Erectile Dysfunction

How Smoking Impacts Your Urological Health

quit smoking gulfshore urology reasonsNeed a reason to quit smoking? We’ll give you several. This dangerous habit has a significant impact on various parts of the body, including your urological health. While cutting out bad habits is never easy, understanding their impact is a great way to reignite your motivation to quit.

None of us want to be a statistic. Yet more than 16 million Americans fall into the category of having a smoking-related disease. With smoking ranking first in the list of preventable causes for death and disease, it’s high time that patients take this negative lifestyle choice seriously.

Below, you’ll find a few major urological conditions that are impacted by smoking, as well as the best approach to cutting the habit, and assuming a healthy lifestyle.

Urological Conditions Affected by Smoking

Whether smoking is the cause of your urological condition or an influencing factor, it’s proven to exacerbate many diseases. Some of the most common include cancer, infertility, and overactive bladder functions. Keep in mind that smoking’s impact isn’t limited to these common conditions. This is just a glimpse at how this one bad habit can negatively impact your urological health.

Smoking and Cancer

By now, the link between smoking and cancer is no surprise to anyone. However, knowing the statistics behind the risk factor often brings the truth of this statement home to our patients. Bladder and Kidney cancer are two common forms of cancer urologists diagnose and treat. Both of these have their own unique risk factors, but one thing they have in common is the significant increase in risk among patients with a smoking habit.

According to multiple kidney cancer cases recorded in the United Kingdom, an estimated 29 percent of men and 14 percent of women diagnosed with kidney cancer were cases caused by or linked to their smoking habits. Why? Because the chemicals in cigarettes enter the bloodstream, which is then filtered by your kidneys.

But your kidneys aren’t the only organs touched by these chemicals. For bladder cancer, the impact of smoking is just as significant. In fact, smoking tobacco is the most common risk factor, with patients who smoke becoming 4 to 7 times more likely to develop this form of cancer.

At this point, it is estimated that more than half of bladder cancer cases in men and between twenty to thirty percent of cases in women are caused by the effects of smoking. Like kidney cancer, this is due to the harmful chemicals and drugs that are packed into cigarettes.

As we stated previously, these chemicals enter your bloodstream only to be filtered out by your kidneys. Like all other waste the kidneys remove, these chemicals then get ejected from the body through your urine. As this happens, they come in contact with the lining of the bladder, which is what increases your risk of developing bladder cancer.

Erectile Dysfunction and Infertility

Wondering why things aren’t working the way they should “down there”? The problem might start with your smoking habit. Erectile Dysfunction (ED) and Infertility both can be triggered by your lifestyle habits, including smoking.

Smoking can trigger ED through the manner in which chemicals damage the blood vessels in your system. The effects of this damage includes reduced blood supply to the penis, which is essential to gaining and keeping an erection.

You don’t have to be older to experience ED either. Smoking’s impact on your sexual health can occur in any patient who smokes. In fact, smoking is the leading cause of ED in most young patients.

So what about fertility? Even if smoking hasn’t led to erectile struggles, you may still find that your sexual health is compromised. The risk of infertility doubles for both male and female patients who smoke. Why? The chemicals your body takes in while smoking directly impacts the genetic makeup of eggs and sperm, the overall health of the uterus, and the produce of hormones that are crucial to achieving a successful, healthy pregnancy.

Smokers experience reduced success from vitro fertilization as well as an increased chance of miscarriage or birth defects. However, there is good news. Patients who quit smoking can reverse these effects over the course of a year.

Ready to Stop Smoking?

Infertility, cancer, and ED is only a small taste of the negative impacts smoking can have on your body. If you’re ready to quit, we highly encourage you to speak to your doctor about the best approach to cutting out the habit.

Like many addictions or bad habits, quitting can feel like an uphill battle. Don’t attempt to do so alone. Instead, seek out the support of your friends, family, and doctor. Together, you can receive the tools, support, and encouragement to kick the habit.

When you quit smoking, you’ll experience numerous mental and physical benefits, including improved respiratory function, increased energy, a longer lifespan, and improved quality of living.

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

  Rolando R. Rivera   Nov 09, 2017   Erectile Dysfunction   Comments Off on How Smoking Impacts Your Urological Health   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 Erectile Dysfunction: Causes, Symptoms, and Prevention

facts about erectile dysfunction gulfshore urology

Erectile dysfunction is a common disorder. It afflicts between 20 and 30 million men in the United States alone, yet only 5 to 10 percent of those individuals ever seek treatment. The stigma behind this particular disorder keeps many patients from ever crossing the threshold of a doctor’s office, though many of these issues can be corrected depending on the cause.

Symptoms of Erectile Dysfunction

The definition of erectile dysfunction is when a man fails to get or keep an erection firm enough to complete sexual intercourse. The severity of this issue can vary. Erectile dysfunction typically occurs in men above the age of 40, though it can occur in younger men as well.

Symptoms include:

  • Trouble producing an erection
  • Trouble keeping an erection
  • Trouble ejaculating during intercourse
  • A reduction in sexual desire

Erectile dysfunction has been linked to diabetes, heart disease, and other serious health conditions, which is why it is important to schedule an appointment with your doctor if you’re suffering from one or more of these symptoms. However, the cause is not always limited to physical ailments.

Causes of Erectile Dysfunction

The act of sexual arousal for men isn’t just a physical reaction. It’s a complex process that requires a collaboration of psychological, emotional, and physical factors. Some of the most common causes of erectile dysfunction are:

  • Certain medical conditions, including heart disease, diabetes, Metabolic Syndrome, Peyronie’s Disease, Parkinson’s Disease, and prostate cancer
  • Atherosclerosis
  • Being overweight
  • Elevated blood pressure
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Stress
  • Smoking
  • Alcoholism
  • Drug Abuse
  • Sleep disorders
  • Side-effects from certain surgeries or medical treatments
  • Injury

Diagnosis and Treatment

There are several tests and examination that a doctor may recommend to help diagnose erectile dysfunction. He or she will likely start with a physical examination and questions about your symptoms before recommending the best form of testing. This may include a urine test, blood test, ultrasound, or an overnight erection test.

However, if your symptoms seemed to be related to a psychological or emotional trigger, your doctor may recommend a screening for depression or other possible causes.

Treatments may include oral medications, injections, pumps, surgery, implants, or psychological counseling.


There are ways to prevent erectile dysfunction. Many revolve around your lifestyle choices, such as:

Cut out Addictive Habits

If you smoke or are struggling with alcohol or drug problems, quit. Seek help if necessary as these habits can also cause serious, long-term health issues.

Address Emotional Hurdles

Consider individual or couples counseling to help work through relationship issues, stress, or bouts of depression.

Lose Weight

Shedding excess weight will help treat and prevent erectile dysfunction.

Remain Physically Active

Exercise reduces stress, helps you lose weight, and helps improve your cardiovascular health.

Schedule an Appointment

Gulfshore Urology is a urological practice located in Bonita Springs, Florida. We deliver exceptional care in a private setting that allows for a more personal and personable approach to medical treatment.

If you are a patient struggling with symptoms of erectile dysfunction, give us a call at 239-333-3200 to schedule an appointment with one of our experienced doctors.

  Rolando R. Rivera   Jul 15, 2016   Erectile Dysfunction   Comments Off on What is Erectile Dysfunction: Causes, Symptoms, and Prevention   Read More