Urology is a branch of medicine that focuses on the diseases affecting the urinary tract system and male reproductive organs. The organs that come under the scanner here are the kidneys, adrenal glands, ureters, urinary bladder, urethra, and the male reproductive organs (testes, epididymis, vas deferens, seminal vesicles, prostate, and penis). Though there is a prevalent misconception that gynecologists are for women what urologists are for men, urology also deals with certain women related health issues. These include overactive bladder, pelvic organ prolapse, and urinary incontinence. In fact, doctors who specialize in female urology gain detailed knowledge of the female pelvic floor together with intimate understanding of the physiology and pathology.
Here are 7 things you should know as a woman
1. Age related factors affect both men and women: Right around the time when menopause and andropause strike, changing hormone levels affect the pelvic floor, bladder, urethra and vagina in women causing problems like urinary tract infection and incontinence. These conditions are effectively treated by an urologist who can also probe for underlying conditions like kidney stone, polyp, or tumor in severe cases.
2. An overactive bladder is more common than you think: Around 40% women have to hit the bathroom every hour or so owing to this. Simple lifestyle changes like lowering the intake of caffeine and alcohol, in combination with pelvic floor exercises can solve the problem.
3. Women sometimes pee in their pants too: A majority of the female population between 40 and 60 suffer from either stress incontinence (when you cough, sneeze or laugh) or urgency incontinence (leaking when you want to go badly). Urologists want you to know that there are less invasive options and medications available to treat this problem.
4. Walk the exercise path to good health: Exercises for your vagina like kegal are great when done right. You can connect with a practitioner who specializes in toning and the stimulation of pelvic floor muscles to treat incontinence.
5. Pelvic pain: If it is not gynecology then it is urology. A general pain in the pelvic region triggers a visit to the gynecologist first for most women.From menstrual cramps to ovarian cysts, all of this may well be taken care of by your gynecologist too. But when the usual culprits are not the cause for your discomfort, it's time you get the urology aspect examined thoroughly too.
6. Know the difference between UTI and STI: Because of cross symptoms, one often gets mistaken for the other. So check with your urologist to understand the cause and cure of your particular problem.
7. Recognize pelvic organ prolapse: This condition is defined by a bit of bladder, rectal, or uterine tissue bulging into your vagina. An urologist can provide non invasive options to deal with this.