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What does a Urologist do and how can they help me?

What does a Urologist do and how can they help me?

Simply put, a Urologist is a specialist who knows all about two parts of the human body: the male and female’s urinary tract and the male’s reproductive organs.

If you’re experiencing symptoms that are aren’t quite right in these areas, or worse, pain, a Urologist can help by investigating and reaching an accurate diagnosis.

Here’s just a few of the areas where a Urologist has expertise in and can help with:

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What to Consider Before Having a Vasectomy

A male vasectomy is a permanent type of contraception for men that involves severing the vas deferens tubes so that sperm can no longer be transported from the testes.

A successful procedure should not interfere with the patient’s enjoyment of sex with a partner. However, there are a number of things men or couples should consider before proceeding. Here are a few of them.

Reasons for the vasectomy and whether it’s the right solution

If you want a vasectomy, you need to be very sure that you don’t want to father children in the future, as a successful reversal cannot be guaranteed. If there is any doubt in your mind, you might want to investigate whether another less permanent solution for contraception might be more suitable at this stage.

Time required for success

Some sperm is usually still present in the tubes after the procedure and this may be the case for up to three months. This means that other types of contraception should be used until tests show the all-clear.

Risk of failure and complications

Risks include bruising or infection at the site and a pregnancy rate following a vasectomy of around 0.1% to 0.2%. While the risks involved in vasectomies are very low, they should still be taken into consideration.

How it is performed

A conventional male vasectomy involves shaving a small area of the scrotum, administering a local anaesthetic and making incisions in the scrotum, followed by locating and cutting the tubes and closing with stitches.

A more modern procedure is that of a no-scalpel vasectomy, which is safer and less invasive. It involves more effective anaesthesia and making tiny incisions with pointed forceps in the scrotum which require no stitching afterwards. This method takes only a few minutes and has a much lower complication rate than for a conventional vasectomy.

Where to have it done

Vasectomies can be done at a public hospital but there is usually a waiting list involved. They can also be performed privately at a urology clinic and usually only require a day stay. However, if you opt for a no-scalpel vasectomy it can be done within minutes.

How to prepare for a vasectomy

There is no requirement to fast prior to having the procedure, and most men should be able to drive themselves home afterwards.

If you would like to find out more about a male vasectomy, consult with a qualified urologist to discuss the procedure and whether it is right for your circumstances.

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What are the Treatment Options for Kidney Stones?

Kidney stones are essentially salts in the urine that have formed into solid crystals, and it’s safe to say they are usually not a pleasant thing to experience.

There are several types of kidney stones. Calcium stones – formed when calcium combines with either oxalate or phosphate – are the most common. Symptoms can range from none at all, to illness, fever and severe pain that requires hospitalisation. Complications can include urinary tract and kidney infection, and permanent kidney damage.

Kidney stones are more than three times more common in men than women, and once a person has had one, they have a relatively high chance of experiencing another. An accurate diagnosis of kidney stones is therefore important for determining the right treatment and for avoiding recurrence.

So what can be done?

Kidney stone treatment:

The majority of stones will pass naturally and the best treatment in most cases is likely to be analgesics where pain is present. For larger stones or those that do not pass, there are several treatment options available, including:

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Medic with magnifying glass explores the disease or cancer cell

New Study Reveals that Not All Prostate Cancers are the Same

Just as all prostate diseases are not the same, it seems that not all prostate cancers are either. Studies undertaken in Cambridge and Stockholm have identified five different sub-types of prostate cancer – a finding which could enable healthcare practitioners to develop targeted and personalised prostate cancer treatment plans for their patients.

While similar studies have been done in the past in other types of tumours – such as breast cancer – this research is a first for cancer of the prostate.

What the research entailed and revealed

The researchers conducted integrated genome analyses of 259 men with primary prostate cancer by taking and studying 482 samples – both cancerous and benign – from the subjects. This enabled them to identify 100 genes associated with the disease (including 94 not previously associated with prostate cancer and the discovery of variations in the remaining six), and to group the cancers into five different groups, each with its own distinct genetic signature.

What does it all mean?

What it means is that this discovery could be used to provide detailed information regarding the risk profile of individuals with prostate cancer, and could in the future enable doctors to fine-tune their treatments to match the specific disease. This discovery could also be used for early prostate cancer detection and development of better-informed treatment plans early on, and to determine which sufferers are at the greatest risk as well as which ones are likely to suffer relapse.

Of course it’s really been known for some time that prostate cancers are not all the same, since some tumours progress at a snail’s pace while others grow very rapidly. This research may open the way for a greater understanding of why this occurs.

In addition, previous genetic studies at the Institute of Cancer Research (ICR) in London have already shown that prostate cancer is really a group of diseases rather than a single one, with each one being driven by its own set of mutations.

