Plano Urology Blog

Why Menopause and Urinary Symptoms Go Hand-in-Hand

Posted in Urinary Problems, Urinary Tract Infection | May 30, 2018

Bladder Control Treatments Plano , TXWhen a woman approaches menopause, she has the opportunity to reassess her health and wellness. Often, this transition from having a period to not presents unique risks that can be managed with good lifestyle habits and proper medical care. Here, we want to discuss how menopause – and its lack of estrogen – can create specific urinary symptoms.

Estrogen and Urogenital Health

Estrogen is vital to the regeneration of tissue in the female urologic and reproductive systems. As estrogen continues to drop as a woman approaches complete menopause, symptoms such as vaginal laxity are often noticed. Referred to as vaginal atrophy, the laxity that results from the weakening of muscles is one problem that leads to another. A weak vaginal canal usually coincides with increasing weakness in the bladder and urethra. In combination, all of this weakness adds up to susceptibility to urinary incontinence.

Another way in which the vaginal and genital areas transform through menopause is in the matter of pH. The level of pH in anything tells us how acidic that substance or area is. In the case of the vagina and vulva, a certain amount of acidity is necessary to prevent yeast overgrowth and bacterial infection. As it so happens, estrogen is involved in the maintenance of pH balance. It is for this reason that menopausal women may experience more frequent urinary tract infections than they did before menopause.

Symptoms of Urinary and Vaginal Atrophy

While mood swings and hot flashes subside after menopause, symptoms of urogenital atrophy may increase. Common symptoms include:

  • Stress urinary incontinence, or involuntary urine leakage with physical exertion such as laughing.
  • Urge urinary incontinence, or a strong, sudden urge to urinate.
  • Nocturia, or the frequent need to urinate throughout the night.
  • Frequent urination.
  • Vaginal dryness and itching.
  • Painful intercourse due to lack of lubrication.
  • Recurrent urinary tract infections.

Supporting Bladder Health After Menopause

Depending on the degree of symptoms, some women choose to receive hormone replacement therapy from their gynecologist to promote vaginal health. Additionally, there are over-the-counter options for estrogen support that involve topical application only. Due to the systemic effects of absorbed estrogen, it is essential for a woman to speak with her healthcare provider about hormone replacement therapies and which may be right for her.

Bladder support is another matter. In many cases, there is no need for hormone replacement to improve bladder control. Strategies that women may implement include:

  • Perform Kegel exercises every day (3 sets of 10 performed a few times a day is ideal).
  • Maintain a healthy weight.
  • Bladder training techniques that increase bladder capacity.
  • Reduce caffeine intake.
  • Set a cut-off time each day for fluid consumption.

Sometimes, urinary incontinence requires medical treatment. The team at Collin County Urology in Plano offers compassionate care aimed at achieving optimal results. For more information on how to treat urinary incontinence, call (972) 403-5425.


HCG for Low Testosterone: Who’d Have Thought?

Posted in Testosterone Deficiency | May 15, 2018

 low testosterone treatment Plano, TXIt is no secret that a man needs testosterone to enjoy optimal health and wellness. Without sufficient testosterone, a man is more likely to struggle with his weight. Testosterone is an essential factor in muscle building and retention. It is the hormone that gives a man physical strength and sexual stamina. Testosterone is even vital to the energy a man feels as he goes about his day. The more we have realized the value of testosterone – and the consequences of not having enough – the more therapies we have seen developed. More options for treating low testosterone may not be a good thing. Here’s why.

The convenience of over-the-counter testosterone supplements and straight testosterone replacement in the form of gels, injections, and pellets can seem advantageous. However, without proper guidance, a man may do more harm than good by using testosterone to boost his levels. Testosterone replacement isn’t right for all men. When necessary, hCG may be an excellent alternative.

hCG: Have You Heard of It?

We don’t hear about hCG nearly as often as we hear about hormones like testosterone and estrogen. This may be because hCG is primarily related to pregnancy. In fact, it is the increase of hCG that confirms a woman is pregnant. While this hormone can be detected in men, it is usually found in much lower levels. The simple fact is that a man’s body doesn’t really need it – except in certain situations.

When a man is struggling to combat the symptoms of low testosterone, the female hormone hCG may be precisely what he needs. Studies indicate that, in a man’s body, hCG stimulates the pituitary gland in the same way as luteinizing hormone, or LH. Typically, it is LH that signals to the testes that testosterone should be made. When the trigger doesn’t achieve the desired result, hCG can be used as a boost.

