Like a temple or any physical structure, the human body deteriorates over time. That’s why it has to be maintained so that it’ll keep functioning for as long as possible.  

Age-related wear and tear on the body will start to show as a person approaches 40, regardless of gender. It’s also the time when you have to start seeing a primary care physician regularly. Your doctor can keep tabs on your physical well-being by checking your cholesterol level and blood pressure, among other things. 

While physicians can provide general care to patients, some specialize in a specific area of the body, like your eyes, nose, or throat. So, if your experiencing issues with your urological health, it’s best to consult a Sydney urologist specialist doctor or the nearest urologist in your area. In fact, health experts encourage men around the age of 50 to see a urologist for routine check-ups due to the following changes that they may experience in their health:

1. Erectile Dysfunction 

Erectile dysfunction (ED) is a urological health issue that men in their 50s and beyond experience. It’s characterized by difficulty achieving or maintaining a satisfying erection. Such a frustrating condition impacts aging men’s sex life significantly. The risk of having ED increases with age, thus, the significance of regular check-ups with a urologist.

A urologist specializes in the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of health problems of the urinary tract and male reproductive organs. These include the kidneys, bladder, ureters, urethra, prostate, and testicles. Urologists also treat urinary incontinence, erectile dysfunction, and other sexual problems.

It’s essential to note that erectile dysfunction could be signifying a more serious health condition, such as the following: 

  • Hypertension 
  • Vascular disease 
  • Renal failure 

Seeing a urologist can fix your ED problem. More importantly, it can also help you know whether or not the issue is only the tip of the iceberg for something more serious.

2. Trouble Urinating (Frequent, Urgent, Delayed, Incomplete Urination) 

Bacterial infections are usually the cause of trouble during urination. If a bacterial infection is the culprit, as exposed by urinalysis, a primary care physician can treat the issue. However, see a urologist immediately if there’s no sign of bacterial infection in the diagnosis, especially if you’re already around the age of 40. 

Other possible causes of urinary difficulty, especially among aging men, are as follows: 

  • Strictures 
  • Nerve damage 
  • Anatomical malformations  

Some examples of anatomical malformations causing trouble urinating include urethral stricture and prostate enlargement. Urethral stricture refers to the narrowing of the urethra that can make urinating difficult, caused by several factors, such as infection, injury, and surgery. On the other hand, prostate enlargement is common in men over 40, causing difficulty starting or stopping urination and incontinence.

To search for these underlying issues, a urology specialist can perform cystoscopy and other special tests. Another common cause of trouble when urinating is an enlarged prostate. However, it’ll have a separate discussion in this article since it’s one of the natural consequences of aging.

Difficulty in urination, such as experiencing frequent, urgent, delayed, or incomplete urination, can be a symptom of various underlying medical conditions, including kidney problems that may lead to renal failure. With impaired kidney function, accumulated waste products and excess fluids in the body occur, necessitating the use of renal replacement therapies like peritoneal dialysis or hemodialysis.

3. Leaking Urine 

Also known as urinary incontinence, leaking urine in aging men is a symptom of another urinary system problem instead of a disease by itself. It’s characterized by accidental passing or loss of urine. 

There are four types of male urinary incontinence. Below is a closer look at each of them: 

Overflow incontinence:

This type of incontinence happens when the bladder leaks out because of not emptying properly. Some aging men don’t release much urine despite the urge to urinate, which is then followed by overflow incontinence. 

Urge incontinence:

If you’re unable to make it to the comfort room after having a sudden, strong urge to urinate most of the time, you could be experiencing urge incontinence. This type of urinary incontinence also occurs when the bladder contracts when it shouldn’t. As a result, urine passes through the muscles that hold the bladder closed. 

Stress incontinence:

Some people, especially aging men, leak urine when doing something that puts pressure on their bladder, like lifting something heavy. Others leak urine even when only laughing, sneezing, or coughing. All these could be a result of stress incontinence. It’s essential to note that this type of urinary incontinence isn’t related to psychological stress in any way

Total incontinence:

If your bladder’s sphincter muscles are too weak to control urine, you’ll leak urine all the time. Such a condition is described as total incontinence, which is the continuous loss of urinary control. When your bladder has damage, it may also result in total incontinence. A urologist can help fix the problem by recommending treatment procedures or prescribing specific drugs.

4. Hematuria 

Hematuria is a scary condition that usually occurs in many men older than 50. Who wouldn’t be scared seeing blood in their urine? It’s also frightening in the sense that cancer in your kidney or bladder could be causing it. Finding the root cause is crucial when experiencing hematuria, which should be done as quickly as possible with the help of a urologist. But whether it’s cancer or not, a urologist can treat hematuria.

Urinalysis, imaging studies, and cystoscopy help identify the underlying cause. Once determined, the urologist develops a tailored treatment plan. For example, dietary changes, medications, or stone removal procedures are recommended for kidney stones. Follow-up appointments allow the urologist to monitor progress and adjust the treatment plan. In severe cases like cancer, collaboration with other specialists may be necessary for comprehensive treatment involving surgery, radiation therapy, or chemotherapy.

5. Enlarged Prostate 

Older men usually have this condition—more than half of men around age 60 and the majority of men ages 70 or older. Its technical term is benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH). An enlarged prostate squeezes the urethra, which may result in urinary tract symptoms, such as the following: 

  • Weak urine stream 
  • Inability to empty the bladder properly 
  • Urgent urination 
  • Increased urination at night 

Medications and some minimally invasive procedures can help treat enlarged prostate in aging men. Medications include alpha-blockers, which relax muscles around the prostate and bladder neck to facilitate urination, and 5-alpha reductase inhibitors, which reduce prostate size by blocking hormone production. Combination therapy may be prescribed for enhanced effectiveness.
Minimally invasive procedures include Transurethral Microwave Therapy (TUMT) and Transurethral Needle Ablation (TUNA), which use microwave and radiofrequency energy, respectively, to shrink or destroy excess prostate tissue. Laser therapy is also another treatment option. These approaches aim to alleviate difficulty urinating and frequent urination.

6. Elevated Levels Of Prostate-specific Antigen

Detecting prostate cancer in aging men involves close monitoring of prostate-specific antigen (PSA). That’s because elevated PSA levels usually indicate the presence of such a condition. PSA levels start to rise as you age, thus the need to undergo PSA testing with a urology physician regularly.

Progression Prevention and Treatment For Urological Health Problems 

Improving and maintaining men’s urological health involves a holistic approach. Regular exercise, diet modifications, and lifestyle changes are important. Reduce alcohol consumption and quit smoking because these vices can irritate or damage the bladder and prostate gland. Also, ensure you’re well-rested for your body to fight off infection and inflammation. 

Moreover, stress can contribute to several urological problems, including urinary incontinence and erectile dysfunction. So, ensure you’re able to manage it through activities like deep breathing exercises and resort to positive coping mechanisms such as sports and arts. In addition, ensure to get regular checkups and screenings, especially as you get older.

Final Thoughts 

Men are notoriously known for avoiding meeting with a physician as much as possible. It’s especially true for those experiencing health problems that are perceived to be just minor issues. However, aging men tend to experience changes in their urological health that warrant an appointment with a urologist. In doing so, symptoms that signify more significant problems can be recognized as soon as possible.