A urologist is a specialist that treats conditions relating to the urinary tracts of male and females, as well as the male reproductive organs. If you have a condition of the kidneys, bladder, ureter or urethra it’s likely you will be referred to a urologist.
As with any medical visit, it’s important to be prepared so you can make sure that you get the most out of your time, as well as the most tailored treatment for your condition. Make sure you have a good explanation of your condition and symptoms, as well as any appropriate documentation or referral papers.
It’s likely a urologist will ask you to provide a urine sample, so try not to get to the office with an empty bladder. For some conditions, it may be hard to urinate or to hold urine, so be sure to talk to your urologist about the best options for you.
It’s important to have a good idea about your condition and symptoms, as most urologist visits will start with an assortment of paperwork, often including a questionnaire. Try to provide as much detail as possible; the questions will likely require you to rate symptoms, explain any incontinences as well as describe your sexual health. You will also be asked about your medical history and any other medications you may take, as well as vitamins or supplements.
The next step is a physical exam, which will vary depending on the condition:
• For men and women suffering from urinary incontinence, a urinalysis as well as a cough stress test will be performed.
• For men with prostate issues, the standard procedure is a digital rectal exam, which allows the urologist to thoroughly examine the prostate.
• For men with genital issues, a genital exam and urethral swab may be used.
• For women with chronic urinary tract infections, a pelvic exam may be performed along with a urinalysis.
After the physical examination is complete the urologist will discuss your condition and tailor a treatment plan for you. It’s likely this will involve other tests to check blood count, kidney function, hormone levels or prostate-specific antigen.
You may be required to complete imaging studies, such as a sonography of the kidneys or bladder so that the physician can have a more detailed look at the organ in question.
Another possibility is that the urologist may recommend a cystoscopy, which is a minimally invasive procedure that examines the bladder and urethra.
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