What is urology a study of? As unlikely as it may seem, this happens to be a common question among aspiring doctors. Like a number of other medical terms, urology is derived from the combination of two Greek words: “ouron” (urine) and “logia” (study of).
You guessed it right! A urologist is a doctor who specialises in diseases and infections that occur in the male reproductive organs and the urinary tract system.
Irrespective of the medical issue, most people prefer setting up an appointment with their primary care physician. But if you are suffering from a genitourinary issue, your physician will prescribe temporary antibiotics before referring you to a urologist. The urology specialist will diagnose and treat specific issues of the prostate, bladder, kidneys, testes, and other related organs.
A few common urology diseases are:
- Kidney and urethral stones
If you are experiencing jabs of pain in the lower abdomen, or uneasiness while urinating, your physician might refer you to a specialist for one of the most common urology procedures. Kidney and/or urethral stones form when uric acid crystals, oxalates and calcium combine over time to form tiny stones that block the urinary tracts. After extensive examination, a urologist will prepare you for this surgery.
- Urinary Tract Infections (UTI)
UTIs are more common among women. This usually occurs due to transmitted viruses or pathogenic bacteria that leads to frequent urination, a burning sensation while urinating, cloudy urine or a combination of these symptoms. While urology surgery may not always be required, a urologist doctor will prescribe specific medication that will help cure the issue.
- Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH)
This is a male urological disease that results in the enlargement of the prostate gland. Symptoms include but are not limited to nocturia, urination trouble and loss of bladder control.
A urologist can also diagnose and treat prostate cancer. Common symptoms of prostate cancer are traces of blood in semen, pelvic pain and urination difficulty.
Besides the common conditions mentioned above, here are a few more that fall under the umbrella of urology diseases:
- Painful bladder syndrome
- Kidney cancer
- Erectile dysfunction
- Hematuria, or blood in the urine
- Female-specific urological problems
A common question among patients suffering from the problems mentioned above is “what does a urologist do?”
Apart from treating and diagnosing a host of issues related to the genitals and urinary organs, a urologist doctor can perform surgeries like blockage removals, urinary organ repair, vasectomy, sling procedures and excess tissue removal from an enlarged prostate.
A number of urologists have their own private practice and work in particular subspecialties. A good question to ask a urologist is if they have experience treating your condition. This way, you can settle on a urologist that will provide you with the best medical care.
A urologist does not only diagnose but also provides medication and conducts genitourinary surgeries. Moreover, they are known to help patients with non-serious urological issues by prescribing behaviour training. For example, exercises that help improve pelvic strength is one common way to deal with urination issues. In the case of UTIs, a urologist doctor might suggest diet changes that cut down on caffeine and nicotine, and advise you to increase your daily water intake.
Urology diseases are a global phenomenon and require extremely specific treatments that can do away with any permanent genitourinary damage. In addition, a urologist doctor offers medical assistance that goes far beyond your primary care physician’s advice. Therefore, at AUAMED, our goal is to offer our students a comprehensive overview of this medical speciality and nurture their interest in this field right at the very outset.