Gynecologist: Female Reproductive Specialist
A gynecologist is a specialist in the female reproductive system. Doctors often refer women with OAB to a gynecologist because of the close connection between the female reproductive organs and the urinary tract. A urogynecologist is a gynecologist with extra training in disorders of the urinary tract.
Your gynecologist may be able to identify the cause of your OAB as it relates to your hormones, reproductive organs, and pelvic floor muscles. This specialist can also prescribe a treatment plan to lessen or end the symptoms.
Should Women See A Urologist
Its a common misconception that urologists are just for men. While one of their specialities is the male reproductive system, they also treat all sorts of urinary tract problems in both men and women.
We see women for any and all symptoms in the pelvis or urinary tract, says Michael Lasser, M.D., urologist and medical director of robotic surgery at JFK Medical Center. Most of the things that urologists treat, such as kidney stones or cancer, can occur in both men and women. And then there are conditions like pelvic organ prolapse that we only see in women.
Here are five of the most common reasons a woman might go to a urologist:
Kidney Stones – Kidney stones are small, hard deposits of mineral and salts that can form inside your kidneys. They can cause severe pain in your side and lower back, blood in your urine and nausea or vomiting. Other symptoms include pain or burning during urination and fever.
Urinary Tract Infections – UTIs occur when bacteria enters the urinary tract and are more common in women than in men. Symptoms include pain or burning when urinating, frequent urination, urine that looks cloudy, red or bright pink and a fever.
Urinary Incontinence – Urinary incontinence is the loss of bladder control and is more common in women than men. Pregnancy, childbirth and menopause can all affect the urinary tract and surrounding muscles, causing anything from small leakages when you sneeze to sudden, strong urges that can result in accidents.
What Should I Expect After A Cystoscopy
You may have belly pain, blood-tinged urine or pain when peeing for the first day or two after the procedure. You may also feel like you need to pee often and urgently. These problems should fade within 48 hours.
Your doctor may prescribe an antibiotic to prevent infection. To ease side effects, you can:
- Apply a warm, damp washcloth over the urethral opening or relax in a warm bath.
- Drink several glasses of water every day to flush out the bladder.
- Take an over-the-counter pain reliever, such as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs .
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Your Urologist Office Visit Experience
If you’re a man who hasn’t made his first urologist office visit, you may wonder what to expect.
First, it’s helpful to understand who urologists are. They are physicians who specialize in the genitourinary tractthe kidneys, urinary bladder, adrenal glands, urethra and male reproductive organsand male fertility. Urologists are also trained in the surgical and medical treatment of diseases that affect these organs.
Here are the typical things you can expect during an appointment with a urologist:
A focused, detailed urologist office visit will allow the doctor to determine learn the correct course of action to treat your symptoms.
Who Should See A Urologist
Both women and men may seek the help of a urologist.
If a woman has urinary incontinence, kidney stones or blood in the urine, she may seek the specialty knowledge of a urologist. If medical concerns involve the uterus or vagina, she is more likely to go to a gynecologist. Some symptoms may overlap, requiring a multidisciplinary approach.
Men commonly seek a urologist if they have blood in the urine, kidney stones, difficulties emptying their bladder or an elevated PSA. A prostate-specific antigen, or PSA, is a protein found in the blood that, at elevated levels, may indicate prostate cancer.
Many people will first consult with their primary care physician when they have a bladder or kidney issue, but if the issue is not resolved, they should seek a specialist.
Common symptoms that indicate you should see a urologist include:
In women and men
- Pain or burning while urinating, signaling perhaps a urinary tract infection
- Frequent need to urinate or difficulty urinating
- A mass or pain in the testicles
- Enlarged prostate
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What To Expect In A Male Urology Exam
Any man 40 or older should add one more item to his to-do list: make a visit to the urologist. For men, this is an important step in their overall health journey, as a urologist can identify and treat several key issues that affect long-term health.
In the U.S., approximately 1 in 9 men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer. In addition, testicular cancer is the most common cancer for men under 35. Both issues fall under the care of a urologist.
Find out more about urology issues in males and what you can expect after you make an appointment.
Nephrologist: Kidney Conditions Specialist
A nephrologist is a doctor who specializes in the study and treatment of kidney diseases. Since the kidneys process fluids and send them to the bladder, nephrologists can handle OAB treatment.
