when to see urologist
when to see urologist

Signs You Need To See A Urologist

Posted on June 13, 2023 by Henry Ford Health Staff
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Frequent urinary tract infections, erectile dysfunction and pelvic pain can feel like delicate subjects that you don’t want to talk about. But you don’t need to live with these symptoms or just chalk them up to aging.

“A urologist can identify the cause of your urinary symptoms,” says Johar Raza, M.D., a urologic oncologist and urology specialist at Henry Ford Health. “Depending on the diagnosis, we can offer many treatments, including lifestyle changes, medications and surgical procedures”

What Conditions Do Urologists Treat?

Urologists are specially trained to treat children and adults with conditions affecting the urinary tract, which includes the bladder, kidneys and associated organs. They care for conditions affecting the adrenal glands and men’s reproductive organs. They also treat women with gynecological conditions that affect their urinary health.

You may see a urologist for many conditions, including:

  • Cancers of the adrenal glands, bladder, kidneys, prostate or testes.
  • Congenital (present at birth) conditions such as renal hypodysplasia (underdeveloped kidneys), polycystic kidney disease (multiple cysts on the kidneys), urinary duplications and reflux.
  • Kidney stones
  • Men’s health conditions such as enlarged prostate and erectile dysfunction
  • Women’s health conditions such as urinary tract infections and incontinence
  • Sexually transmitted diseases

Urinary Symptoms To Watch Out For

Symptoms of urinary conditions may be signs of infections, inflammation or obstructions in the urinary tract. But these same symptoms can also indicate other conditions. That’s why it’s important to see a urologist, particularly if you have a family history of urinary diseases or increased risk of urinary cancers. People with increased risk include individuals with a family history of the disease, African American men and smokers.

Meet With A Urologist

An expert can provide more information about specific urologic conditions.
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Dr. Raza recommends seeing a urologist if you experience symptoms including:

  • Changes in urination: Symptoms include blood in the urine, frequent urination, urine leakage and burning while or difficulty starting or stopping urinating.
  • Abdominal, back or side pain: Pain in these areas and changes in urination could be symptoms of a urinary condition. Kidney stones can cause blood in the urine and severe pain in the back or side. Ongoing pain or a feeling of heaviness along with blood in the urine could be signs of certain urinary cancers.
  • Male sexual health: Men may experience symptoms like trouble getting and keeping an erection and premature or delayed ejaculation.
  • Male infertility: About 50% of infertility for couples unable to conceive after one year may be due to conditions affecting the male reproductive system.
  • Pelvic pain and pressure: Men may experience pelvic pain from prostate issues. Women may experience pelvic pressure due to pelvic organ prolapse. Both men and women can experience pelvic pain because of an infection or inflammation in the urinary tract.

What To Expect When Seeing A Urologist

Your primary care physician may refer you to a urologist for care if you have symptoms. Or you may contact a urologist directly. Either way, a urologist provides discrete and professional care, working with you to find the underlying cause of your urinary symptoms.

During your appointment, the urologist will ask about your current symptoms and medical history and do a physical exam. You may also be asked to provide a urine or blood sample.

Depending on your symptoms, the urologist may recommend additional testing such as an ultrasound or computerized tomography (CT) scan. For example, if you have difficulty urinating, you may have a bladder scan. This test measures the amount of urine present after urination. Results help detect any problems with your bladder emptying.

If you’re diagnosed with a urologic condition, the doctor will discuss treatment options to meet your unique needs. “Urinary symptoms can cause pain and discomfort. As a result, some people stop interacting with others or limit their daily activities. Our goal is to identify the source of your symptoms and provide treatment that allows you to return to your daily routine,” says Dr. Raza. 


Reviewed by Dr. Johar Raza, a urologic oncologist at Henry Ford Health. He sees patients at Henry Ford Cancer Institute—Detroit, Henry Ford Hospital, Henry Ford West Bloomfield Hospital and Henry Ford Medical Center—Fairlane.

Categories : FeelWell
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