The specialty of urology focuses on the structures of the body that produce urine and remove it from the body, such as the kidneys, ureters, bladder, and urethra. Since related structures in men are responsible for both reproduction and the transportation of urine, urologists specialize in men's sexual health in addition to disorders of the urinary tract. Urologists treat both men and women, as well as patients ranging in age from newborn to elderly.
Certain urologic conditions are specific to male or female patients. Women are especially prone to stress incontinence, recurrent urinary tract infections, interstitial cystitis (a condition causing pain in the bladder), and urethral diverticuli (a structural issue where a small pouch develops from the urethra into the vagina). Some of these conditions may be adequately treated by a gynecologist, but patients may prefer to see a urologist because of their expertise in the urinary tract system. As for men, male infertility and sexual problems can be treated by a urologist. For example, urologists treat erectile dysfunction with medications or prosthetics. They may also perform surgeries such as vasectomies or vasectomy reversals.
Some other conditions that urologists treat include:
The American Urological Association recognizes seven subspecialties of urology:
Urinary and sexual problems can be especially distressing for many people. Fortunately, urologists are experts at managing these health conditions.