While a urologist is in training, theyre required to have two years of internal medicine patient contact. The American Board of Internal Medicine certifies nephrologists.
Your primary care doctor may refer you to a nephrologist who will help you develop a nutrition guide to manage symptoms. A nephrologist will also check your kidneys to make sure theyre working to process fluids before they enter the bladder.
Nephrologists also have expertise in high blood pressure, fluid- and acid-based physiology, and chronic renal failure.
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When Should You Have Surgery For Prolapse
Consider surgery if the prolapse is causing pain, if you are having problems with your bladder and bowels, or if the prolapse is making it hard for you to do activities you enjoy. An organ can prolapse again after surgery. Surgery in one part of your pelvis can make a prolapse in another part worse.
Bladder Scan Procedure Protocol Results Interpretation Risks
When there is urinary retention a bladder scan is used to evaluate how much urine remains after you empty your bladder. A bladder scan procedure is comfortable and less risky than catheterization which has been used in the past.
Retention of urine in the bladder due to incomplete emptying can lead to health complications. The onset of this medically significant anomaly can be gradual or sudden. An ultrasound or CT scan is used in the bladder scan procedure.
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Should I See A Urologist Or Urogynecologist
It usually depends on who you see first. In general, if you have a dropped uterus or a very weak pelvic floor, I think a urogynecologist is the most appropriate person for you to see first. If you have either a complex urinary issue, or even straightforward urinary problems, a urologist is probably your best bet.
How To Prepare For Neobladder Surgery
While your physician will have the best advice for you regarding pre-surgery preparations, its good to have an idea of what to expect. Your doctor and their staff are there to educate, support, and heal you as best they can, so feel free to ask them any questions or let them know of any concerns you have about getting a neobladder.
For example, how long do they expect your recovery to take? When will you be ready to return to work or school after your neobladder surgery? Will you be put in connection with a WOCN for any post-surgery questions or help? Also, will you need to perform Kegel exercises to strengthen your pelvic floor?
Your physician may want to you learn how to self-catheterize in advance, or they may want you to wait if you will be self-cathing through a stoma. Its not uncommon to have a clear liquid diet prescribed prior to your surgery.
Additionally, your doctor may want to carry out a kidney function test to make sure your ureters are functioning properly.
Tell your doctor about any medications you take, including blood thinners, and any allergies. Overall, be sure to talk with your doctor and ask questions so you feel ready for your neobladder surgery.
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What Training Does My Urologist Have
As with all doctors, urologists must complete an undergraduate degree and four years of medical school. But did you know the training doesn’t stop there? After medical school, a urologist will have five or six more years of training called residency. Residency programs may include one or two years of surgical training. After that, there may be three or four years of clinical training in urology. . All urologists will have both surgical and clinical training. Next, some urologists may choose to do one or two more years of training called a fellowship. Fellowships allow doctors to focus on a specific branch of urology, such as urologic oncology , female urology, pediatric urology, male infertility, sexual health and erectile dysfunction, or kidney stones. Urologists must also pass a licensing exam, and be board-certified by the American Board of Urology.
Even licensed and board-certified urologists are constantly learning and improving their skills. To keep their licenses and stay up to date in the latest knowledge, urologists are required to take education courses each year. “We are always learning,” Dr. Weiss explained. “Throughout my career we have seen many improvements in diagnosis, treatment and technique. So our success rates get better and better. We keep advancing and every day there’s something new!”
What Kind Of Training Does A Urologist Have
Besides 4 years of medical school, urologists have at least 5 more years of special training focused on the urinary tract and male reproductive system.
Urologists must pass an exam and earn board certification from the American Board of Urology.
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What Can I Expect In A Visit
Your first appointment with a urologist may not be different from a visit with your primary doctor. YouÃ¢â¬â¢ll fill out forms and answer questions about your health history, current symptoms, and any medicines you take.
Difference Between Urologist And Nephrologist
An urologist has more surgical training. He deals primarily with the urinary tract and the male reproductive organs . The urinary tract includes the urethra, bladder, and ureters.
For urologists, the kidney focuses on attention when it comes to urinary flow problems and kidney tumors. Of course, there is an overlap between the two disciplines.
For example, chronic urinary obstruction can lead to so-called postrenal kidney failure, or even after removing the kidneys , dialysis can become mandatory.
