Common Male Urologic Problems And How Your GP Can Help

06.10.2021

Urology is an integral part of men’s healthcare, but it’s often not talked about as much as it should be. This medical speciality focuses on all aspects related to your urinary tract system, which includes the kidneys, bladder, and reproductive organs.

It’s likely that most men will at some point in their lives have a urological problem as a result of ageing, injury, illness or a birth defect. Men can often be hesitant to seek medical help for more personal matters such as urologic problems. It’s important that you do seek advice from a medical professional when a problem does come up, though. Remember, doctors are here to help and there’s a good chance they’ve seen a similar issue before!

Below we’ve listed some of the most common male urologic problems so you can understand how your GP can help.

Erectile dysfunction (ED)

Erectile dysfunction is the inability to get or maintain an erection. In many cases, this can be treated with medication and lifestyle changes such as quitting smoking, increasing exercise levels and reducing stress. Surgery, testosterone replacement and psychological counselling can also help to treat ED. 

It’s perfectly natural for men to experience erectile dysfunction from time to time. It can be caused by stress, tiredness, anxiety, and even drinking too much alcohol. However, if it becomes a regular occurrence it may point towards deeper physical health or emotional problems.

You should see your GP if you continuously have problems getting an erection as it could be signs of other underlying health problems. 

Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH)

BPH is a condition where the prostate, which sits between your bladder and genitals, becomes enlarged and causes problems with urination. This troublesome condition often occurs with older men, and while it’s a frustrating condition it’s rarely dangerous. 

However, BPH could be a sign of other more serious conditions so we advise seeing your GP for examinations and tests. 

Urinary Tract Infection (UTI)

If you notice any pain or burning while urinating, this could indicate that there’s an infection in the urinary tract. In order to properly diagnose a UTI, you will need to get a urine culture done by your GP. 

A course of antibiotics is the most common treatment for a UTI. There are some natural treatments people swear by, like cranberry juice, but these aren’t backed by science. 

Kidney Stones

Kidney stones are a condition that can develop in either or both kidneys, and most often affect people aged between 30 to 60. They are pretty common with more than 1 in 10 people affected by kidney stones.

Kidney stones form when waste products in the blood build-up to become crystals and collect inside of your kidneys. Over time, these hard lumps may develop into a stone-like mass that will need removal by a doctor – if not passed naturally. 

Your GP will be able to diagnose kidney stones based on your symptoms and medical history. They carry out urine tests to check for infections or for small stones and also blood tests to check whether your kidneys are functioning properly. 

If you are experiencing severe pain that could be caused by a kidney stone, your doctor should refer you to the hospital for an urgent scan.

Urinary Incontinence

Urinary Incontinence is a condition that many older men suffer from due to muscles of their pelvic wall weakening. This causes them to no longer have control over their bladder leading to leaks and needing to urinate more frequently. 

Don’t be embarrassed if you have any type of urinary incontinence. It’s a common problem and it should not affect your self-confidence in talking about the symptoms with a GP. 

A consultation with your GP will help diagnose the cause of your incontinence and get rid of that annoying leakage once and for all!

Prostate Cancer 

Prostate cancer is one the most common cancers in men in the UK and usually develops slowly. This means that there may be no signs for many years, so it is important to speak to your GP as soon as they appear. 

Things to look out for include:

  • an increased need to pee
  • straining while you pee
  • a feeling that your bladder has not fully emptied

Although these symptoms do not necessarily mean you have prostate cancer, they should not be ignored.

If you have symptoms that could be caused by prostate cancer, you should visit a GP.

As there is no singular, definitive test for prostate cancer, your GP will discuss the risks and benefits of the various tests with you. 

Your GP will likely take/carry out:

  • a urine sample to check for infection
  • a blood sample to test your level of prostate-specific antigen (PSA) – this is called PSA testing
  • An examination of your prostate – this is referred to as a digital rectal examination

If you’re at risk for prostate cancer, your GP will take into account a number of factors including the results from an examination and PSA levels. They’ll also look over any family history of cancer. 

Getting Support 

If you are experiencing any of these common urological problems mentioned above, or have any other symptoms that are concerning you, it is important to call your doctor immediately. A proper diagnosis will ensure that the correct treatment can be administered. Experiencing pain or discomfort is a signal from your body that something isn’t quite right and shouldn’t be ignored! 

LycaHealth has an outstanding team of urologists who are all experts in their field and treating patients with any number of urologic ailments.

If you would like to speak to a member of the team, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us today and we’d be happy to assist you. 

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