyle, health, and mental factors that may play a part in male infertility. A urologist will run a series of tests to help determine the cause and prescribe a solution.

Pain or Abnormalities in the Male Reproductive Organ

If you suffer from penis or testicular pain that does not resolve itself within a week or two, it’s time to see a urologist. Penile pain can include every aspect of the organ: the base, head, shaft, and foreskin. Feelings such as burning or throbbing may be signs of a UTI or another form of bacterial infection. It could also be a sign of penile cancer. If you experience continual discomfort or find a mass within the penis or testacles, you should immediately consult a urological professional.

Erectile Dysfunction

The inability to achieve or maintain an erection is an uncomfortable subject. However, it is not the type of issue you want to try and “will away.” Due to the complicated nature of achieving an erection, it’s you’ll want to consult a urological specialist. A self-referral may be necessary instead of waiting on a referral from your primary care physician. The causes of erectile dysfunction can be contributed to one or more physical or psychological factors which can be identified through a series of questions and tests.

Think You Have a Reason to See a Urologist?

If you’re ever in doubt as to whether you should see a urologist, pick up the phone and ask! Gulfshore Urology has office locations in Marco Island, Naples, East Naples, and Bonita Springs. Give us a call at 239-333-3200 if you have any inquiries or would like to setup an appointment.

  Rolando R. Rivera   Jul 27, 2016   Erectile Dysfunction, Male Infertility, Urinary Incontinence, Urology   Comments Off on 5 Reasons to See a Urologist   Read More

How to Treat Urinary Strictures

Gulfshore Urology Urinary StricturesHow to Treat Urinary Strictures

Gulfshore Urology Urinary StricturesIf you recently had surgery or suffered a traumatic injury to the pelvic region, you may develop urinary strictures. This issue can cause several symptoms such as difficult or painful urination, UTI’s, blood in your urine or semen, reduced ejaculation force, and discharge. However, it can also be asymptomatic.

What are Urinary Strictures?

Stricture is a general term that describes the constriction of an organ. This can happen in various parts of the body, but with urinary strictures it specifically takes place in the urethra. It is mostly seen in male patients, as the issue is very rare in women, and is caused by the scarring or narrowing of the urethra.

This scarring or narrowing can be due to:

  • Trauma that causes damage to the urethra or bladder
  • Surgeries or procedures upon the urethra
  • Cancer of the urethra
  • An enlarged prostate
  • Prostate surgery
  • Infections of the urethra, such as sexually transmitted diseases (STD’s)
  • Congenital malformation

Symptoms of Urinary Strictures

As mentioned previously, urinary strictures can be both symptomatic and asymptomatic. However, if you find yourself experiencing the symptoms below, you will want to make an appointment with your urologist as soon as possible:

  • Difficult or painful urination
  • Urinary Tract Infection
  • Dribbling, spraying, or reduced stream in urine
  • Blood in your urine or semen
  • Pelvic pain
  • Discharge from the urethra
  • Reduced force behind ejaculation

How to Diagnose Urinary Strictures

In order to treat urinary strictures, you must first visit your urologist and undergo testing that will confirm the diagnosis. This may include examinations such as urinalysis, urine culture, and a urethral culture to test for STD’s, screening for prostate cancer, and/or imaging or endoscopic tests such as an ultrasound, retrograde urethrogram, anterograde cystourethrogram, or cystourethroscopy.

What is the Treatment for Urinary Strictures?

While patients may receive pain medication for symptom control, there is no medication that can cure urinary strictures. Surgery is currently the only treatment and it is given to those individuals who suffer from uncontrollable symptoms make it difficult to conduct day-to-day living.

The most common surgical procedures for this include urethral dilation, urethrostomy, urethral stent placement, or open urethral reconstruction. Your doctor will determine the best approach based on the cause, symptom, location, and severity of your case.

If You or a Loved One is Suffering from Urinary Strictures

If you think you or someone you care about is suffering from urinary strictures, we recommend that you call your urologist immediately to set an appointment. For patients in southwest Florida, Gulfshore Urology has locations in Marco Island, Naples, and Bonita Springs. To set an appointment, simply call 239-333-3200.

  Rolando R. Rivera   May 17, 2016   Urinary Incontinence, Urology   Comments Off on How to Treat Urinary Strictures   Read More

Causes for Common Urinary Symptoms

Gulfshore Urology Common Urinary SymptomsCauses for Common Urinary Symptoms

Gulfshore Urology Common Urinary SymptomsUrologists treat a wide variety of cases relating to the urinary tract and male reproductive system. However, there are certain issues that these doctors see quite frequently in their offices. The most common urinary symptoms include frequently feeling the need to use the bathroom, the inability to hold urine in, and leaking. If you are a patient dealing with these symptoms, take comfort in knowing millions have experienced problems just like yours. That’s why we’ve put together a list of a few common causes for these urinary symptoms:

Urinary Urgency

Urinary urgency is when a person experiences the sudden and urgent need to urinate. This need is caused by contractions of the bladder muscles that occur involuntarily. It is most often caused by Urinary Tract Infections, or UTI’s, though certain diuretics can also cause this symptom to occur.