Low testosterone isn’t just a frustrating problem; it is a health concern. Men who are experiencing symptoms of low-T are encouraged to get help from an experienced physician. At Collin County Urology, we understand that one method of low testosterone treatment isn’t right for every patient. To learn more about available treatment options, call our Plano office at (972) 403-5425.


Surgery for Prostate Cancer: You Have Options

Posted in Prostate Cancer | April 30, 2018

Prostate Cancer Treatment Plano TXSurgery is a common treatment choice for men with prostate cancer. This option, as opposed to chemotherapy or radiation therapy, may be valuable for men whose cancer has not spread beyond the prostate gland. At Collin County Urology, options are an important aspect of the care we provide. We are encouraged by innovation in medicine that affords us the opportunity to meet each patient’s unique needs. Here, we discuss the different types of surgery that may be considered for the treatment of prostate cancer.

  • Laparoscopic Prostatectomy. Also referred to as radical prostatectomy, the laparoscopic surgery is a minimally invasive technique. During surgery, the entire prostate gland is removed through a few very small incisions. Laparoscopic surgery is advantageous due to these tiny incisions, translating into a smaller bleeding risk and a shorter hospital stay. Recovery from laparoscopic surgery is also shorter overall than open surgery techniques.
  • Open Prostatectomy. Whenever possible, we treat prostate cancer with more conservative means. Open surgery for prostate cancer involves a risk of bleeding through the abdominal cavity and a longer recovery due to the fact that this technique is considered abdominal surgery.
  • Robotic surgery. In recent years, innovative technology has been introduced into the operating room. We are proud to perform da Vinci robotic surgery for the treatment of prostate cancer. Also a conservative approach to surgery, this technique involves a sophisticated, surgeon-operated robotic arm that holds tiny instruments. Like laparoscopic surgery, robotic surgery requires small incisions. The precision of this surgical procedure results in faster recovery and minimal risk of infection and bleeding.

Which Surgical Technique is Right for You?

As good as any surgical technique sounds, we understand that every case is unique. If you are considering your options in prostate cancer surgery, consider points like:

  • How much time you have to decide.
  • The risk of each technique versus reward in terms of outcome.
  • Recovery time and risks of side effects such as scarring.

It is important to do your homework on prostate cancer treatments. We are here to support you by offering our professional opinion based on documented evidence of both your particular case and of surgical outcomes for available procedures.

Learn more about treatment options for prostate cancer. Call our Plano office at (972) 403-5425.


What Smoking Does to Your Urologic System

Posted in Collin County Urology, Men's Health | April 15, 2018

Urology Services Plano, TXThe dangers of smoking have been evident for many years and have been a catalyst for millions of people to quit a habit that could cost them their life. Still, we continue to see far too many smoking-related diseases in the clinical setting. More than 16 million a year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Here, we shed light on specific urologic conditions for which smoking may be responsible. If such conditions are not directly caused by smoking, they are exacerbated by the habit.

Smoking and the Bladder

Overactive Bladder

Overactive bladder affects more than 30 million people in the United States. Factors that may incite a sudden, strong urge to urinate include certain types of food and certain medications. Another factor that should not be overlooked is smoking. According to statistics, women who smoke have triple the risk of overactive bladder in non-smoking women. The connection between smoking and overactive bladder? A buildup of toxic chemicals in the urine.

Bladder Cancer

When toxins accumulate in the urine, the lining of the bladder becomes irritated. Smoking, being a persistent habit, continually introduces toxic chemicals to the body for processing. This significantly increases the risk for bladder cancer. Statistics indicate that smoking is relevant in as much as 60 percent of bladder cancer cases in men. In diagnoses for women, smoking is a relevant factor in as much as 30 percent of new cases.

Smoking, Sex, and Reproduction

Erectile Dysfunction

The inability to get or maintain a full erection is something that is largely perceived as an age-related problem. However, studies show that younger men are also showing signs of a struggle in the area of erectile function. Smoking is a hormone-disrupting habit, and it is also a habit that adversely affects the circulatory system. In these two aspects alone, smoking may be a strong indicator of a man’s risk of developing erectile dysfunction.

Infertility

Like erectile dysfunction, there is a link between smoking and infertility that travels through hormone production. It is important that both partners stop smoking months, if not years, before trying to conceive. The disruption to hormones and buildup of toxicity in the tissues of the body present a risk for both infertility and miscarriage.

