Understanding Common Urologic Exams
You can expect to undergo physical exams, blood tests, and imaging techniques at an appointment with a urologist. Urologic tests and exams are not just limited to blood and urine. Other analyses may become necessary as well. This article explores different types of tests a urologist may use and how they help diagnose urological problems.
Many people don't know what to expect when they visit a urologist. However, it is much like any other physical examination a doctor administers. The urologist will examine whatever is causing the issue, whether that be the urinary tract, testicles, or penis.
Urologists typically conduct a digital rectal examination (DRE) on people who want to learn more about their prostate. This is a screening test that can assist detect issues in the rectum's walls and prostate.
Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA)
A prostate-specific antigen test measures the levels of prostate-specific antigen in your blood. While this cannot diagnose cancer, it can show if you have inflammation linked with prostate cancer risk. If high levels are found, you will probably need more tests done.
Creatinine and Blood Urea Nitrogen (BUN)
If the source of the urologic condition is linked to the kidneys, a creatinine and blood urea nitrogen test might help assess kidney function by measuring creatinine. Creatininemia is commonly associated with kidney disease, but depending on the ratios of creatinine to blood urea nitrogen, your urologist may be able to make a diagnosis.
Testosterone Blood Tests
Men who have erectile dysfunction may get their testosterone levels tested. Testosterone blood tests can be used to discover testosterone levels in men when facing issues with erectile function. Low testosterone levels are an accepted cause of erectile dysfunction.
Urologists may use urine testing to gather more information before making a diagnosis, and in some situations, it might be required instead of a blood test.
The most frequent urine test is a urinalysis, which looks for germs, foreign materials, and blood cells. This examination may also detect urinary tract infections, diabetes, and the early signs of illnesses. While it is typical for a urologist's office to conduct a urinalysis, general practitioners are also inclined to give this procedure.
Urine cultures are utilized to determine the presence of bacteria in the urine. This test allows for a more intensive look but also antibiotic testing to help find the best treatment possible.
24-Hour Urine Test
You may be asked to take a 24-hour urine test to assess your kidney health. In this exam, you'll need to collect all of your pee over 24 hours. This process will then be examined for normal levels of specific chemicals in the urine.
Ultrasounds are the most common, but urologists may use a variety of x-rays to check for problems in the urinary tract. A kidney, ureter, and bladder x-ray may be able to determine the cause of abdominal discomfort linked to the urinary system. An intravenous pyelogram x-ray employs a dye to help pinpoint issues within the urinary tract. The voiding cystourethrogram is used to identify problems with the bladder.
A cystoscopy is a procedure in which a tiny telescope is inserted through the urethra and the bladder. The process is to inspect and diagnose abnormalities and issues. This test is more invasive than the preceding ones, necessitating local anesthetic.
Analysis of the Semen
Seminograms can be incredibly helpful in understanding potential problems with infertility. This analysis provides insight into the strength of a man's sperm, including motility and quality. Seminograms are also used post-vasectomy to verify that the procedure was successful.
Schedule an appointment with one of Mississippi Urology Clinic Urologists today to get help for your urologic issues and questions. With years of experience treating urinary tract problems, male infertility, pelvic floor dysfunction, and more between us, you're in good hands.