Urology

Common Urological Issues in Men

common urological issues in menWhen it comes to addressing issues that arise “down below”, many men try to avoid a medical appointment due to embarrassment. However, the truth is that men encounter common urological issues at some point in their life. Young or old, it’s important to  know the symptoms of some of the more common infections or conditions should they arise.

After all, not every urological issues comes from old age! Several of our patients are in their 20’s and 30’s, proving that you’re never too young to be aware of what’s going on inside of your body.

A Few Statistics About Urology and Men’s Health

In many ways, men and women are wired differently. This is especially true in the field of urology as the physical anatomy of men and women differ, making each more resilient or more prone to different types of issues. Before we dive into the most common issues we see walking through the door, let’s touch on some of the statistics regarding urology and men’s health.

  • Most men who develop testicular cancer do so between the ages of 20 and 55 (The Urology Foundation)
  • 25% of all couples’ inability to become pregnant is caused by male infertility, and 75% of male infertility cases are caused by abnormal sperm (The Urology Foundation)
  • Men who are obese, physically inactive, older, experience chronic coughing, have BPH, or a history of prostate cancer are more prone to developing urinary incontinence (NIH)
  • Men who have diabetes are 2-3 times more likely to develop erectile dysfunction (NIH)

Both genetics and your daily habits can have a direct impact on your urological health, which is why it’s important to take care of your body through proper diet, physical exercise, and regular check-ups.

A Few Common Urological Issues in Men

While urology certainly isn’t limited to this list of conditions, it does encompass some of the most common issues that we see in our male patients on a regular basis. We hope that through familiarity, you’ll come to understand that you are not alone in your experience and that it’s important to seek help from a urologist should you experience symptoms like these.

Erectile Dysfunction

Whether you’re having trouble achieving an erection, maintaining an erection, or experiencing delayed ejaculation, rest assured you are not alone. Patients young and old have come to us for answers to these difficult issues, and we welcome them without judgment.

The cause of erectile dysfunction is broad, with many different influencing factors. Because this act is tied to physical, psychological, and emotional triggers, the cause can be any one or combination of causes. Some possibilities include certain medical conditions, obesity, depression, stress, alcoholism, drug abuse, sleep disorders, or side effects to certain surgeries or medical treatments.

If you experience symptoms of erectile dysfunction, a urologist can ask a series of questions and run tests to help identify the cause, as well as provide treatment options.

Enlarged Prostate

Did you know that men undergo two periods of prostate growth in their life? One is the obvious development undergone through puberty. The second phase begins typically in your mid-twenties.

How much your prostate enlarges during this second phase may cause the prostate to press on the urethra and weaken the bladder. As you get older, this problem can get worse. Men in their 50’s are most commonly diagnosed with enlarged prostate.

Symptoms include incontinence, difficulty urinating, frequent urination, painful or bloody urine, or the inability to completely empty one’s bladder. By seeking a urologist for diagnosis and treatment, you may receive medication as well as recommended lifestyle changes to help you reduce your symptoms. In severe cases, your urologist may recommend a surgical procedure to correct the issue.

A proper diagnosis is important, as many of these symptoms may also be a result of another common issue known as urinary incontinence (UI). UI can be the result of damaged nerves, weakened pelvic muscles, or other health issues.

Urinary Tract Infections (UTI’s)

While UTI’s are most common in women, men can and do develop them, too. UTI’s are caused by bacteria that fails to get flushed out of the urinary tract. This often occurs from an enlarged prostate, kidney stones, diabetes, catheter insertion, or health conditions that weaken one’s immune system.

Many of the symptoms of a UTI in a man are the same as the one’s experienced by women: a constant urge to urinate, abdominal or lower back pain, foul smelling, bloody, or cloudy urine, and a painful or burning sensation while urinating. However, there is one that is unique, and that is discharge seeping from the penis.

If you experience any of these symptoms, it’s important to see a doctor for treatment. He or she will likely be prescribed an antibiotic to kill off the bacteria.

Gulfshore Urology is a Urology Office located in Southwest Florida. We have locations in Naples, Bonita Springs, and Marco Island. To set an appointment, please call 239-333-3200.

 

  Rolando R. Rivera   Oct 18, 2017   Urology   Comments Off on Common Urological Issues in Men   Read More

Common Urological Issues in Women

common urological issues in women gulfshore urology Many times when you think of “urologist” you think of prostate cancer and kidney stones. However, these specialized physicians are responsible for treating far more conditions related to the urological system. This goes for men and women alike, but today Gulfshore Urology is focusing on common urological issues in women.

The urological system is wired differently based on your gender, which in turn leads to different conditions. Because of this, a good physician must approach his or her female patients with their unique needs and risks.

Female Statistics Regarding Urological Conditions

Did you know that women are twice as likely to experience incontinence as men? In fact, one in every three ladies experience stress incontinence at some point in their lives. Stress incontinence defines the involuntary leak of urine caused by coughing, laughing, sneezing, or even just walking from one place to another.

Bladder Cancer also has a unique impact on women. Even though men are more prone to this form of cancer, women typically have a worse prognosis and lower survival rate. This is why a good physician will recommend regular check-ups. This allows for early detection should you develop bladder cancer.