In the case of many symptoms, such as blood in the urine , especially if only traces of blood can be detected in the test strip or under the microscope , it is advisable to see both disciplines.
In the case of any urological disease with increased kidney values , it makes sense to see a nephrologist. A timely presentation to the nephrologist can usually delay or even prevent the need for dialysis.
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Treatment In Any Hospital Using Private Health Insurance
If you use private health insurance to be treated in either in a public hospital or a private hospital or clinic, you will be charged by the urologist and by the hospital. You might also be charged for pathology tests, x-rays and other forms of imaging, and by other doctors you see, such as an anaesthetist. Your private health insurance will cover some of these costs.
You Have A Urinary Tract Infection That Wont Go Away
If you experience burning, painful and frequent urination that doesnt improve with antibiotics, it could be a sign that you have interstitial cystitis , also known as a painful bladder. A urologist will test your urine and examine your bladder with a cystoscope to make the diagnosis. IC can be treated with anti-inflammatory drugs and can also be prevented by avoiding certain triggers, typically alcohol, spicy foods, caffeine and chocolate.
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When Should I See A Health Care Professional
See a health care professional if you have symptoms of a bladder problem, such as trouble urinating, a loss of bladder control, waking to use the bathroom, pelvic pain, or leaking urine.
Bladder problems can affect your quality of life and cause other health problems. Your health care professional may be able to treat your UI by recommending lifestyle changes or a change in medicine.
Does A Urologist Treat Prolapse
A cystocele repair is repairing this weakness by sewing the fascia, or tough vaginal tissue, back together where it had broken. This repair is usually done through the vagina, however sometimes the break in fascia is in a place that requires the surgeon to repair the break through an abdominal incision.
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What Are The Symptoms Of Bladder Control Problems
Signs and symptoms of urinary incontinence can include
- leaking urine during everyday activities, such as lifting, bending, coughing, or exercising
- being unable to hold in urine after feeling a sudden, strong urge to urinate
- leaking urine without any warning or urge
- being unable to reach a toilet in time
- wetting your bed during sleep
- leaking during sexual activity
What Is Prolapsed Bladder Surgery
Prolapsed bladder surgery is a procedure to repair a woman’s bladder that has fallen from its normal place, also called a cystocele or a fallen bladder. While surgery is not usually the first course of treatment, it may be needed for women who have persistent symptoms. During the surgery, the bladder will be properly repositioned, excess tissue removed, and muscles and ligaments tightened. Patients should expect to stay in the hospital for one to two days, followed by rest at home for four to six weeks after a prolapsed bladder surgery.
A cystocele more commonly occurs in women who have given birth, because they have strained the muscles surrounding the pelvic organs. When these muscles are excessively strained, they become weak. The tissue around the vaginal wall and the bladder stretches. This causes the bladder to droop or bulge directly into the patient’s vagina. Prolapsed bladder surgery can alleviate uncomfortable symptoms, such as urinary incontinence, bladder infections, and pain during sexual intercourse.
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How Should I Prepare For A Cystoscopy
Depending on the reason for the cystoscopy, you may have an outpatient procedure or stay overnight in the hospital.
For most diagnostic procedures, your doctor uses a numbing gel so you dont feel pain in your urethra. For a more invasive treatment cystoscopy, you may need sedation or general anesthesia. If you get sedation or general anesthesia, someone should drive you home after the procedure.
Follow your healthcare providers instructions on what to do before the procedure. You may need to not eat or drink for several hours before getting anesthesia. Your preparation will depend on the anesthesia type and why youre having the cystoscopy. Generally, you will:
- Give a urine sample the day of the procedure to check for a UTI. If you have an infection, youll need treatment before you can get a cystoscopy.
- Urinate immediately before the procedure.
- Bring an updated list of medications and supplements.
- Stop taking blood-thinning medications, such as aspirin and warfarin , but check with your provider before doing so.
- Tell your doctor if you might be pregnant. Regional and general anesthesia can harm an unborn baby.
What Else Causes Bladder Control Problems In Women
- pregnancy and childbirth
Weak pelvic floor muscles can make it hard for your bladder to hold urine in during stress incontinence. Stress incontinence occurs when an actioncoughing, sneezing, laughing, or physical activityputs pressure on your bladder and causes urine to leak. A weak pelvic floor can also cause fecal incontinence, or bowel control problems.
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