When asked about a doctor for women, the response is typically a gynecologist. However, when the question is, "Who is the doctor for men?" responses are often met with confusion or silence. Let's delve into this topic.
In our societies, men are often encouraged to "man up" and be strong, which can lead to them keeping their feelings and concerns hidden, including those related to their health. Many men tend to visit a general physician for all their health needs. But is this the right approach? The question that arises is: who is the doctor for men that they can turn to for their private concerns?
Consulting a general physician for cuts and wounds is a reasonable decision for men. However, when it comes to issues concerning the urinary system, a general physician may not provide all the answers that men seek. This is where a urologist comes into the picture, capable of addressing these concerns more effectively.
Understanding what urology is, what a urologist does, and how they can help is essential. Let's break it down.
What is Urology?
In scientific terms, urology is a branch of medicine that deals with diseases of the male urinary system, encompassing the kidneys, ureters, bladder, and urethra. In everyday language, urology addresses anything that men may not feel comfortable discussing with a general physician or anyone they're not at ease with. Additionally, urology deals with the male reproductive system, including the penis, testes, scrotum, and prostate. Sexual health problems can cause significant stress in a man's life, and urology is vital for addressing health issues in these areas.
Dr. Raman Tanwar, a urologist at Jyoti Hospital and Urocentre in Gurgaon, explains, "Urology is a super-specialty branch of surgery that deals with problems of the urinary system in both men and women and the genital system of men. These commonly include issues related to the kidney, kidney stones, prostate, sexual problems, and various cancers."
Urology addresses various men's health issues, including:
Conditions of the testes.
Low testosterone and male-specific hormone deficiencies.
Conditions of the penis.
Elevated PSA levels.
Frequent nighttime urination.
Chronic pelvic pain.
Inflammation of the prostate.
Vasectomy and vasectomy reversal.
Men can turn to urologists for their urinary and reproductive system health issues. Urologists serve as the doctors for men in these cases, helping them address their problems.
What is a Urologist?
To understand how a urologist can assist men with various health issues, it's crucial to know who a urologist is. Urologists are medical professionals with expertise in treating diseases and conditions affecting the urinary system, including the bladder, kidneys, ureters, urethra, and adrenal glands. In men, they handle all illnesses related to the penis, prostate, and testes. Urologists can also perform surgeries to address urinary tract blockages or cancers when necessary. Men commonly seek their expertise for issues such as erectile dysfunction, an enlarged prostate, prostate cancer, and testicular cancer.
Dr. Tanwar clarifies, "A urologist is a surgeon who has received specialized training in urology and exclusively deals with surgical diseases of the genito-urinary system. Urologists may further specialize in areas like oncology, endourology, pediatric urology, and more. Kidney transplantation is also an essential aspect of urology."
Urologists serve as the doctors for men, diagnosing and treating diseases in the urinary and reproductive systems. It is crucial for men to be open and honest with their urologist, discussing their problems without shame or guilt.
When Should You See a Urologist?
Men often tend to dismiss discomfort or symptoms related to their urinary or reproductive health, sometimes attributing them to minor issues. However, there are numerous reasons why a man should consult a urologist. Some of the most common reasons include:
Difficulty in urination, painful urination, cloudy or bloody urine.
Frequent urination or changes in urination habits.
Difficulty achieving or maintaining an erection.
Painful bladder syndrome.
Inflammation of the prostate gland.
Urinary tract infections.
Cancers of the bladder, kidneys, penis, testicles, and adrenal and prostate glands.
Symptoms that suggest the need for a urologist's evaluation include blood in the urine, frequent urination, lower back, pelvis, or side pain, pain or burning during urination, difficulty urinating, urine leakage, and weak urine flow.
Dr. Tanwar emphasizes, "If you experience difficulty urinating, notice blood in your urine, have cloudy urine, or frequently feel the urge to use the restroom, it's essential to consult a urologist as soon as possible."
What to Expect When You See a Urologist
If you've decided to visit a urologist but are unsure about what to expect, rest assured that the process is straightforward and systematic. When you consult a urologist, they will typically request various tests to identify the underlying health issue. These may include imaging tests like CT scans, MRIs, and ultrasounds to locate the issue, and urine tests to check for bacteria and other diseases. These tests are readily available at diagnostic labs, making them convenient for patients. If the issue appears to be more severe, a biopsy may be necessary to check for cancer and other health problems. The urologist will also inquire about your medical history and perform a physical examination.
For men experiencing health issues related to urination, erectile function, or urinary leakage, consulting their family doctor may not be the most suitable option. A urologist is the best doctor for men to turn to when facing any of these symptoms. Early consultation with a urologist can lead to earlier treatment and improved health outcomes.
Written by: Deepti Dogra
Edited by: Aniket Joshi