The team at Collin County Urology offers services to treat urologic conditions and support to help smokers improve their long-term health. To schedule a visit to our Plano office, call (972) 403-5425.


A Man’s Guide to Urinary Incontinence

Posted in Urinary Problems | March 30, 2018

Urinary Incontinence  Plano TXUrinary incontinence isn’t something that most men expect to encounter as a natural part of their aging process. Women are three-times more likely to experience the accidental leakage of urine, that’s true. However, the Urology Care Foundation also estimates that 25 percent of men also have difficulty holding urine. This is important to understand because, when not handled, urinary incontinence. Can put a real damper on quality of life.

Types of Urinary Incontinence in Men

There are three common ways in which urinary incontinence may manifest in men:

  • Stress urinary incontinence. This condition is characterized by accidental leakage upon exertion like laughing or lifting a heavy object.
  • Overflow incontinence. Urine may dribble persistently due to the insufficient emptying of the bladder.
  • Overactive bladder causes sudden, strong urges to urinate that result in accidental leakage.

Urinary incontinence may also sometimes present symptoms of more than one specific type. For instance, a man may leak urine when he coughs and also struggles with overactive bladder symptoms. There is also a potential for consistent urine leakage, referred to as total incontinence, that stems from a failing sphincter muscle.

Tips for Improving Bladder Control

There are proven medical treatments available for the different types of urinary incontinence that may affect a man. Initially, doctors recommend that lifestyle modifications occur. Often, making positive changes in lifestyle can greatly reduce urinary incontinence.

  • Men can do Kegels, too! The constriction of the pelvic floor muscles improves muscle tone, which supports bladder control.
  • Healthy dietary habits and good exercise are encouraged to manage weight. Excess weight stresses the bladder with pressure.
  • Limit caffeine. Caffeine is a diuretic and will, therefore, promote frequency of urination.
  • Double-void. Urinate as much as your body will allow, then relax, and try to empty the bladder a bit more.
  • Schedule urination at specific times throughout the day. This can train your body to fully empty the bladder.
  • Stop smoking. Research has demonstrated a clear link between smoking and urologic conditions.

We understand the psychological detriment that can arise due to urinary incontinence. To obtain a thorough consultation and evaluation for care, call (972) 403-5425.


BPH and Prostate Cancer: How to Differentiate

Posted in Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia, Prostate Cancer | March 15, 2018

Enlarged Prostate Plano TXThe way that we have learned to assess our health is by recognizing symptoms. When we have no symptoms, we can feel pretty good about our general health. When symptoms occur, there is a natural drive to want to understand them, especially if those symptoms linger for any length of time. In recent decades, a lot of focus has been placed on women’s health and men’s health respectively. This is beneficial because there are differences in anatomy and chemical makeup that affect men and women in unique ways. This focus has led to a better understanding of conditions like BPH, or benign prostate hyperplasia, and prostate cancer.

Both of these conditions affect the walnut-sized gland that lies just beneath the bladder in the male anatomy. The prostate gland that is affected by either benign prostate hyperplasia or prostate cancer may enlarge. Additionally, the two conditions also share certain symptoms and may affect men older than age 50. Because of these similarities, a man who demonstrates symptoms of an enlarged prostate may immediately become concerned about the chance of prostate cancer.

Symptoms of Enlarged Prostate

To have symptoms such as weak urine stream, difficulty with the onset of urine flow, or the need to urinate frequently doesn’t mean you have prostate cancer. These symptoms do indicate that your prostate may be enlarged. They indicate that you need to see an experienced urologist for further testing. Prostate cancer is one of the leading causes of cancer deaths among men but can be treated successfully with an early diagnosis.

How can we tell?

The purpose of a medical evaluation for symptoms of enlarged prostate is to confirm the underlying cause. It isn’t enough to look at symptoms because, in most cases, the early stages of prostate cancer are asymptomatic.

A urologic exam to differentiate between BPH and prostate cancer is likely to involve a physical examination of the prostate. Yes, the digital rectal exam. Additionally, a PSA blood screen may be performed to measure the level of prostate-specific antigen in the body. It is important to understand that a high PSA is not a confirmation of prostate cancer. This measurement alerts us that more testing is necessary. This may include an ultrasound of the prostate gland, and a biopsy to observe a small sample of prostate tissue under a microscope.

Prostate health is an important subject matter for all men. If you would like to schedule a prostate exam, we’re here to help you. Call (972) 403-5425.


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