What Can I do to Maintain Good Urological Health?

Good urological and bladder health is important. It helps to keep your urinary tract system and the male reproductive system healthy and functioning properly.

There are some easy steps that you can build into your daily routine that will help prevent common urinary problems such as urinary and stress incontinence, urinary tract infections, an overactive bladder, kidney stones, pelvic floor dysfunction and erectile dysfunction and prostate problems in men.

What are common urological problems?

Your kidneys, ureters, bladder and urethra make up the urinary system. They all work together to filter, store and remove toxins and wastes from your body through urine. However, it can run into problems just like any other system in your body. If you notice a urinary problem, it’s best to consult your GP or a urologist.

Common urinary problems include:

  • Urinary tract infection (UTI) – is the most common urology problem and occurs more frequently in women. UTIs happen when an infection, usually caused by bacteria, enters your urinary tract. It can cause a painful, burning sensation while urinating.
  • Kidney stones - develop when waste chemicals in your urine form crystals that clump together. Large kidney stones can cause severe pain.
  • Overactive bladder - occurs when your bladder can’t store urine properly. It leads to an involuntary, intense and sudden need to urinate, day or night.
  • Stress incontinence and pelvic floor dysfunction - happen when a physical movement or activity, such as coughing, laughing, running or heavy lifting, puts pressure (stress) on your bladder and causes it to leak urine. It is usually due to a weakening of or damage to your muscles used to prevent urination, such as your pelvic floor muscles and urethral sphincter.
  • Prostate problems – include benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) where a man’s prostate becomes enlarged and can cause urination problems and prostate cancer.

What are the signs that something is wrong with your bladder?

If you notice any of these signs that something is wrong with your bladder, you should see your doctor. These symptoms can indicate a problem within your urinary system and may also mean that another part of your body system is compromised.

  • Increase in frequency - one of the most common signs of a bladder infection. If you consistently find yourself trying to find a bathroom, you may have interstitial cystitis, bladder infection or overactive bladder.
  • Change in colour - if you notice that your urine becomes pinkish or red, you should see your doctor as soon as possible as it can be a sign of cancer and needs to be checked out. It could also indicate a UTI, kidney stones or enlarged prostate.
  • Burning or pain – if you have burning or pain when you urinate you should not ignore it. It may be a sign of a bladder or kidney infection.
  • Incontinence – a loss of bladder control or a leaking bladder should not be suffered in silence. You should see your doctor to discuss treatment options.
  • Not being able to go – if you’re having trouble urinating or having a weak urine stream you should see your doctor. When urine can’t pass, it can lead to infections and other urinary tract issues.
  • Frequent night urinating – waking up in the middle of the night and having to get up to urinate many times is a sign of a bladder problem and should be investigated.

How can I improve my urological health?

There are simple steps you can take to improve your urological health and take care of your urinary tract system and the male reproductive system.

  1. Nothing beats water – strive to drink around six to eight cups of water a day. You may want to increase this if you have been sweating due to physical activities or in the heat of the sun. Staying hydrated keeps your kidney healthy and can help prevent urinary tract infections (UTIs) and bladder and kidney stones.
  2. Reduce your caffeine and alcohol intake - caffeine and drinking alcohol can bother many people’s bladder and increase symptoms such as frequent or urgent need to urinate.
  3. A healthy diet and weight – control your salt intake as too much can lead to water retention which is associated with high blood pressure and kidney problems. Reduce your saturated fats and sugar intake as they are linked to being overweight which can increase your risk of kidney and prostate cancer and male fertility and erectile problems.
  4. Quit smoking – if you smoke you are more at risk of bladder problems and bladder cancer.
  5. Balanced lifestyle - taking regular exercise and sleeping well are examples of lifestyles that can help you to maintain a healthy weight and prevent bladder problems and constipation.
  6. Strengthen your pelvic muscles and adopt good bathroom habits – this includes not holding on to go for a pee for too long, emptying your bladder completely and keeping your pelvic floor muscles strong.

What are some urological treatments?

A urologist may perform a variety of urology procedures to diagnose and treat urologic conditions. They may use medications and surgery to treat urology problems. Some common urological treatments include:

  • Cystoscopy – uses a flexible or rigid telescope to check for any problems in your bladder.
  • Cancer treatment - including bladder, prostate, kidney, testicular, penile and urethral cancers. Cryotherapy is an exciting new minimally invasive treatment option for some cancers such as prostate cancer
  • Kidney stone removal - ureteroscopy removes small stones whilst larger ones need to be broken up.
  • Stress incontinence repair - includes conservative treatments such as lifestyle changes, pelvic floor muscle exercises and bladder training and surgery if these don't work.
  • Circumcision- surgery to remove the foreskin from a man’s penis.
  • Vasectomy and its reversal - vasectomy cuts both of the tubes that carry sperm from a man’s testicles and a reversal re-joins these tubes.
  • Hydrocele repair surgery - to reduce the swelling of a man’s scrotum if they have a collection of fluid in the testicle, called a hydrocele.
  • TURP (transurethral resection of the prostate) - endoscopic removal of a section of a man's prostate if it has become enlarged and is putting pressure on the bladder and affecting urination.
  • TURBT (transurethral resection of a bladder tumour) - investigates and treats bladder tumours.
  • Orchiopexy - a surgical procedure to repair an undescended testicle.
  • Urethrotomy - treats a narrowing of a man's urethra tube that carries urine from the bladder to their penis.

When should you see a urologist?

You should see a urologist if you notice any signs that you have a urology problem such as problems urinating or a change in colour in your urine. You may be referred to see a urologist by your GP if they observe symptoms that they would like a specialist to investigate further.

Register your interest to hear from us