Also, Interstitial Cystitis (IC) impacts an estimated 3.3 million women. Commonly referred to as painful bladder syndrome, this condition is tricky because it has several different causes. Thus, the best course of treatment will be unique to each patient.

When to See a Urologist, and When to See Your Family Physician

A common question is when do you know when to see your urologist versus when you should see your family physician? There are certain conditions that may apply to urology that can be treated through general practice, while others may require a urologist. Depending on your symptoms and your healthcare plan, you made need a referral to see a specialist.

Below are a few common urological issues for women along with which type of physician should be consulted for treatment:

  • For a Urinary Tract Infection (UTI): UTI’s are common among women and are typically treated with a dose of antibiotics. If you experience symptoms of a UTI, your family doctor can both diagnose it and prescribe the proper antibiotic for treatment.
  • For Recurring UTI’s: If you find yourself having multiple UTI’s a year, it may very well be a symptom of a larger issue. For frequent UTI’s, you should consult your urologist who can implement the right tests, scans, or other measures to identify what is causing the recurring infection. It’s important to treat recurring UTI’s, as they can lead to several complications, including sepsis and premature delivery for pregnant women.
  • Overactive Bladder: For symptoms of an overactive bladder, it’s best to start with your family doctor. Due to the wide range of causes for this issue, a family physician can help narrow down the cause and refer you to a urologist if he or she finds it necessary.
  • Prolonged or Long-Term Bladder Pain: If you’re experiencing bladder pain that won’t go away, this could be a sign of IC. If you’re experiencing debilitating bladder pain that’s impacting you daily life or ability to work, definitely consult your urologist. As a specialist, he or she can help you determine the cause of your bladder pain as well as the best approach to ease your symptoms.
  • General Bladder Discomfort: Whether it’s signs of menopause or the onset of a UTI, your general practitioner can help you with a more general bladder discomfort.

Think of it like this: urologists specialize in serious or specific urological issues while your primary physician treats general infections and symptoms. Your family physician can also review your symptoms and refer you to a urologist should your symptoms require a specialist’s help to diagnose and treat.

When in doubt, you can also call your urologist if you have one already. Here at Gulfshore Urology, we treat all of our Naples and Bonita Springs patients like family. Just give us a call at 239-333-3200. We’ll be happy to answer any of your questions and set an appointment.

 

  Rolando R. Rivera   Oct 18, 2017   Urology   Comments Off on Common Urological Issues in Women   Read More

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

What is a Urologist?

What is a Urologist

What is a urologist exactly? It’s not an uncommon question. There are many different practice areas in the medical field. On top of that, many doctors choose a specialty that they focus their practice in. Urology is one of them.

By definition, urology is the branch of medicine and physiology that focuses on two things: the condition and treatment of the male reproductive system, and the operation of the male and female urinary system along with any anomalies or disorders that may occur within it.

There are several sub-specialties that physicians within the urological practice focus on. The American Urological Association has defined seven in particular:

1. Urologic Oncology

Focuses on the treatment of cancers related to the urinary system and male reproductive system

2. Male Infertility

Conducts corrective surgeries and remedying obstructions within male genitalia

3. Pediatric Urology

Treats complex urological problems within children that cannot be remedied by general pediatricians or urologists

4. Female Urology

Addresses issues with urological problems unique to women, such as urinary incontinence and pelvic outlet relaxation disorders

5. Neurourology

Specializes in issues of impotence, erectile dysfunction, and voiding disorders

6. Renal Transplantation

Conducts kidney transplant surgeries after kidney failure

7. Calculi

Manages the various stones that form within kidneys and move their way into ureters

Due to the wide scope of clinical issues that can arise within this field, many urologists bear knowledge of internal medicine, pediatrics, gynecology, and more.

What Conditions Do Urologists Treat?

The list of conditions treated by urologists is extensive. However, some of the most common include:

  • Bladder, Kidney, Prostate, and Testicular Cancer
  • Bladder Prolapse
  • Prostatitis
  • Cryptorchidism
  • Interstitial Cystitis

There are several other surgeries and conditions that are unique to urologists. However, it is safe to assume that anything regarding the urinary system and male reproductive organs would likely fall into their field.

How Often Should I Visit a Urologist?

Healthy men and women under the age of 40 typically don’t make regular visits to the urologist unless they are experiencing symptoms of a condition that falls under their area of expertise.

However, the American Urological Association highly recommends that once men reach the age of 40, they begin to schedule annual prostate cancer screenings. These screenings are proactive efforts, much like an annual checkup.

Are You Experiencing Symptoms of a Urological Condition?

Whether you’re 16 or 61, if you’re experiencing complications or symptoms related to the urinary system or male reproductive system, you should schedule an appointment with your local urologist immediately.

Gulfshore Urology is a leading urology practice with several offices in southwest Florida, including one on Marco Island, two in Naples, and one Bonita Springs. If you would like to schedule an appointment with one of our expert physicians, simply give us a call at 239-333-3200.

