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Urology FAQ

What is urology?

Urology is a medical specialty concerned with conditions and diseases of the genital and urinary tract in men, women and children.

Urologists also diagnose and treat disorders of the male reproductive system.

What training do urologists have?

Urologists are medical doctors who have completed four years of medical school and at least two years of general surgical training, followed by four years of specialty training in urologic surgery.

How many times a day does a healthy person urinate?

Urination frequency varies widely, but most healthy people use the bathroom four to eight times a day.

More frequent urination or waking up at night to go to the bathroom may signal a health problem or simply that you're drinking too much before or at bedtime.

What can I do to maintain good urologic health?

The best way to avoid urological problems is to maintain good overall health habits, including exercising regularly, maintaining a healthy weight and avoiding tobacco, excessive alcohol and caffeine.

You should also avoid foods or substances that remove water from the body, known as diuretics.

When should I see a doctor for incontinence?

Generally, it's a good idea to call your doctor or schedule an appointment if you:

  • Have a sudden onset of incontinence
  • Are wearing a urine absorption pad because of frequent accidents
  • Find that incontinence is interfering with your quality of life

Is incontinence more of a problem for women than men?

Not necessarily, although urinary incontinence occurs about twice as often in women than in men. Pregnancy, childbirth, menopause and female anatomy account for the difference.

About one third of the 12 million people who suffer from incontinence in the United States are men. Male incontinence is often associated with prostate problems or treatments.

What increases a woman's risk of incontinence?

Often it's a combination of factors, such as having given birth multiple times, age, obesity and smoking.

Other factors include:
  • Chronic bladder infections
  • Diabetes
  • Hysterectomy
  • Lower estrogen levels after menopause
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Parkinson's or Alzheimer's disease
  • Stroke or spinal cord injury

While age can be a contributor, no one should accept incontinence as an inevitability of growing older.

What increases the risk of incontinence for men?

Most men have decreased bladder capacity as they age, naturally increasing the risk of incontinence to some degree.

But incontinence in men may be related to a number of health conditions or medical treatments. It also can be caused by lifestyle or family history. 

Other contributors can be smoking, obesity, a high consumption of alcohol and caffeinated and carbonated drinks, and injury to the bladder.

Just as in women, neurological conditions such as Parkinson's or Alzheimer's disease can play a role.

What is a urodynamic test?

Urodynamics refers to the mechanisms of your urinary tract.

Urodynamic testing is an analysis of how well the bladder, urethra and muscles (sphincters) function to control voiding, or the elimination of urine. These tests help urologists treat problems with storing urine or voiding.  

Questions? Please call us at the UCI Health Center for Urological Care at 714-456-7005.
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