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8 key signs and symptoms of urological illness

01 September 2020

It is estimated that 1 in 2 of us will be affected by a urological condition in our lifetime. 

September is Urology Awareness Month, created to increase awareness of all urological cancers, diseases and conditions that affect the kidney, bladder, prostate and male reproductive organs and encourage people to actively take care of their urology health.

Catching a urological disease early is crucial in order to get the right treatment quicker. Here, Dr Arie Parnham, Consultant Urologist and Andrologist, talks through the top warning signs and symptoms that you should be looking out for.

1. Blood in your urine

Seeing blood in your urine can be alarming. In some cases the cause is harmless, but it can indicate more serious conditions, including cancer.  If you have seen blood in your urine, it’s important to see a doctor and determine the cause.  And it’s always important to remember that cancer, when found earlier, is easier to treat.

2. Pain when you urinate

Painful urination is not uncommon and may not be significant. But if you notice persistent pain, burning or stinging when you urinate this can indicate a number of medical conditions and should be investigated.

3. Changes to your urinary pattern

Whilst we don’t urinate exactly the same number of times each day and at precisely the same times each day, a persistent change in pattern without any obvious cause (you may be drinking too much fluid before bed for example) may indicate a problem. 

A change is defined as:

  • Urinating more or less frequently with no obvious reason
  • A frequent need to urinate
  • Being unable to urinate
  • Having a weak or hesitant urinary stream

4. Incontinence (difficulty holding urine or leaking)

Urinary incontinence is when you can’t control the leakage of urine.  It’s a very common and distressing problem and can be due to a number of factors.  For example, pelvic surgery, pregnancy, childbirth and menopause are high risk factors.  If you are struggling to control your urine output contact a doctor, there are lots of remedies available. 

5. Pain in your lower abdomen 

Lower abdominal pain is pain that occurs below a person’s belly button. Aches and pains are a part of everyday life, but a persistent pain in the lower abdomen, especially if it’s accompanied by bloating, could mean a urological problem.  Bloating refers to a feeling of pressure or fullness in the abdomen, or a visibly distended abdomen

6. Recurring infections

Urinary tract infections (UTI’s) are common but if you experience frequent UTI’s these can lead to more serious conditions such as kidney infections, kidney disease, and other permanent kidney damage. 

7. Male impotence or erectile dysfunction

Erectile Dysfunction (ED), also known as impotence, happens when a man cannot get or maintain an erection of the penis. It’s normal for this to happen from time to time and can be due to a number of reasons. 

In the past, doctors tended to blame ED on psychological problems or, with older men, on the aging process, but medical opinion has changed. While it takes longer to get aroused as you age, regular ED deserves medical attention as it could be a sign of an underlying medical condition.

8. Mass in testicle

Testicular lumps are quite common and can have multiple causes.   They can occur in men, teenage boys, or younger children and may be located in one or both of the testicles. Testicular lumps can be caused by an injury to the area, but they can also indicate a serious underlying medical problem. Not all lumps indicate the presence of testicular cancer. Most lumps are caused by benign, or noncancerous, conditions. These usually require no treatment. However, your doctor should examine any changes in your testicles, especially lumps or swelling.

If you’re concerned that you have any of the symptoms mentioned above, it’s important you book to see your doctor. 

Urology specialists at The Wilmslow Hospital offer a range of care including screening, diagnosis and treatment for conditions such as urinary tract infections, prostate disorders, urinary incontinence and erectile dysfunction.

Click here for more information https://www.thewilmslowhospital.co.uk/treatments/urology

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