Urinary problems are understandably embarrassing but an Urology specialist is used to dealing with embarrassing conditions. Whether you are experiencing urinary leakage, recurrent urinary infections, prostate or kidney problems, our urology clinic can help. Our Urologist is also experienced in treating male infertility and erectile dysfunction.
Here is an overview of some of the more common conditions an Urologist can help to monitor and treat.
Recurrent urinary infections
Urinary tract infections cause burning or pain on passing water and you are likely to visit the loo more frequently than usual – often in a hurry. You may also notice your urine smells unpleasant and may see blood in the urine. Occasional infections can affect anyone, and are usually treated by a GP. If infection keeps coming back, however, it’s important to find out why and your doctor will refer you to an Urologist. An Urologist can arrange tests to assess the urinary tract and look for abnormalities such as scarring or a kidney stone.
Despite its name, stress urinary incontinence is not due to emotional stress, but to increased physical pressure which stresses the bladder opening. This causes urine to leak during exertion, such as when sneezing, coughing or exercising. An urologist can assess the cause of your symptoms and recommend the best treatment options so you can regain urinary control.
As its name suggests, urgency urinary incontinence is an involuntary leakage that’s associated with a sudden, compelling desire to pass urine which is difficult to ignore. This urgency may be associated with an over active bladder in which you also experience increased urinary frequency so you are often rushing to the bathroom. Urology treatments can help to overcome this distressing problem so you can lead a more normal life without having to worry about where the nearest toilet is located, or getting there on time.
Benign prostate enlargement
The prostate is a male gland that lies just beneath the bladder, wrapped around the urinary tube (urethra). After the age of around 45, the number of cells in the prostate tends to increase and the gland starts to enlarge. This enlargement can interfere with urinary flow to cause symptoms such as:
- straining or difficulty when passing water
- a weak urinary stream which may start and stop mid-flow
- discomfort when passing water
- passing water more often than normal, especially at night
- dribbling of urine or urinary incontinence
- a feeling of not emptying the bladder fully.
An urologist can assess the severity of your symptoms, confirm the diagnosis and review your treatment options. Medicines can relax the prostate, for example, or shrink the gland. In some cases, surgery may be recommended to widen the urethra and improve urinary flow.
Don’t put up with urinary symptoms, especially if they are affecting your quality of life, or interfering with sleep. Our urologists can help.
While not commonly discussed, infection or inflammation of the prostate gland (prostatitis) can cause aching or pain around the genitals, lower back, pelvis or deep pain behind the scrotum. You may experience pain or difficulty on passing water, need to pass water more frequently or notice a discharge. If you experience any of these symptoms, it’s important to seek medical advice to find out the cause, identify any infection, and obtain the necessary treatment to resolve your pain.
Prostate cancer screening is an important option to help detect prostate tumours at an early, treatable stage. Cancer of the prostate is the most common type of cancer in men, and while it is mostly likely to affect men over the age of 65, it can occur in younger men, too. As prostate cancer tends to arise in the outer parts of the prostate gland, it may not cause troublesome urinary symptoms until the tumour reaches a considerable size. By the time prostate cancer causes symptoms of lethargy, lower back or bone pain, blood in the urine and unexplained weight loss, it may already be advanced. Our Urologist can arrange prostate screening tests such as ultrasound.
If you are diagnosed with prostate cancer, our urologist can explain all your treatment options from active surveillance or surgery, through to radiation, hormone or chemotherapy.
Your kidneys constantly filter excess fluid from the blood while preventing protein and blood cells from leaking through. Chronic (long-term) kidney disease occurs when the filtering units are damaged, leading to protein or blood leaking into the urine. This can occur as a result of having poorly controlled diabetes or high blood pressure, and can accompany some immune conditions. Chronic kidney disease affects as many as 1 in 12 adults, yet causes few symptoms in its early stages. Regular screening tests are therefore important to detect slow reductions in kidney function and to diagnose and treat kidney disease before it results in kidney failure. An Urologist can monitor your kidney function and recommend treatments that help to preserve kidney function.
Other kidney problems that an Urologist can help with include anatomical abnormalities and kidney infections through to kidney stones, cysts and kidney (renal) cancer.
Blood in the urine
Seeing blood in your urine is an understandably alarming symptom. While it can cause an obvious pink or red colour, it is often only present in invisible amounts that are detected during routine urine tests. The most common cause of blood in the urine is a urinary tract infection or kidney disease, but other causes include having a stone in the urinary tract or bladder. It also important to rule out a cancer of the bladder, prostate or kidney, of course. If you notice blood in your urine, always seek urgent medical advice. Try not to worry unduly as, in many cases, no obvious cause for blood in the urine is found. If investigations do detect a cancer, however, the earlier it is diagnosed, the easier it is to treat.
Difficulty in conceiving is an upsetting experience for any couple. At the Medical Chambers Kensington we recognise how personal these issues are, and aim to help you feel as comfortable as possible, with staff who are professional yet at the same time, understanding and caring. Male factors involving sperm quality are identified in around 30% of cases, while problems affecting both the man and the woman are reported in another 40% of infertile couples. An Urologist can assess male fertility and determine whether or not you have a low sperm count, decreased sperm motility or a high number of abnormal sperm shapes, for example. Our Gynaecologists are also available to help assess female fertility issues.
Difficulty achieving or maintaining an erection affects at least one in five men to some extent. This distressing problem becomes more common with age so that as many as one in two men over the age of 50 are affected. While stress and lifestyle factors play an important role, erectile dysfunction can result from having diabetes, vascular disease, hormone imbalances such as testosterone deficiency, as well as neurological diseases and the side effects of some drugs.
If you have erectile difficulties our Urologist can provide much needed support, helping to identify the underlying cause and explaining your treatment options. In many cases, prescribing medication can resolve the problem, although in some cases, surgical approaches are needed. Don’t put of seeking help through embarrassment – our urologists are here to help.
Our Clinic in London
The Medical Chambers Kensington, London is at hand to provide specialist Urology care. To find out more, please telephone 020 7244 4200 and we will be happy to answer your questions.