“As we get older, men have certain problems that they’re going to want to see their primary care physician about and probably a urologist,” says Richard Jadick, D.O., a urologist at Piedmont Physicians Group. “Most of these problems are easily dealt with, but sometimes they reveal things that need further investigation.”
1. Erectile dysfunction
“Any time a guy notices he’s starting to have problems with erections we want to talk about vascular disease, hypertension, renal failure and some of the other things that can affect an erection and intimacy,” he explains.
If a man experiences erectile dysfunction, Dr. Jadick suggests that he may want to self-refer to a urologist, rather than waiting to be referred by his primary care physician.
“Guys, first of all, don’t want to tell the story to begin with, so they don’t want to tell it twice,” says Dr. Jadick. “I tell my patients that we can fix that problem and we can find out if it’s the tip of the iceberg for a bigger problem.”
2. Leaking urine
If you experience urinary incontinence, or leaking urine, there are many treatment options, including medication and surgery.
“There’s not a whole lot your primary care physician is going to do for you, so come see us,” says Dr. Jadick.
3. Blood in your urine
“If you see blood in your urine, you need to be seen by a urologist,” says Dr. Jadick. “That’s an automatic self-referral.”
Blood in the urine is a hallmark of bladder or kidney cancer.
“Whether it’s cancer or nothing serious, we can treat it,” he says.
Other symptoms to never ignore
Men should never ignore any of the following symptoms – make an appointment to see a urologist.
Lower abdominal pain
A testicular mass
Decreased sexual desire
Your urologist is your healthcare partner
“If you come to see me, you’re my patient,” he explains. “We’re going to become partners, talk about what’s going on, go through your whole [medical] history and make decisions as a team.”
Trust is a large part of the physician-patient relationship.
“I need to trust that what you’re telling me is accurate and you need to trust me as a patient,” says Dr. Jadick. “We have to be on the same page, understand the same things and really feel comfortable with each other.”
While men notoriously avoid the doctor for what they perceive to be minor health issues, it’s important for them to recognize symptoms that warn of a larger problem.
“Know your body and have your urologist become part of your healthcare maintenance system,” says Dr. Jadick.
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