Urinary urgency is often confused for urinary frequency, as the two often occur alongside each other. However, these two symptoms are different. Urinary frequency is the need to pee frequently (see “Overactive Bladder”).

Stress Incontinence

Despite its name, stress incontinence had nothing to do with emotional duress. Instead, it defines when an individual experiences an involuntary leak in urine caused by pressure placed on the bladder. This can happen a number of ways, such as laughing, sneezing, coughing, lifting heavy objects, running, standing up, or having sexual intercourse.

Stress incontinence may not occur every time you partake in one of these activities, but if you find it happening frequently enough that it impacts your daily activity, then it is time to see a doctor.

Nocturia

Those who are experiencing nocturia find themselves waking up multiple times during the night with the need to urinate. It occurs more often in older patients, but there are other causes including high fluid intake during the day or before bed, diabetes, your body having a higher urine production at night, or even simply poor sleep.

Overactive Bladder

An overactive bladder is defined by sudden, involuntary contractions of the bladder that cause urinary frequency, or the need to urinate, even when only a small amount of urine is present. Irritating fluids can cause these symptoms, including coffee, tea, other caffeinated beverages, spicy foods, and alcohol, as well as UTI’s. In some cases, overactive bladder can overlap with other forms of incontinence, resulting in mixed incontinence.

Treatment and Prevention

There are several ways to treat these common urinary symptoms, depending on the cause. If you find yourself experiencing the above causes or symptoms, it is recommended that you try the following:

  • Kegel Exercises 
    These exercises help strengthen the muscles surrounding the bladder, giving you more control over the flow of urine.
  • Log Your Bladder Activity
    Keeping a log of our bathroom habits can help you and your doctor identify any patterns in your symptoms.
  • Train Your Bladder
    The human body is good at picking up habits. Putting yourself on a fixed bathroom schedule can help train your bladder to relieve itself at certain times you deem convenient or appropriate.
  • Regulate Your Fluid Intake
    Limiting your fluid intake to occur prior to four hours before bedtime and avoiding diuretics such as coffee, tea, and alcohol can help prevent you from waking up at night with the need to urinate.

Should these practices not work, it is recommended that you make an appointment with your local urologist.

  Rolando R. Rivera   May 09, 2016   Urinary Incontinence, Urology   Comments Off on Causes for Common Urinary Symptoms   Read More

What is Urinary Incontinence and How Do I Prevent It

GS Urology_Urinary IncontinenceEver found yourself struggling to “hold it in?” You sneeze only to cross your legs because you felt a bit of urine leak out involuntarily. If so, you aren’t alone. These are signs of urinary incontinence, a common disorder that prevents you from being able to hold in your urine under pressure.

Those who struggle with this disorder may experience varying degrees of incontinence, from leaking while sneezing, laughing, or feeling pressure on the abdominal muscles, to a sudden need to urinate that is so urgent, it may not allow you to get to the bathroom prior to release.

What Causes Urinary Incontinence?

There are several different types of urinary incontinence. Those types include:

  • Stress Urinary Incontinence (SUI)
    The most common type of urinary incontinence, SUI is caused by physical stress that affects the pelvic floor muscles. This can happen if the muscles are weakened or stretched.
  • Overflow Incontinence
    This could be caused by a blockage, the bladder muscles’ inability to contract properly, or your body producing more urine than your bladder can contain.
  • Overactive Bladder (OAB)
    OAB affects over 30% of men and 40% of women in the United States alone. It causes you to have the urge to go, even when your bladder may not be full. This is typically caused by the individual’s bladder muscles being too active. For women, it often occurs after menopause or childbirth while for men it typically indicates a prostate issue.
  • Mixed Incontinence (SUI and OAB)
    This is literally a combination of SUI and OAB.

Risk Factors

There are several factors that increases your chances of developing one of these forms of urinary incontinence.

  • Obesity puts additional pressure upon the abdominal muscles, weakening them.
  • Heavy Smoking can lead to the development of a chronic cough that can cause bouts of incontinence.
  • Childbirth or Menopause can cause stress to the abdominal muscles.
  • Certain Diseases, Conditions, or Surgeries can have urinary incontinence as a side effect.
  • Age can also play a factor as the urethra and surrounding muscles weaken with old age.

Treatment and Prevention

Most patients can manage or stop urinary incontinence by making a few lifestyle changes. Kegel exercises specifically strengthen the abdominal muscles, allowing patients to have better bladder control. Cutting out unhealthy habits such as smoking and maintaining a healthy weight can also help.

However, in cases where urinary incontinence cannot be remedied, there are certain vaginal/urethral devices, surgeries, pads, or medicinal or minimally invasive treatments available to help manage the condition.

If you or someone you know is struggling with urinary incontinence, consult your doctor. Our urologists currently service patients across Lee County and Collier County. To make an appointment, simply give us a call at 239-333-3200.

  Rolando R. Rivera   Feb 10, 2016   Urinary Incontinence   Comments Off on What is Urinary Incontinence and How Do I Prevent It   Read More