The practice of urology is an important component of men’s health care. This specialty mainly focuses on the urinary tract system which is responsible for removing the urine from the body, which includes bladder, kidneys, ureter, urethra and also the reproductive system of men. It’s common for men that at some point in their lives they will suffer from a urological problem which is due to injury, aging, birth defect. When this issue comes up, then it’s advised to consult a urologist- which have specialized knowledge regarding the problems of the male and female urinary tract and also the male reproductive organs. In this article, we will see the urology problems such as kidney stones, prostate enlargement, male infertility, erectile dysfunction and circumcision.
- In India, about 12% of people are expected to have urinary stones and out of which, 50% can end up with the permanent loss of kidney functions.
Urine contains dissolved minerals and salts. When urine has high levels of minerals and salts, they can form kidney stones. Kidney stones start small but they can grow larger in size. Some of the kidney stones stay in the kidney and do not cause any problems. The kidney stone can also travel down the ureter, which is the tube between the kidney and bladder. Now, if the stone reaches the bladder, it can pass out of the body through urine. If the stone becomes lodged in the ureter, it can block the urine flow from the kidney and cause pain.
Also Read: 4 Common Types of Urinary Diseases
Kidney Stones- Symptoms
The stones in the kidney do not cause symptoms and most of the times they go undiagnosed. The stone blocks the flow of the urine out of the kidney which can cause the kidney to swell which cause a lot of pain. The common symptoms of kidney stones are:
- A cramping pain in the lower or side of the back, which moves to the lower abdomen. Some of the women have said that the pain is worse than childbirth pain. The pain can start suddenly and it comes in waves. The pain can come and go as your body will try to get rid of the stone.
- Feeling to urinate
- Urinating more often and burning sensation during urination
- Urine is red in color due to blood. Sometimes urine can have small amounts of blood which can’t be seen be naked eye
- Pain at the tip of the penis
Kidney Stones- Treatment
The treatment will totally depend on the type of stone you have, how bad are the stone and the time you have had the symptoms. There are various treatments to choose from.
Let the stone pass itself
You can wait for the stone to pass. Smaller stones can pass on their own in comparison to larger stones. The duration you have to wait is four to six weeks as the pain is low. While waiting for the stone to pass you should consume lots of water. You may also require pain medication if you are in discomfort.
There are some medications which have improved the chances that stone will pass. The common medication for the removal of kidney stones is tamsulosin. This medicine helps in the relaxation of ureter which makes it easier for the stone to pass.
Undergoing a Surgery
The surgeries to remove stones present in kidneys or ureters are as follows:
- Shock wave lithotripsy: This surgery is used to treat the stones which are present in kidneys. Shock waves are focussed on the stone with the help of ultrasound to locate the stone. The shock waves will break the stone into smaller pieces.
- Ureteroscopy: URS involves passing a small telescope which is called ureteroscope into the bladder. Flexible telescopes are used to treat the stones in upper ureter and kidney.
- Percutaneous nephrolithotomy: PCNL involves making an incision in the back which is just large enough to allow the rigid telescope to get passed into the hollow center part of the kidney where the stone is located.
FAQs about Kidney Stones
- Can kidney stones damage my kidneys?
Yes, but it’s a rare case. Kidney stones which will cause damage if they can cause serious infection or it can cause kidney blockage for a longer time. Some of the stones, which are left untreated which can cause the kidneys to stop working.
- What happens if I keep developing kidney stones?
You can get another stone even if you have had surgery, changed your diet or if you are taking medications. With the help of perfect dietary methods you are less likely to get stones again.
- According to a study, in India, 7-14% prevalence of BPH was reported in hospital
Prostate enlargement which is also known as BPH is a condition in which occurs when the person gets old. An enlarged prostate causes uncomfortable urinary symptoms like blocking the flow of urine out of the bladder. It can cause bladder, kidney or urinary tract problems.
Prostate Enlargement- Symptoms
The severity of symptoms in people who are having prostate gland enlargement varies, but the symptoms get worse over time. The common symptoms of the BPH include:
- Difficulty in starting urine
- Weak urine stream which starts and stops
- Dribbling at end of urination
- Urge to urinate
- Inability to empty the bladder
- Blood in urine
- Urinary tract infection
The size of the prostate doesn’t determine the severity of the symptoms. Some of the men with a slightly enlarged prostate can also have significant symptoms, while men having large prostates can have minor urinary symptoms. In some of the men, symptoms stabilize can improve with time.
