5 Issues to Discuss with Your Urologist

December 6, 2023

By: Jose G. Moreno, M.D.

You might not currently be wondering how well your bladder or prostate works, but when the day comes that you do, there are specialists nearby to help.

When you visit a urologist, your role as patient will be crucially important. Being prepared can lead to a faster, more pinpoint diagnosis.

Here are five issues to discuss with your urologist to get the most out of your appointment time.


5 Health Issues Men Should Discuss

  1. What can I do to keep my prostate healthy? You should eat more vegetables, exercise regularly, avoid tobacco smoke, and have your prostate examined regularly. In general, what is heart healthy is prostate healthy. This would include maintaining a normal body weight and a Mediterranean-type diet rich in fruits and vegetables. As men age, their prostate tissue grows and the gland can become enlarged (benign prostate hyperplasia, or BPH). This can cause urinary complications. The risk of prostate cancer increases at age 50, as well. Ask your doctor about blood screenings.
  2. What are normal testosterone levels? Generally, testosterone levels run from 300 to 1,000 nanograms per deciliter. But as men age, their bodies produce less of the hormone. A blood test can measure your levels. Symptoms of low testosterone include reduced sex drive and erectile dysfunction. Exercise and weight loss can naturally improve testosterone levels.
  3. How long should it take me to start urinating? The rule of thumb is less than 11 seconds. If it takes longer, you might be experiencing signs of BPH, due to prostate tissue pressing against the urethra, which runs through the gland. You can learn more about BPH here.
  4. I’ve read kidney stones are painful. How can I prevent them? Don’t get thirsty. When your body doesn’t have enough fluid, urine can become oversaturated with chemicals that can form into crystals. Higher levels of citrate (from citric acid) in the urine can reduce stone formation because citrate binds with calcium and reduces its ability to form into stones. Adding a slice of lemon or incorporating lemonade into your diet can reduce the risk of developing kidney stones. High temperatures also can contribute to the formation of kidney stones. Read more about it here.
  5. How do I self-examine my testicles? Men – especially young men – should check their testicles monthly in the shower, when the scrotum is relaxed. Hold each testicle between the thumbs and forefingers of both hands and roll it, feeling for lumps and irregularities. Such changes might indicate testicular cancer, which is more likely to occur in men in their late 20s and early 30s. Testicular cancer can spread in as early as four months, so a young man should never delay seeing a doctor if a hard lump is felt in the testicle.


5 Health Issues Women Should Discuss

  1. How many times a day should I have to pee? Typically, up to seven trips a day. Peeing more frequently, especially at night, is a common sign of overactive bladder (OAB). Childbirth and urinary tract infections increase the risk, but nerve damage also can cause OAB.
  2. What color should my urine be? Pale yellow pee is healthy pee. Other colors can reveal signs of kidney stones (red or brown), dehydration (orange), or that you eat a lot of beets (pink). Pay attention to the color. These urinary health goals can help.
  3. How can I prevent urinary tract infections (UTIs)? Drink lots of fluids, urinate after sex, and take showers instead of baths. More than half of all women experience a UTI sometime in their lives, but you can limit your risks. Over-the-counter cranberry supplements can help prevent some UTIs. Women who suffer from recurrent bladder infections can significantly reduce UTIs by taking an antibiotic after sex or taking a short, three-day course of medication at the earliest sign of an infection.
  4. When should I perform Kegel exercises? How about now? Childbirth and menopause can weaken a woman’s pelvic muscles, causing incontinence and, potentially, prolapse. Pelvic floor (Kegel) exercises strengthen your pelvis and can help prevent these issues. Ask your urologist how often to perform them.
  5. Why do I experience genital/urinary menopausal symptoms? Can anything help? As women age, their estrogen levels decline, triggering a range of symptoms. These symptoms can involve genitalia (dryness, burning, and irritation), sex (lack of lubrication, discomfort, and impaired function), and urination (urgency, painful urination, and recurrent urinary tract infections). You don’t have to live with it. Help is available.


And Your Last Question Should Be …

Your urologist wants to hear, diagnose, and treat you. The more information you provide during your visit, the closer you can get to improved urinary health. So, arrive prepared with questions and you’ll leave your appointment knowing your next steps for better urinary health. Before leaving, ask “When should I schedule a follow-up appointment?”

If you’re experiencing symptoms of a urological condition, such as burning urination, difficulty performing intercourse, or pain in your sides, it might be time to see a urologist. Find a specialist near you at one of MidLantic Urology’s 42 locations in Philadelphia and surrounding counties, here.

Schedule an appointment with a MidLantic Urology Physician near you today!

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