When our urinary system works correctly, it regulates, manages and eliminates urine waste. It includes a number of moving parts, such as your kidneys, ureters, bladder, and the urethra. Regardless of age or ethnicity, men can experience urologic problems or conditions, resulting in problems eliminating or challenges with reproductive organs.
Urinary Incontinence: While it’s not harmful to your heath, unintended urination can be burdensome to daily life and can lead to embarrassing moments. There are a variety of things that cause urinary incontinence, such as diabetes, weakened bladder muscles or sphincter muscles, spinal cord injury, certain diseases, and even severe constipation. Oftentimes, simple lifestyle changes can help get urinary incontinence under control.
Kidney Stones: Kidney stones and ureteral stones occur when crystal-like particles in the urine develop and small particles grow around the crystals. The stones can get blocked in your urinary tract system and make it painful to urinate. While most stones can be passed naturally, larger stones often require surgery or specific procedures to break them.
Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH): BPH is a non-cancerous swelling or enlargement of the prostate, usually occurring in men over the age of 50. BPH can cause frequent urination, as well as difficulty urinating. Men are at an increased risk for BPH if they have a family history or other health conditions.
Prostate Cancer: Prostate cancer affects the prostate gland, the gland that produces a fluid that protects sperm. Prostate cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death in men. It develops when prostate cells grow abnormally and in a very rapid manner. The best way to successfully address prostate cancer is through early detection, which is why men are encouraged to get checked yearly.
Prostatitis: This is a non-cancerous inflammation of the prostate gland that often causes difficulty urinating, pain, chills and discomfort or pain in the genitals. The most common symptoms include painful urination, which can be misdiagnosed as a UTI, fever or chills, abdominal pain, or pain in the pelvic or lower back.
Erectile Dysfunction: Occurs when a man is unable to achieve or maintain an erection for intercourse. While erectile dysfunction isn’t fatal, it causes stress, embarrassment, and strained relationships. It can often reflect underlying health issues such as coronary artery disease or diabetes. If these are addressed and erectile problems persist, urologists can offer medical and/or procedural options for restoring erectile function.
Male infertility: This is also is considered a urologic problem or disease and is defined as the inability to conceive after one or more years of unprotected intercourse. Talk to your doctor if you are having trouble conceiving to better understand the underlying cause.
See your doctor if you suspect you may have any of these conditions.
Dr. Merrit DeBartolo, board certified urologist, sees patients at Mercyhealth Woodstock and Mercyhealth Hospital and Medical Center–Harvard. For more information or to make an appointment, call (815) 337-7100.