Discussing your health concerns with a gynecologist is hard enough, and consulting with a urologist even more so; mostly owing to the fact that this particular medical specialty is still popularly perceived as ‘male gynecology’, and hence, male-dominant. What most women don’t know is that hiding these seemingly ‘embarrassing’ symptoms will only put their lives at risk. Let’s first go over what Urology is and then we’ll discuss the various female urology problems in detail.
An Overview of Urology
Urinary system also called as urinary tract, consist of different orans such as bladder, kidneys, ureters and urethra. Process of urination starts when the blood is filtered by the kidney and urine passes through ureter to the bladder where it is stored and expelled out through urethra. This process helps to keep the water and other chemicals in right balance
Urological problems can equally affect anyone. In women, urological problems are seen as signs of pelvic pain, urinary tract infection or vaginal prolapse. While in men, urological problems also pertains to the male organs that help in reproduction such as prostate, testes, penis and scrotum. The common symptoms of the urological conditions in men are the development of stones in kidney, erectile dysfunction or low levels of testosterone.
1- Frequent or Painful Urination
Although women bear with it every day, waiting it out will only make matters worse, as urinary pain is often indicative of a Urinary Tract Infection (UTI). However, the condition is easily treatable through lifestyle changes such as caffeine reduction and performing Kegel exercises, with medication, surgery and electric therapy reserved only for severe cases.
2- Urinary or Stress Incontinence
Defined as an involuntary loss of urine, sometimes after laughing, sneezing, or jumping, incontinence is a symptom rarely discussed even with a gynecologist, even though the condition is easily manageable through simple habitual adjustments in most cases.
3- Fecal Incontinence
Women are just as likely, if not more hesitant, to discuss involuntary bowel leakage. What most people don’t realize is that treatment for both incontinence types (Urinary and Fecal) usually goes hand in hand-even though both conditions can be treated effectively and simultaneously, neglecting to mention fecal leakage when being treated for urinary incontinence only delays treatment time and may even lead to surgical treatment.
4- Blood in Urine
From bladder problems to kidney stones, and even kidney cancer, the appearance of blood while urinating, whether only once or intermittently, is never a normal occurrence and should be taken up with a Urologist immediately as delaying consultation may worsen the situation.
5- Passing Air or Stool with Urine
A sign of air entering into the urinary tract, this symptom indicates the presence of an abnormal opening between either the bladder and the colon, or the ureter and vagina, aka a Urinary Fistula. Fistulas are a medical emergency that do not self-repair and can cause severe UTIs and genital skin irritation or breakdown and can only be treated via surgery. However, the procedure is completely successful in almost all cases.
6- Pelvic Pain
While menstrual cramps, endometriosis (appearance of endometrial tissue outside the uterus), ovarian cysts, uterine fibroids, and pelvic inflammatory disease are the most likely culprits for pain in the bowel, bladder, uterus or ovary region, they may also be a sign of a UTI, chronic constipation, Irritable Bowel Syndrome, and pelvic floor spasms, among other urinary tract issues that are best addressed by a urologist.
7- Postmenopausal Vaginal Bleeding
One of the worst female urology problems, vaginal bleeding after menopause often demands gynecological attention as it may indicate urinary tract bleeding, endometrial cancer, or polyps on the uterine lining; or it may be something easily treatable like frequent UTIs. While bleeding in the first 6 months after starting hormone medications is fairly common, low estrogen levels after menopause can increase harmful bacteria in the body, resulting in frequent infections, and, resultantly, vaginal bleeding.
8- Painful Sex and Vaginal Dryness
A detailed pelvic exam by your gynecologist may yield the answer to your troubles: low estrogen and testosterone, certain medications, depression, stress, or pelvic organ prolapse, i.e. a bulging of the bladder, rectum, or uterus into the vagina due to weakened pelvic floor muscles, all of which can be treated by a urologist via habitual or surgical means.
The ways to maintain your urological health is to be careful of the habits that are healthy for your overall body. These includes doing exercise, maintaining good level of body weight and quitting smoking or drinking alcohol.
The other way you can help reduce your chance of getting urological condition is to reduce the amount of salt intake because too much salt intake can disturb the water and mineral balance in the kidney. Along with that, take a lot of water intake and avoid caffeine.
Most of the urological conditions can be mitigated by exercising and strengthening the pelvis muscles, using medicines or getting a surgery or implanted devices. But the initial step is to recognize the problem and consult your physician.
Nearly all of the female urology problems listed above are easily treatable with a prompt diagnosis. So, do not hesitate in consulting a Urologist if you experience any of these symptoms. You can book an appointment with a top Urologist in Islamabad, Lahore and Karachi through oladoc.com, or call our helpline at 042-3890-0939 for assistance to find the RIGHT Doctor for your urological concerns.