11 Questions Every Man Should Ask When Visiting a Urologist
There are certain questions that every man should ask when visiting a urologist. This professional deals with problems related to the urinary or genital apparatus (although the latter is only in men and not in women).
Although some people shy away from it or fear it, it’s advisable to schedule a regular visit starting at age 40, even if no symptoms are experienced. Read on and we will tell you what you can say or ask during the consultation.
What does a urologist specialize in?
A urologist is a health professional. He or she specializes in helping to prevent, diagnose and treat pathologies of the urinary (in both sexes) and genital (male) apparatus.
In particular, the urologist can deal with problems such as the following:
- Kidney stones
- Erectile dysfunction
- An overactive bladder
- Urinary incontinence
- Prostate hyperplasia
- Urinary tract infections
- Low testosterone concentration
- Cancer of the testicle, penis, prostate, bladder, or kidneys
When to go to the urologist
When you reach a certain age (over 40) it’s best to schedule a visit to the urologist for prevention and control. However, it’s also possible to be referred by a general practitioner, due to some symptom that has been observed.
In this order of ideas, some signs may indicate that consultation is necessary:
- Infantile enuresis: involuntary urination of children of a certain age when asleep
- A history of sexually transmitted diseases
- Difficulty containing the urge to go to the bathroom
- A need to go to the bathroom very frequently
- Genital or urinary tract injuries
- A change in urine color and appearance
- Pain, discomfort, or burning when urinating
- Difficulty maintaining an erection
- A sensation of not urinating completely
- Blood in the urine (hematuria).
We think you may be interested in reading this, too: Why Is It Important to Treat a Urinary Tract Infection Early?
Questions to ask when visiting a urologist
This specialist performs an examination of the abdominal, genital and rectal areas. He or she may also order urine or blood tests, as well as imaging studies (ultrasounds, especially). He or she will also ask for information regarding the patient’s lifestyle (diet, alcohol consumption, cigarette consumption, physical activity).
There are some questions that every man should ask when visiting a urologist. Let’s see what they are.
1. How many times a day should I urinate?
There is no exact number of times a day that is normal for urination. This can vary, depending on the weather, hydration, and other factors. However, if you feel that you’re going to the bathroom more or less often than usual, you should report this during your visit to the urologist.
2. What if I’m having difficulty urinating?
To answer this question, your doctor will need to perform some tests. This may be a normal part of the aging process. However, it could also be due to benign prostatic hyperplasia or a kidney function problem.
3. Do I need a prostate exam?
Although the answer will be determined by the physician and will depend on each case, the recommended age for a first prostate exam is 55 years old. This has been advised by the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force since 2018.
However, for people with a family history of cancer, it can be brought forward to the fourth decade. Conversely, those over 70 years of age have no indication for routine screening to screening for prostate cancer.
4. How is this test done?
This test involved digital rectal examination and PSA determination a few years ago, but that is changing.
The measurement of prostate-specific antigen (PSA) is today the only test with scientific endorsement. In this regard, the same U.S. Preventive Services Task Force has since 2018 advised against digital rectal examination on the grounds that it does not have sufficient evidence to be a useful test.
5. Do you always have to have the test?
In the case of this question, the physician will also decide and put it into the patient’s consideration. The recommendation to start screening at age 55 years is subject to the consulting person’s assessment of that information.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention(CDC) emphasizes that PSA measurement is a personal decision. There is a possibility that the result could be a false positive and the person could go through powerful treatments that perhaps he did not need.
In general, statistics report that, after the age of 60, there is little chance of developing prostate cancer if the PSA has remained low. However, research indicates that 20.3% of patients diagnosed with this neoplasm are between the ages of 70 and 75.
6. Is a digital rectal examination painful?
What some men are most concerned about or fear when visiting the urologist is the digital rectal exam. This practice is not standardized among the male population, compared to the PAP for women.
However, it should be clarified that, although it can be uncomfortable, a digital rectal examination should not be painful. Moreover, it takes little time and is simple. However, as we have already indicated, the tendency is to stop performing it.
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7. How do I know if it’s erectile dysfunction?
When a person has experienced a problem getting or maintaining an erection during sexual intercourse, he or she may be concerned. However, an occasional episode may be common, especially at a certain age.
To be able to speak of erectile dysfunction, it must be a more or less permanent disability. In any case, during the visit to the urologist, the doctor, and the patient will examine the situation, taking into account the possible associated risk factors.
Similarly, other pathologies should be considered, since erectile dysfunction not only affects the sexual life of the person but can also be related to various cardiovascular, neurological, or endocrine health problems, according to research on the subject.
8. How to know if there are kidney stones?
In addition to the symptoms that usually accompany stones (lower back pain, blood in the urine, discomfort, or difficulty urinating, tests should be performed for the corresponding diagnosis.
An ultrasound is usually the first-line test.
9. What are the symptoms of testicular cancer?
Just as women do with their breasts, men can perform a self-examination of their testicles on a regular basis. Your doctor can explain how it is done and what to look for.
A lump, groin pain, heaviness, or enlargement of the scrotum may be warning signs. If these are present, a visit should be made to the urologist, who will examine and decide if any tests should be done.
10. Does he/she have experience in treating the problem?
If any disease or condition has been detected, the doctor who made the diagnosis should be asked if he/she has experience in treating the problem. If not, he or she may be able to recommend someone else or make a referral.
11. What can be done to prevent health problems?
There is no foolproof method to prevent health problems in the urinary or male reproductive system. However, there are some general recommendations to keep in mind:
- Avoid smoking.
- Reduce your salt intake.
- Stay properly hydrated.
- Moderate alcohol intake.
- Do regular physical activity.
- Do exercises to strengthen your pelvic floor.
- Decrease your intake of red meat and trans fats.
- Eat a balanced diet, including fresh fruits and vegetables.
Other things you should tell your urologist
In addition to the questions that every man should ask at his visit to the urologist, there are also some details that have to be informed to the doctor to help him in the diagnosis. You should talk about your lifestyle, what your diet is like, whether you exercise or are sedentary, sexual functioning, frequency, and form of urination, and family or personal history of chronic diseases.
You should not hide information to try to make yourself look good or to avoid being “scolded” by the doctor. Nor should any detail that is thought to be unimportant be overlooked. These attitudes, far from helping, can contribute to aggravating an existing problem.It might interest you...