What Does a Urologist Do?

Kishor Wasan

February 3, 2023

What Does a Urologist Do?

Urologists diagnose and treat medical conditions that affect the urinary tract. They also deal with several men’s health issues, including prostate cancer.

To become a urologist, a doctor completes four years of medical school and then has five or six more years of training called residency. These include surgical and clinical training, so urologists are trained in the full spectrum of urological treatment.

Diagnosing and Treating Urinary Tract Issues

Infections can occur at any point along the urinary tract. These include the kidneys, bladder (the organ where urine is stored), and ureters.

The bladder is the most common place for a UTI to start, but infection can also develop in your urethra or ureters.

If you have a UTI, your doctor will do a series of tests to find the cause. These include a urine culture, which will help your provider decide the best antibiotic to treat you.

Your doctor may order other tests, such as an imaging study or cystoscopy, to look at your urinary tract. These can help your provider determine if you have any other problems causing your infection or why it keeps returning.

Urinary Tract Infections

A urinary tract infection (UTI) is a bacterial infection that affects any part of your bladder, urethra, ureters, or kidneys. UTIs are familiar and easy to treat but can cause problems if left untreated.

Your urinary tract is a network of tubes carrying urine from your kidneys through the ureters and your bladder. This system is essential because it removes waste and extra water from your blood, turning it into the urine.

Bacteria, viruses, or fungi can cause urinary tract infections. They are easy to diagnose, and most are simple to treat with antibiotics. But sometimes, a urinary tract infection can be complicated, so your healthcare provider will need additional tests. These may include blood tests, scans of your kidneys, or an ultrasound.

Kidney Disease

If you have kidney, bladder, or urinary tract problems, a nephrologist is a doctor to see. They are medical specialists who have received training in nephrology (the kidneys).

A nephrologist will help you understand your condition and recommend treatment that may prevent or delay the worsening of the disease. Early treatment is critical because many kidney diseases only have symptoms once they are advanced.

Your nephrologist will check how well your kidneys filter the blood by measuring your glomerular filtration rate (GFR). GFR can be estimated with an equation that considers your age and sex. Your doctor may also test your blood for waste products such as serum creatinine and blood urea nitrogen.

Urinary Tract Cancer

Urologists specialize in treating issues related to the urinary tract. They treat conditions that involve the kidneys, adrenal glands, ureters, and bladder, as well as problems with the reproductive system in men.

The most common symptoms leading to a doctor’s trip are painful, frequent, or leaking urination. These can be cause by various problems, including urinary tract infections (UTIs) and interstitial cystitis.

A urologist will do a physical exam to find out what is causing your problem. This will include a pelvic and genital exam and a digital rectal exam.

They may also do a cystoscopy test, a close-up look at the inside of your urethra and bladder using a thin scope. This can help a urologist diagnose IC.

Male Infertility

Male infertility is any condition that lowers your chances of conceiving a child. It often has physical, emotional, and psychological ramifications for you and your partner.

Male fertility is an integral part of a couple’s long-term reproductive health. Your urologist will diagnose and treat underlying causes of infertility to make it easier for you to conceive a child.

If your sperm are not good quality, your urologist may recommend that you take supplements or hormones to help them improve. These treatments are sometimes referred to as “specific therapy.”

In some cases, your urologist can also repair varicoceles, the abnormal bulging veins that affect sperm production and quality. Treatments may include surgery, vasectomy reversal, or sperm retrieval that can be used with IVF and intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI).