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As Prescribed Blog

When is it Time to See Your Urologist?

Christopher Manakas, MD Christopher Manakas, MD April 21, 2016 0 Comments General Health


Urology is the diagnosis and treatment of conditions of the urinary tract and male reproductive system for adults and children. A urologist is a physician with specialized medical and surgical training in treating urinary and genital conditions.

At Fort HealthCare Urology Associates, we’re dedicated to alleviating your concerns, provide thorough answers based on the latest advances and find the best, quickest solution for individuals who may need medical or surgical intervention for urinary or genital issues. As a urologist, I will frequently be asked questions regarding bathroom issues. Here are some answers that might help you regain control and confidence with your bothersome bathroom issues:

What are some bathroom issues people should never ignore?

  • Visible blood in urine
  • Infections that seem to persist or re-occur often and if treatment of those infections isn't helping
  • Losing urine control (incontinence) or not being able to urinate (retention)

Many of you may have control problems after having children or surgery and can't go for a run without leaking. There are options available that don't necessarily entail invasive surgery that can help you reach your goals in urine control.

What are some non-surgical methods to helping those with bothersome bathroom issues?

We also look at how certain behaviors might be negatively affecting your bothersome urinary symptoms. Those behaviors can be anything from what you're drinking, to how much liquid you're consuming, while also looking at medications and other underlying health issues that might be affecting bladder function. Many bothersome urinary symptoms can be traced back to a dysfunction or discoordination in the pelvic muscles.

At Fort HealthCare we use a therapy called Bio-feedback to visually see the strong and week muscles in your pelvis to then help correct those areas. Biofeedback is used to help retrain dysfunctional pelvic floor muscles.  These muscles are responsible for bladder and bowel function and control. Special sensors are attached to your skin so they can pick up the electrical activity from these muscles.  Your muscle activity will be displayed on a computer screen and you will be able to practice how to properly use and relax your pelvic floor muscles. Images and sounds are combined with computer games to provide the best “feedback” to help you identify these muscles and become more aware of what is going on in your body to help relief your bladder and bowel symptoms.

What are some examples of bladder irritants?

What irritates a person's bladder will depend on that person's body. Everyone reacts differently to the foods they consume. Here is a brief list of drinks and foods that might irritate a bladder:

  • Artificial sweeteners
  • Caffeinated drinks
  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Citrus fruits
  • Spicy foods etc.

What happens when non-surgical methods fall short?

Everything we do is goal oriented. Depending on what the bothersome symptoms are depends on what approach and solution we take. Medication and surgery is an option, but something we try to stay away from if possible because there are such other beneficial and successful therapies out there.

Are bed wetting issues normal for children?

We never want children feeling embarrassed or for parents to feel as though they can't help their children if they have bed wetting issues. If they are school age and having issues controlling their bladder or going to often a urologist is the person to seek help from. The vast majority of times, behavioral changes can be done to help with no medication at all.

Is incontinence (losing urine control) a normal part of aging?

No, incontinence should not be considered a normal part of aging. The scope of 'normal' is dependent on the individual and varies between those who are dry as a bone to those who can't control their urine at all. Incontinence could also be a sign of a serious medical condition such as diabetes, a neurologic problem, or in some circumstances a bladder cancer. These problems are easy to rule out with simple, usually office-based, testing and a physical exam. As a urologist I know how embarrassing bathroom struggles can be, which can then be hard to share with not only your family but also with your primary care doctor. Truthfully speaking though, your primary doctor should be the number one person to inform of your symptoms so that your symptoms can be resolved. The last thing my team and I want is for those struggling to feel like this is how it is and that there are no options for help. There are many solutions!

I hope this helps answer some of urinary concerns.  For more information on Urology and to see a Urologist visit, Fort HealthCare | Urology Associates | Urologists or watch our Urology television episode!