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Frequently Asked Questions

Question:What is an Urologist

Answer: The word urology is the name of a surgical subspecialty that comes from Greek words meaning “the study of urine.”

Medical professionals specialising in the field of urology are highly trained surgeons called urologists. Urologists  are trained to diagnose, treat, and manage patients- both men and women, with urological disorders. The organs covered by urology include the kidneys, ureters, urinary bladder, urethra, and the male reproductive organs.

Urology is not as immediately familiar to the general public as other surgical specialties such as heart surgery. Often, men and women are not aware of the benefits a urologist can provide and how simple and easy treatments may be.

If you experience any of the following you may need to see an urologist:

  • Discomfort or pain while urinating
  • A sense of difficulty in completely emptying the bladder
  • Incontinence, a loss of urinary control
  • Traces of blood in the urine (hematuria)
  • frequently need to pass urine
  • The sensation of pain appearing to be related to the urinary tract ie bladder
  • Problems with sexual function

Question: Are incontinence problems more of a problem for women than men?

Answer: Yes Women are twice as likely as men to suffer urinary incontinence. Pregnancy, childbirth, menopause and female anatomy account for the difference. But  approximately one-third of people in the UK suffering from urinary incontinence are men.

Male incontinence is often associated with prostate problems or treatments.

Question What increases the risk of incontinence in women?

Answer: Often it is due to a combination of factors, which can weaken or increase pressure on the pelvic floor muscles. Such as Childbirth and lower urinary tract infection, pelvic surgery, and conditions that cause increased abdominal pressure (eg, pregnancy, chronic coughing), all of which are risk factors for urinary incontinence.

Obesity can result in a chronic increase in abdominal pressure, weakening the pelvic floor and urethral support structures, resulting in stress urinary incontinence . Studies have shown that weight loss is associated with partial or complete resolution of urinary incontinence.

Smoking can result in persistent coughing, leading to increased abdominal pressure resulting in stress urinary incontinence.

Other factors include having had hysterectomy.

While age can be a contributor, no one should accept incontinence as an inevitability of growing older.

Question: What increases the risk of incontinence for men?

Answer: For men incontinence may be related to a number of health conditions or medical treatments.

Stress incontinence can be caused by a variety of factors. Most men who have had prostate surgery do not have trouble with incontinence for more than a few months after surgery. The urine leakage may be a result of irritation to the bladder or urethra from the catheter that was in place after surgery.

It may also be due to prostate surgery damaging the sphincter muscle that normally holds in the urine. In the majority of cases leakage disappears in four to six months. However, the amount of incontinence after prostate surgery is fairly unpredictable and can vary from person to person, being overweight, genetic weaknesses, radiation therapy or other chronic conditions. Most men have decreased bladder capacity as they age, naturally increasing risk of incontinence to some degree. Though while age can be a contributor, no one should accept incontinence as an inevitability of growing older

Other contributors can be: smoking which can result in persistent coughing, leading to increased abdominal pressure resulting in stress urinary incontinence,  obesity, which can all lead to stress incontinence and a high consumption of diuretic drinks such as alcohol, coffee, or carbonated drinks.

Urge incontinence (overactive bladder) is caused by damage to the bladder’s nerves, nervous system or muscles.

Question what are urge incontinence and stress incontinence?

Answer: Urge incontinence, a major symptom of overactive bladder, occurs when you have a sudden, urgent need to urinate and leakage occurs before you reach a bathroom.

Stress incontinence is due to weakened pelvic floor muscles or damage to the urethral sphincter. Stress incontinence is when leakage occurs due to stress such as a cough, sneeze, laugh, or physical activity.

Stress incontinence is more prevalent in women than in men

Question: What causes a urinary tract infection

Answer: Urinary tract infection (UTI) happens when bacteria enters the urinary bladder and attacks its inner lining. This can cause few or no symptoms with low-grade infections, to burning, pressure, frequent/urgent urination, urine leakage or even bleeding with higher-grade infections.

Women have UTI’s over 10 times more often than men, because their shorter urinary channel (urethra) gives bacteria a shorter, easier route to the inside. Sometimes a simple UTI can turn into a chronic one, which can lay dormant and re-activate often.

UTI’s in women can be caused by dehydration due to lack of fluid intake, bladder not emptying fully, urinary tract stones or other obstructions.

Question:What is a cystoscopy?

Answer:Cystoscopy is an visual examination used to evaluate for abnormalities within the bladder itself. It is a simple 5 to 10 minute procedure performed with anaesthetic in which a camera attached to a thin flexible tube is placed into the bladder through the urethra to directly visualize the lining of bladder.

Question: What does the term “urodynamics” mean?

Answer: Urodynamics are basically the mechanisms of your urinary tract. Urodynamic testing is an analysis of the functioning of the bladder, urethra, and muscles (sphincters) that control voiding. These kinds of tests help a urologist treat problems with storing urine or voiding.