Prostate enlargement- Treatment
There are plenty of treatments available for the enlarged prostate, which includes medication, invasive therapies and via surgery. The best treatment depends on several factors such as the size of the prostate, age, overall health, amount of discomfort you are having. Given below are types of minimally invasive surgeries.
- TURP (Transurethral resection of the prostate): A lighted scope will be inserted into the urethra and surgeon will remove all the part of the prostate. TURP relieves the symptoms quickly and you will have a strong urine flow after the surgery. After the TURP you might require a catheter to drain the bladder.
- TUIP (Transurethral incision of the prostate): In this surgery also a lighted scope will be inserted, the surgeon will make a small cut into the prostate gland which makes it easier for urine to pass via the urethra. The surgery might be one option if you have a small prostate gland.
- TUNA (Transurethral needle ablation): A scope will be passed to urethra which allows the doctor to place the needles into the prostate gland. Radio waves are passed via the needles which destroys the excess prostate tissue which is blocking the flow of urine.
In this, a high-energy laser removes the prostate tissue. Laser therapy relieves symptoms right away and it lowers the risk of the side effects than the nonlaser surgery. The options for laser therapy include:
- Ablative procedures: In this procedure, it vaporises the obstructive prostate tissue which helps to increase the urine flow. The examples of this treatment are holmium laser ablation of the prostate.
- Enucleative procedures: These procedures like holmium laser enucleation of the prostate, remove the prostate tissue which blocks the urine flow and it prevents the growth of this tissue.
FAQs of Prostate Enlargement
- What is the risk of prostate enlargement?
If prostate enlargement is left untreated, then it can progress. When the bladder doesn’t get empty completely, you are at the risk of developing urinary tract infections. There are other serious problems which can develop over time such as bladder stones, blood in urine, urinary retention.
- How soon can I go home after the procedure?
Yes. You can arrange for someone to drive you back home because you might be under some medication which will help you to relax during the procedure.
- In India, almost 50% of infertility cases, the reason is male infertility
Male infertility is because of the low sperm production, abnormal sperm function or the blockages which prevent the delivery of sperm. There are other factors which lead to male infertility like injuries, chronic health problems, Illnesses, lifestyle choices and several factors which play a role in male infertility. Not being able to conceive a child can be a stressful thing, but there is a number of male infertility treatments which are available.
Male infertility- Symptoms
The main sign of the male infertility is not able to conceive a child. There are no other symptoms. In some of the cases, there could be an underlying problem like inherited disorder, dilated veins around the testicle. The symptoms are as follows:
- Inability to smell
- Abnormal breast growth
- Decreased body or facial hair
- A lower than normal sperm count
- Swelling in the testicle area
The exact cause of the infertility can’t be identified. If the exact cause is not clear, the might will be able to recommend treatments which will result in the conception. The treatments for male infertility include:
- Surgery: A varicocele can be surgically treated. Vasectomies can also be reversed. In some of the cases where there is no sperm present, sperm can be retrieved directly via the testicles with the help of the sperm-retrieval techniques.
- Treatment of infections: Antibiotic treatment can also cure the infection from the reproductive tract, but can’t restore the fertility.
- Sexual intercourse problems treatments: Medication can also help to improve the fertility in conditions like erectile dysfunction.
- Hormone treatments: The doctor will recommend hormone replacement in cases when the infertility is caused by the low levels of hormones.
- ART (Assisted reproductive technology): ART treatments involve obtaining the sperm via the normal ejaculation or via the donor individuals. These sperm are inserted into the female genital tract or they can be used to perform vitro fertilization.
FAQs on Male Infertility
- Is male infertility permanent?
As you know that infertility is a widespread problem, in about one in five infertile couples, the problem is with the male partner. It has been seen that one in 20 men is suffering from kind of fertility problem with low numbers of sperm. But the problem can be treated, so it’snot permanent.
- How long does it take for a guy to refill sperm?
For most of the men, it only takes between 24 hours to replenish after the ejaculation and getting back to the normal sperm count. The testicles are producing fresh sperm all the time. Even after 5 minutes after the ejaculation, there are sperm which is ready to go.
- India has been dubbed as the impotence capital of the world due to the number of cases of lifestyle diseases and probably the largest population of males in the world.
Erectile dysfunction is the common sex problem which men report to their doctor. The condition affects 30 million men. Erectile dysfunction is when there is trouble getting an erection which is right enough for sex. It’s not rare for a man to have problems with erections from time to time, erectile dysfunction is progressive or it can happen routinely with the sex which is not normal.
