It’s rare for men to go directly to urologists. It usually happens through a referral from a primary care physician after you are screened for men’s health issues.
According to Dr. Noah Allen, urologist at St. Elizabeth Physicians, here are seven of the most common reasons why a man would end up in a urologist’s office:
1. Urination issues
That could mean weak stream or voiding, which is a problem emptying your bladder. “Very common in older men,” Allen said. “A lot of it is correctible with medication.”
2. Recurring urinary tract infection
This is when bacteria cause an infection in your urinary tract (bladder, kidneys, ureters, urethra).
3. Bladder control
You’ve heard about how men, as they get older, have to urinate frequently throughout the night. That’s a real thing.
4. Kidney stones
Sometimes compared to childbirth for women. Staying hydrated helps avoid kidney stones, which manifest through severe pain in the abdomen. Some pass more easily than others.
5. Elevated PSA levels/enlarged prostate/prostate cancer
These issues are to be monitored closely. As men get older, having regular prostate exams and PSA tests become more important. There are differing opinions on when and how frequently to do these; consult with your primary care physician.
6. Low testosterone/erectile dysfunction
You hear ads on the radio all the time for magic pills or treatments. The fact is ED can be treated with medication, but it’s often expensive. Another option: Testosterone injections. Last resort: Prosthesis surgically implanted; an inflatable pump in the penis that can provide an artificial erection. Allen said he might perform a couple of those a month.
When you are done having children, you might consider this outpatient treatment. Frozen bag of peas are extra.
“There are a lot of issues that come down to: Is it difficult to live with or not?” Allen said. “Does it affect your quality of life?
“If a man has something and he’s not bothered by it, he’s going to be kind of indifferent to it. If it’s something he can live with and is not bothered by it, you don’t really have to treat him as long as you rule out cancer or diabetes.”