Just thinking about a urology visit can be uncomfortable, especially if you don’t know what to expect. You may be worried about your symptoms, and afraid that your appointment will be invasive or uncomfortable. You’re not alone! Most people are nervous about urology appointments. Although your visit may be outside your comfort zone, knowing what to expect can ease your concerns and make the visit more successful.
What does a urologist do?
You probably know why you were referred to a urologist but may not be exactly sure what one does. Urologists treat a variety of conditions of the urinary tract for men and women, and of the reproductive system of men. This includes bladder, prostate, and kidney problems.
Urologists can treat men or women of any age – even children – and treat many different conditions. For example:
- Problems when urinating
- Enlarged prostate
- Bladder issues
- Kidney stones
- Erectile dysfunction
- Male infertility or hormone problems
- Some cancers, including prostate cancer, kidney cancer, and bladder cancer
What happens during your first visit?
If you’re seeing a urologist for the first time, it may be because your primary care doctor wants a specialist’s opinion about some symptoms you’re experiencing. On your first visit, your urologist will look for the cause of your condition so you can plan the best course of treatment together.
Before your exam:
Before you leave for your appointment, it can be helpful to:
- Make a list of medications and supplements you take
- Write down the symptoms you’ve been having, noting when and where you notice them
- Write down any questions you have for the nurse or urologist
- At your appointment, you might be asked to:
- Provide a urine sample. Go to your appointment with a full bladder!
- Fill out a questionnaire about your symptoms
- Answer questions about your medical history
- Provide a list of your medications, including any supplements and herbs you may take
Your doctor might also:
- Give you a physical exam
- Perform a digital rectal exam (DRE) on men with prostate issues
- Perform a pelvic exam on women
- Order tests (urine, blood, scans, swabs to test for infections)
- Perform a cough stress test if you have urinary incontinence
Although some of these tests may be uncomfortable, they can provide important information about your condition. Even though it’s all new to you, it might help to remember that your urologist has done hundreds of exams and tests. He or she is a professional who wants the best possible outcome for every patient. Your urology staff will do their best to make you feel comfortable and safe.
After your exam, your urologist will talk to you about your condition and possible solutions. When the results of any tests are available, you’ll discuss the best treatment plan together. Treatments might include medication, physical therapy, or even surgery.
Going to a specialist can be scary but getting the answers you need is important to your health and your peace of mind. When you know what to expect and how to prepare, your first urology appointment will be more comfortable than you ever expected.
Think you need to visit a urologist? Schedule an appointment today.