How Your Brain and Bladder Work Together
If you’ve made an appointment with a urologist to talk about a urinary problem, such as incontinence, it can be helpful to know how your body works. Your urinary system is made up of organs and structures, such as the bladder, kidneys, ureters, and urethra. But the brain also has an important role to play.
As your kidneys process the blood, they remove waste products and produce urine. The urine is sent to the bladder for temporary storage. As your bladder fills up, it sends a signal to your brain. This lets you feel the need to urinate. When you’re ready to urinate, your brain sends a signal via the nerves to the bladder muscles. The muscles contract the bladder, which forces the urine out into the urethra. The urethra is the small tube that allows urine to exit the body.
At Urology Associates, P.C., our urologists in Nashville are courteous, compassionate professionals who work closely with each patient to improve their health and quality of life. Call (855) 901-1338 to request a confidential consultation.
FAQs and Answers About Urethral Strictures
The urethra’s job is to transport urine from the bladder out of the body. Sometimes, this small tube becomes even more narrow than usual. This condition is called a urethral stricture . Urethral strictures can cause uncomfortable symptoms, and may lead to additional medical complications if left untreated. Because of this, it’s recommended that patients seek a referral to a urologist for specialized treatment.
Do women ever get urethral strictures?
It’s possible, but rare. They almost always affect men because men have a longer urethra . This means there are more opportunities for the urethra to be affected by injuries or disease.
What causes urethral strictures?
Occasionally, urologists are unable to determine the cause. Some of the most common causes include:
- Trauma to the urethra (such as from a fall)
- Infection in the area (including sexually transmitted diseases)
- Surgery to remove kidney stones
- Use of a urinary catheter
- Radiation therapy to the area
- Benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH)
- Surgery for an enlarged prostate
Any condition or injury that can cause swelling and scarring of the urethra may cause it to narrow. This is why the doctor will ask about your prior history of surgeries. If you’ve ever had an endoscope or other instrument inserted into the urethra, there’s always a possibility that it can cause scarring.
What are the symptoms of urethral strictures?
Initially, patients will primarily notice problems with urinary flow, including the following:
- Incomplete bladder emptying
- Decreased urine stream
- Spraying or sputtering of the urine stream
Some patients may also experience pain during urination. If the urethral stricture isn’t treated and it causes additional damage, such as damage to the kidneys, patients may experience bloody or dark urine, bloody semen, urethral leaking, and abdominal pain. Urinary tract infections (UTIs) may occur frequently, along with urinary incontinence and swelling of the penis.
Have you been diagnosed with urethral strictures? Find the expert care you need at Urology Associates, P.C. Call us today at (855) 901-1338 to request our next available appointment with a urologist in Tennessee.
Treating Fecal Incontinence
Millions of Americans suffer from fecal incontinence . This urologic condition can be a humiliating experience for patients when it happens in public places. Remember that it’s a medical problem—not a character flaw. If you’ve ever lost bowel control, visit a urologist right away to get the medical treatment you need to regain your dignity and health. Your treatment plan will depend on the underlying cause of your condition.
Fecal incontinence can be caused by constipation or diarrhea. If you’re experiencing diarrhea, your doctor can offer guidance on adding high-fiber foods to your diet. A fiber supplement might also be a good idea. If the problem is constipation, your doctor may recommend increasing your intake of water, as well as eating more high-fiber foods.
Medications can be another strategy for treating fecal incontinence caused by constipation or diarrhea. Patients with chronic constipation may be prescribed a bulk laxative or an injectable bulking agent. Otherwise, an anti-diarrheal drug can help.
Before considering a surgical option, your doctor will likely recommend a therapeutic treatment to improve your control of the anal sphincter . One example is the use of biofeedback, which can help you learn how to strengthen the anal muscles and pelvic floor muscles. You’ll also increase your awareness of the urge to defecate, and work on contracting the muscles if you aren’t ready to defecate. Bowel training is another therapy that may be helpful. It involves getting on a defecation schedule to help you better control your bowel movements. If neither of those options has been helpful for you, your doctor may recommend surgery.
Surgery can help patients who suffer from fecal incontinence due to an underlying structural problem. In other words, if the cause is a damaged anal sphincter, the urologist can perform a sphincteroplasty to strengthen the muscle. Sometimes, a muscle from the inner thigh may be grafted to the area to improve control.
Fecal incontinence is one of the many conditions we can treat here at Urology Associates, P.C. We understand the limitations that incontinence can place on our patients in Tennessee, and we want to help you reclaim your quality of life. Call us today at (855) 901-1338.
Are There Any Possible Complications of BPH?
Benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), also called an enlarged prostate, is one of the most common reasons why men over the age of 50 visit a urology specialist. Most men who develop BPH won’t develop complications from it, although they’re likely to have symptoms like frequent or urgent urination. It is possible for the enlarged prostate to cause the complete blockage of the urethra. When this happens, men are unable to urinate at all. This condition is called acute urinary retention, and it requires immediate medical attention.
Other possible complications of BPH include chronic, partial urinary retention, blood in the urine, and frequent urinary tract infections (UTIs). Some men may even develop bladder stones, bladder damage, or kidney stones. The proper treatment for BPH can help men control this condition and reduce the risk of complications.
Men with prostate problems in Tennessee can find the expert care they need for BPH at Urology Associates, P.C. Give us a call today at (855) 901-1338 to request our next available appointment.
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