About prostate diseases and cancers

The prostate gland is situated at the base of the bladder and produces an alkaline fluid that nourishes the sperm.

About one-quarter of men over 55 have a prostate condition – not necessarily cancer however. Other prostate diseases include prostatitis or prostate inflammation, and non-cancerous prostate enlargement.

Prostate cancer occurs at the rate of about one in seven men aged 65 to 75. In the early stages, it is usually restricted to the prostate gland but may lead later on to secondary tumours that spread into other areas.

Treatment options for prostate cancer include active surveillance, prostate removal, radiotherapy, chemotherapy, prostate cancer laser treatment, and hormone treatments. The studies previously alluded to at the ICR also indicate that drug therapy may be effective in some cases.

While the studies are new, they may lead to therapies for prostate cancer that are more targeted to the specific type of the disease and improve the chances of a successful outcome for patients.

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3d persons mans need a toilet waiting in front of restroom sign

Food and Drink to Avoid to Reduce Urinary Incontinence

Urinary incontinence – or accidental leakage of urine – is not a pleasant condition. It can occur for a number of reasons, such as older age, pregnancy and childbirth, surgery, obesity, urinary tract infections, or a chronic cough.

It may also occur as a result of stress incontinence – a condition where small amounts of urine leak out when a person does certain activities such as laughing, playing sport, lifting an object or sneezing. Bladder weakness may also occur in men following surgery in the form of urinary incontinence post prostatectomy.

When you have this problem, you might think that avoiding fluids will help. However, the opposite is more likely the case, in that dehydration can lead to irritation of the bladder. Drinking plenty of fluids can help to keep the bladder healthy, which may in turn help to reduce leakage.

What is ‘normal’?

Healthy urine should be pale yellow. When it is darker in colour, it may indicate dehydration, although some vitamin pills can change the colour of otherwise healthy urine. It’s also considered normal to pass urine four to six times per day and once during the night, and to be able to urinate without strain and to empty the bladder completely.

Urinary incontinence prevalence

According to the Continence Foundation Australia, the condition may affect around 13% of men and 37% of women at some stage of their lives. Research shows that around 70% of people report not seeking treatment for urinary leakage, and that 50% of women aged 45-59 report having suffered some degree of incontinence.

Drinks to avoid

While fluids can help to prevent incontinence, there are some drinks that can worsen the problem by irritating the bladder, particularly those that are acidic in nature.

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Kidney Stone Symptoms Explained

When a person has kidney stones, they could have some pretty nasty unpleasant symptoms, or none at all. Kidney stone symptoms are very individual, and depend on a number of factors, such as the size and location of the stone and whether infection is present.

What causes Kidney Stones?

Kidney stones have many causes, although several factors may increase your risk of developing kidney stone complications. Kidney stones form when your urine contains more crystal-forming substances than the fluid in your urine can dilute. Often, stones can form when the urine becomes concentrated, allowing minerals to crystallize and stick together.

Depending on your situation, you may need nothing more than taking pain medication and drinking lots of water to pass a kidney stone.  At the same time, your urine may lack substances that prevent crystals from sticking together, creating an ideal environment for kidney stones to form.

What are Kidney Stone symptoms?

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World Vasectomy Day Aims to Demystify the Male Vasectomy

Today is World Vasectomy Day.

Granted, there are a lot of ‘world days’ held each year that aim to raise awareness of particular issues or problems. Unlike those that just aim to boost the profile of a cause however, World Vasectomy Day on November 13 takes it one step further.

Not only are free information and education sessions on the procedure and its effectiveness offered as part of this annual event, doctors across the world also actually perform vasectomies.

Brief history and main objectives of WVD

In 2012, a media activist and a urologist got together to talk about the impact of the human population on the planet. The first World Vasectomy Day (WVD) was launched in Adelaide in 2013, making this year’s event the third to take place. At that first event, the organisers achieved their aim of getting more than 100 doctors in 25 countries to perform over 1,000 vasectomies in 24 hours. In 2014, the event really took off, with 500 doctors performing 3,000 vasectomies in 32 countries!

The main objectives of the event include:

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Lemon kidney stone treatment

Could the Humble Lemon be a Kidney Stone Treatment?

Citric acid is a component of ordinary lemons and limes, and may be beneficial for reducing the risk of kidney stones. It appears to do this by preventing calcium from binding to other substances that form stones, and by coating existing stones and preventing them from binding to each other and becoming larger. Citric acid may also help to break up existing stones.

Citrate – a derivative of citric acid found in some medications and supplements – may have a similar effect. However, it’s probably a lot more pleasant for most of us (and a lot cheaper) to drink some home-made lemonade than to swallow pills several times a day!

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