Urology is often associated with men as it does have a focus on male fertility. But women can greatly benefit from a visit with a urologist, as well.
Urologists specialize in the treatment of the organs related to the urinary tract. These organs include the kidneys and bladder. While a woman will visit an OBGYN for reproductive health, she may need to be referred to a urologists for some of the following conditions.
5 Reasons Why Women Need Urologists, Too
Here is a list of five of the many reasons that women need urologists, too.
1. Urinary Tract Infection (UTI)
A UTI is an infection anywhere in the urinary tract. While both men and women can suffer from a UTI, it is far more common in women because of the close proximity of the urethra to the rectum. There is greater possibility of bacteria from the rectum reaching the urethra. Additionally, pregnancy and menopause can raise the risk of contracting a UTI. 50%-60% of women will experience a UTI at some point in their lifetime.
Here are the common symptoms of a UTI according to the Mayo Clinic:
- A strong, persistent urge to urinate
- A burning sensation when urinating
- Passing frequent, small amounts of urine
- Urine that appears cloudy
- Urine that appears red, bright pink or cola-colored — a sign of blood in the urine
- Strong-smelling urine
- Pelvic pain, in women — especially in the center of the pelvis and around the area of the pubic bone
If you suspect you may be suffering from a urinary tract infection, contact the Urology Associates of South Bend right away!
2. Kidney Stones
When urine has higher levels of minerals and salts than it should, kidney stones can form and cause some painful problems. These stones can also form in the bladder or ureters. There are a number of factors that could contribute to the formation of kidney stones. They could be from too much calcium or protein in your diet, dehydration, obesity, cancer treatments, or they can even be genetic.
If you are experiencing any of the following symptoms, it may be time to contact the Urology Associates of South Bend:
- Sharp waves of pain in the back, side, and lower abdomen
- Feelings of pressure or strong urges to relieve the bladder
- The appearance of dark urine often accompanied by a burning sensation during urination
- Nausea and/or vomiting
- Elevated temperature/fever
3. Urinary Incontinence
Women are two times more likely to struggle with urinary incontinence than men. Pregnancy is a risk factor as the muscles that control the urine can weaken, more so with each pregnancy. Menopause and aging can also result in weaker muscles and thus urinary incontinence.
The symptoms of urinary incontinence include:
- Urine leakage when any pressure is put on the bladder (including coughing, sneezing, exercise, etc.)
- Loss of bladder control
- Urination urgency
- Frequent urination
- The sensation that the bladder is never entirely empty
An overactive bladder is another issue women can often deal with related to urinary incontinence. This condition causes a woman to feel the sudden and overwhelming urge to urinate, even if the bladder is not full.
4. Bladder Prolapse
Bladder prolapse, or fallen bladder, occurs when the bladder drops into the vagina. When the pelvic muscles are weakened due to pregnancy, lifting something heavy, chronic coughing, or obesity, fallen bladder could result. Hormone changes that come along with aging can also contribute.
Some of the symptoms of a bladder prolapse are:
- Discomfort or pain in pelvis, lower abdomen, and groin
- Lower back pain
- Protrusion of tissues from the vagina, which may cause pain and bleeding
- Pain during sexual intercourse
- Difficulty urinating
- Incomplete voiding
- Stress incontinence
- Recurrent bladder infections accompanied by fever, chills, painful urination, and cloudy urine
- Increased pressure in the vaginal/genital area
5. Painful Bladder Syndrome
Painful Bladder Syndrome, or interstitial cystitis, can cause a woman to feel the need to urinate up to 60 times a day. Often, the need to urinate is sudden and strong. She will also feel discomfort in her bladder or lower abdomen. Unfortunately, the cause of painful bladder syndrome is unknown and there is not yet a cure, but a visit to the Urology Associates of South Bend will help you to manage the symptoms and live a more comfortable life.