Men’s Health Week is planned for the week before Father’s Day every year. It is dedicated to raising awareness of preventable and treatable health issues of men. Many of those issues are urological. Here are 6 reasons why you may need to see a urologist.
1. You’re over 40
Men should begin prostate cancer screenings starting at the age of 40. Prostate cancer will affect 1 in 8 men and almost 250,000 new cases will be diagnosed this year. Screenings consist of a prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test and a digital rectal exam.
A PSA test is a simple blood test that gives your urologist information about the health of your prostate. If the levels are elevated, your urologist may recommend further testing to see if you have prostate cancer. An abnormal PSA can also be caused by an enlarged prostate, prostate infection, and other problems.
A digital rectal exam is an important part of prostate cancer screening. Since the PSA test on its own is only part of the puzzle, a digital rectal exam provides more information. The urologist will check the prostate for increased size, lumps, or hard spots.
A PSA test and digital rectal exam complement each other to provide the best chance of early diagnosis and treatment of prostate cancer.
2. You have signs of BPH
A man’s prostate grows continuously throughout his life, which may lead to benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH). As it gets larger, it can begin to cause urinary problems. Symptoms may include feeling like your bladder is full after urinating, urgency to urinate, and a weak or interrupted stream. Another common symptom is urinating frequently, especially at night.
There are several treatment options for BPH. Treatments are aimed at relieving the uncomfortable and inconvenient symptoms you are experiencing. Your doctor may recommend medications or a procedure like UroLift. Visiting a urologist if you have signs of BPH is the first step toward regaining normal urination habits.
3. You have signs of ED
Erectile dysfunction, or ED, is an inability to achieve or maintain an erection. Nearly 50% of men between the ages of 40 and 70 experience some degree of ED. There are several medical reasons a man may experience ED including high blood pressure, diabetes, and heart disease. Low testosterone, stress/anxiety, and some medications may also cause ED.
4. You lack energy and have decreased libido
When the body isn’t making enough testosterone, it can lead to decreased energy, muscle loss, and decreased libido. This is known as hypogonadism or low testosterone (Low T). Testing is done by taking a blood sample early in the morning and checking for testosterone levels and other hormones.
Low testosterone is usually treated with testosterone replacement therapy (TRT). Topical gels are easily applied to the skin of the abdomen, arms, or thighs at home. Other options include small pellets that are implanted under the skin and injections.
5. You are worried about your fertility
Many couples experience the struggles of infertility. Inability to conceive a child is due to male infertility about 30% of the time. There are typically no physical symptoms of male infertility. Some men may have chronic respiratory infections, a diminished sense of smell, or erectile dysfunction.
Urologists are an essential part of your medical team if you and your partner are having difficulty getting pregnant. There are several treatments that are available depending on the cause of male infertility. Lifestyle changes, surgery to correct problems, and medications are all possible treatment options.
6. You are done building your family
A vasectomy is a simple, permanent form of birth control when you and your partner have decided not to have any more children. The procedure is performed in about 30 minutes with minimal downtime for recovery.
The benefits of a vasectomy are that it is effective and permanent. It is also less invasive than a tubal ligation for a woman. Plus your partner will not have to worry about managing birth control pills and their side effects. You will no longer have to wear condoms either (unless you are at risk for contracting sexually transmitted diseases).
As you can see, there are many reasons to see a urologist so that you can take control of your health. Avoid discomfort and live your best life – schedule an appointment today.