Erectile Dysfunction- Symptoms
While suffering from erectile dysfunction, it’s trouble to keep an erection which is ideal for sex. Erectile dysfunction can become a problem as the major sign of cardiovascular disease which indicates that blockages are building is a man’s vascular system. Sometimes, men suffering from erectile dysfunction have the risk of having a heart attack, circulatory problems or stroke. Erectile dysfunction can cause:
- Distress for the man
- Low self-esteem
Erectile dysfunction- Treatment
The treatment of erectile dysfunction begins with taking care of your vascular health. The doctor will point out the risk factors which can be altered or improved. The doctor will ask you to change food habits, stop smoking, increase workouts and stop using alcohol. The doctor will also suggest you treat emotional problems. These could begin from relationship conflicts such as depression or anxiety because of past problems. Non-invasive treatments are tried first. Most of the best-known treatments work well and are also safe. Let’s see the surgical treatment for erectile dysfunction. The main surgical treatment for erectile dysfunction involves the insertion of a penile implant. The placement of a penile surgery carries risks, they have the highest rates of satisfaction among the erectile dysfunction treatment options. Penile implants are the devices which are placed inside your body. This is the best choice to improve male infertility. In the surgery, a small cut is made, the cut is above the penis where it joins the belly or under the penis where the scrotum is present. No tissue is removed during the surgery, the blood loss is less. The patient can go home on the same day.
FAQs for Erectile Dysfunction
- Is erectile dysfunction dangerous?
Erectile dysfunction can cause psychological problems for you or for your partner which can have effects. Sometimes, erectile dysfunction can be a sign of an underlying medical condition. In some cases, erectile dysfunction is treatable which means it’s only temporary and too serious.
- What foods can cure erectile dysfunction?
You can eat nitrates which is present in leafy greens. Vegetables like spinach can increase circulation because of the high concentration of nitrates. Beet juice is also rich in nitrates. Nitrates are able to increase blood flow.
Circumcision is the surgical removal of skin which covers the tip of the penis. The surgery is common for newborn babies in certain areas of the world. For some of the families, circumcision is a religious ritual. The procedure can be done because of family tradition, preventive health care. For some of them, circumcision seems disfiguring.
Like any of the surgical procedure, there are plenty of risks which are associated with the circumcision. However, the risk is low with the circumcision. There are some problems associated with the circumcision which include:
- Risk of infection and bleeding at the site of the circumcision
- Risk of injury to the penis
- Increase in risk of meatitis
There is some evidence that circumcision has many benefits which include:
- A decrease in the risk of urinary tract infections
- Reduce the risk of sexually transmitted diseases
- It protects against penile cancer and cervical cancer in your female partner
- Prevention of balanitis
- Prevention of phimosis
FAQs of Circumcision
- Is it safe to get a circumcision at an older age?
Many of the doctors encourage circumcision. It can decrease the risk of urinary tract infections during the baby’s first year and it reduces the chances of penile cancer and also the transmission of sexually transmitted infections, mainly HIV.
- How do you know if you need circumcision?
These conditions affect the penis and in some cases, it may require a circumcision, where the foreskin is too tight to get pulled over the head of the penis, this can cause pain when the penis is erect and in rare cases, urine might be difficult.
Urinary tract infection
A urinary tract infection is an infection which can be in any part of the urinary system like bladder, ureters, kidneys and urethra. Most of the infections involve lower urinary tact. Women are at a greater risk of developing a urinary tract infection than in men. Infection is limited to the bladder which can be painful. You could suffer serious effects if a UTI is spread to the kidneys.
Urinary tract infection- Symptoms
There are no symptoms for urinary tract infections but when there are some it includes:
- Burning sensation when urinating
- Urine can appear cloudy
- Urine which appears bright pink, red which can be a sign of blood in the urine
- Strong-smelling urine
Urinary tract infection- Treatment
Antibiotics are the first line treatment for urinary tract infections. Which drugs are prescribed and for how long totally depends on the health condition and the bacteria present in your urine.
There are symptoms are often clear up after the few days of the treatment but you may also require antibiotics for a week or more. For an uncomplicated urinary tract infection which occurs when you are healthy, the doctor will ask for a shorter course of treatment like taking antibiotic for one to three days. The doctor can also prescribe pain medication which numbs your bladder to relieve the burning while urination but the pain is relieved after you will start taking an antibiotic.
FAQs about Urinary tract infection
- What happens if a UTI is left untreated for a week?
Kidney infection is a serious treatment and when left untreated for one week, it can cause serious problems. It requires aggressive antibiotic treatment, there are chances of increase in infections.