Urology is a branch of medicine that is both for males and females. In fact, there are situations in which the urologist is the only professional with the necessary tools for a successful patient approach.
What is urology?
“Urology is a medical speciality that treats the pathology of the urinary tract (kidneys, bladder and uterus) both in men and women, and of the male Urogenital System. The spectrum of an urologists work is very broad, as it involves benign diseases and all malignant pathologies of the urinary tract and male genital tract”, said Dr. Tiago Rodrigues, urologist with the HPA Health Group.
However, despite all the benefits that urology can have for both males and females, most women don’t visit the urologist even when they have a problem related to the urinary tract.
“Here in the Algarve, we want to make people aware of the benefits that women can find in urology for their pathologies. However, because of this misconception that urology is only for men, many women only come to us at an advanced stage of their disease, after many years of suffering”.
"Some of them were already being followed up by other doctors and usually make an appointment with the urologist after treatment with another specialist that did not work well, and only then it is in urology that they find a solution", he explained.
“Here in the Algarve, we want to raise awareness of the benefits that women can find in urology for their pathologies. Urology is not just for men. In 2022, we will start to respond to this concern, either with the opening of specific consultations for these diseases or starting to bring these themes onto the agenda”, highlighted the doctor.
When should a woman see an urologist?
Dr. Tiago Rodrigues explained to The Portugal News four reasons why women should see an urologist:
- When you see blood in the urine and you don't know where it comes from, it can be a warning sign for bladder cancer, especially if the patient smokes, as smoking is the main risk factor for bladder cancer.
- When the patient has urinary incontinence. This pathology causes low levels of quality of life due to fear of incontinence during sports, sex or in social environments; however, there are successful treatments nowadays.
- Bladder or pelvic organ prolapse is another of the main reasons mentioned by Dr. Tiago Rodrigues. Women with this condition should see their urologist as soon as possible, because it will always get worse if you don't do anything about it. “If at 60 years old this disease might be very tolerable, at 85 or 90 it is no longer tolerable to the point where the person is no longer able to sit down. However, the possibilities for treatment decrease with age, for example, the patient will no longer be able to undergo surgery”.
- In addition, recurrent urinary tract infections
(UTI) are another problem that lead women to this consultation. After more than three infections a year, it's time to see an urologist. “Urology usually helps women who have urinary tract infections and who have already been seen by several doctors, without success in treatment, and end up coming to the urology consultation where they manage to find a solution. In fact, with three or four UTIs a year, it's better to study what treatment options are. Primarily, we rule out the physical causes, which are responsible for about five percent of recurrent UTIs, and then, if there are no physical causes, we study how to prevent the patient from always having these infections”, said the doctor.
Please don't neglect your health. Anyone in one of these situations is more than welcome at the HPA medical facility to check their urinary tract.
Paula Martins is a fully qualified journalist, who finds writing a means of self-expression. She studied Journalism and Communication at University of Coimbra and recently Law in the Algarve. Press card: 8252