  Rolando R. Rivera   Jun 16, 2016   Urology   Comments Off on What is 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

Why Women are More Prone to Bladder Infections than Men

Why Women are More Prone to Bladder Infections than Men

Gulfshore Urology Bladder InfectionsBladder infections, or cystitis, can occur in both men and women, but it is much rarer in males than their female counterparts. In fact, bladder infections are so common in women that most will experience at least one in their lifetime.

Why is that? To understand the reason behind female proneness to bladder infections, you must first understand what it is, what causes it, and how.

What is a Bladder Infection?

Cystitis is an infection that occurs when bacteria finds its way into the bladder. Particularly, E. Coli. When caught early, they are not very serious. However, if ignored, they can grow exponentially worse, traveling to the kidneys where they can leave permanent damage when left untreated.

For women, sex can often be the culprit of this kind of infection because vaginal intercourse makes it easier for the bacteria to reach the bladder via the urethra. Risks are also increased by the use of spermicides, condoms, and the hormonal fluctuations caused by pregnancy.

Why are Women More Prone to Bladder Infections than Men?

The reason women are more likely to develop bladder infections than men comes down to basic anatomy. Female urethras are much shorter than male urethras. Approximately an inch and a half in length to be exact. This means the bacteria doesn’t have to travel nearly as far to reach the bladder.

Another risk enhancing attribute involves the location of the urethra. Located next to the vagina and anus, it is much easier for bacteria to travel from those two areas to the urethra.

Symptoms

Symptoms of a bladder infection include:

  • A burning sensation or pain while urinating
  • Feeling the need to urinate frequently, but little to no urine is released when you do
  • Lower belly pain
  • Cloudy or smelly urine
  • Blood in your urine
  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Pain in one side of the back just below your ribs (where your kidneys are located)

If you are experiencing these symptoms, you will want to make an appointment with your urologist.

How to Prevent Bladder Infections

The best way to prevent cystitis is to remain hydrated and urinate often. Always relieve yourself after engaging in sexual intercourse and maintain proper hygiene. For women who have already gone through menopause, it may be advantageous to use vaginal estrogen to help stave off these sort of infections as well.

Should you have any questions regarding bladder infections or urological health, you should contact your local urologist. Gulfshore Urology currently has several expert physicians on staff, as well as locations in Naples, Bonita Springs, and Marco Island.

  Rolando R. Rivera   Apr 17, 2016   Uncategorized, Urinary Tract Infection, Urology   Comments Off on Why Women are More Prone to Bladder Infections than Men   Read More

How to Lower Your Risk for Bladder Cancer

How to Lower Your Risk for Bladder Cancer

Gulfshore Urology Lower Risk for Bladder CancerWhile we can’t change genetics, we can choose to engage (or not engage) in behaviors that reduce our chances of developing certain diseases. Bladder cancer has several risk factors, some of which we can address in our daily choices and activities. Gulfshore Urology has compiled a list of simple changes you can make in your lifestyle to improve your health and reduce your chances of developing this form of cancer.

Reduce Chemical Exposure

Those working in certain industries are often exposed to chemicals that have been linked to the development of bladder cancer. Among those occupations are printers, hairdressers, painters, machinists, and truck drivers. This is mostly due to their daily and long-term interaction with certain poisonous chemicals found in:

  • Diesel Fumes
  • Hair Dyes and Other Dyes
  • Rubber
  • Leather
  • Textiles
  • Paint

Avoid Smoking

Smoking tobacco products has long been labeled as a factor in increased risks of cancer and other diseases. Studies have shown that individuals who smoke are 3 times more likely to develop bladder cancer than those who do not. In fact, it has been proven to be the cause of about half of all bladder cancer cases in men and women alike.

Choose Clean Drinking Water

Linked as a cause of bladder cancer, arsenic is a natural element that can be found in organic and inorganic compounds. It is often used as a preservative in lumber, in pesticides, and as an additive in lead, copper, and certain glass manufacturing.

However, this element can also be found in certain sources of drinking water. Due to the poisonous nature of this element, it is important to have your well or public water system inspected to ensure that it is not present in your water source.

Stay Hydrated

Water is one of the most essential benefactors to our health. It maintains the proper balance of your body’s fluids, promotes normal bowel function, energizes and maintains the health of your body’s organs, and assists your kidneys in flushing toxins out of the body. Individuals who drink a lot of fluids on a consistent, daily basis have a reduced risk for bladder cancer compared to those who do not.

Do You Think You May Have Bladder Cancer?

Bladder cancer typically affects older adults. It requires a medical diagnosis confirmed through lab and/or imaging tests. If you believe that you or a loved one is experiencing symptoms of bladder cancer, then you should schedule an appointment with your urologist immediately.

Gulfshore Urology employs several expert urologists who specialize in the treatment of diseases such as this. We currently have locations in Naples, Marco Island, and Bonita Springs. To schedule an appointment with one of our physicians, simply give us a call at 239-333-3200.

  Rolando R. Rivera   Apr 15, 2016   Bladder Cancer, Urology   Comments Off on How to Lower Your Risk for Bladder Cancer   Read More