Urology is a field of medicine dedicated to the (surgical) diseases of the urinary tract of men and women and the genitals of men. The urinary tract includes kidneys, adrenal glands, ureters, a bladder, a urethra, and men’s genitals. As the urinary tract and genitals are structurally and functionally closely related, they are managed together. Urologists can help with health problems requiring surgical intervention, but can also apply conservative treatment. Below are some of the most common diseases that urologists treat.
Benign prostatic hyperplasia:
Benign hyperplasia (enlargement) of prostate is a frequent problem among men over 40 years of age. With aging this problem gets more and more common. In men over 50, every second has benign prostatic hyperplasia. Although many are completely free of symptoms, in some men it may cause urinary problems, such as incomplete bladder emptying, increased urinary frequency, and an urge to urinate at night. It is important to remember that this condition can be alleviated and treated, and most importantly, it is not a tumor.
Nephrolithiasis (kidney stones):
Kidney stones form as a result of the interaction of various genetic and environmental factors in the kidney calyces. When a kidney stone starts to travel and gets stuck in the urinary tract, it causes strong pain known as renal colic. Kidney stones are diagnosed on the basis of characteristic symptoms and an X-ray image. Smaller kidney stones may pass through the body on their own and come out with urine. Therefore watchful waiting is often the first line of “treatment”. It is necessary to monitor the patient, because kidney stones may cause urinary tract inflammation. Big stones are broken into pieces by means of sound waves (this method is called extracorporeal shock wave lithotripsy). Once broken, the smaller pieces can come out by themselves with urine.
Men’s sexual health:
Erectile dysfunction is a very widespread problem that may affect men at every age. The reasons for an erection problem include both bodily diseases and psychological factors. However, it is consoling to know that in most cases the problem is curable. You should not feel ashamed. Consult a doctor to get appropriate treatment as soon as possible.
Circumcision (removal of foreskin) is usually performed when medically indicated, for example, in case of phimosis (tight foreskin). Phimosis may cause recurrent inflammations and make erection and intercourse painful.
Vasectomy or male sterilization is a procedure, whereby the sperm ducts are severed and then tied or sealed. The procedure prevents sperm from entering the semen and therefore fertilizing a woman becomes impossible. In Estonia, sterilization is allowed for persons who are at least 35 years old, who have at least three children or who have medical indications for this procedure.
Cystitis is an inflammation of the bladder. Usually the lower urinary tract is also affected. Reasons for cystitis are numerous, such as hypothermia of the lower body, sexual intercourse, kidney stones and bladder stones, prostatic hyperplasia, and insufficient hygiene. Symptoms include increased urinary frequency, changes in the appearance of urine, and burning feeling or pain after urination (dysuria). However, chronic cystitis can be absolutely free of symptoms.
Prostatitis is an inflammation of the prostate. It is quite a frequent problem, diagnosed at least once in a lifetime in more than half of men. Quite often prostatitis causes no symptoms and is discovered only through fertility tests or in relation to sexual problems. However, prostatitis may cause pain and/or difficulties with urinating, blood in urine or semen, and painful ejaculation.
Prostate cancer is one of the most common malignant tumors in men, affecting for than 15% of men. At an early stage, prostate cancer usually does not cause any symptoms. At a later stage, the cancer may induce pain in the pelvic region and the semen may contain traces of blood. The prostate cancer is often aggressive and fast-growing, and its early detection is therefore essential. It is advisable to have your prostate regularly checked for possible changes even if you have no complaints.
Urologist’s consultation149 clinics
A urologist is specialized physician in the field of surgery who focuses on the surgically treatable diseases of the kidneys, urinary tract and male reproductive organs. Urologists diagnose and treat inflammatory diseases, male and female urination disorders, tumors, and problems related to kidney and urinary tract stones. During the first appointment, surgical treatment is usually not performed.