Urology Specialties, Conditions, Treatments & Technology

General Adult Urology

Urology is the medical specialty concerned with diseases of the urinary tract in men and women, and diseases of the genital tract in men. There are about 9,500 practicing urologists in the United States. The typical education track for a urologist is 4 years of medical school, 1 or 2 years of general surgery training, and 3 or 4 years of residency in urology. Some urologists continue their education after residency in a focused area of subspecialty- a fellowship.

Fellowship training in urology can be accomplished in urologic oncology, pediatrics, voiding dysfunction, laparoscopy/endourology, sexual medicine, pelvic reconstructive surgery, clinical research and male infertility. The specialty combines medical and surgical training, and encompasses a wide variety of clinical problems in men and women of all ages. For more about the specialty and the requirements for certification see The American Board of Urology.

Patient Information for Adult Urology

How Does The Urinary System Work?

Your body takes nutrients from food and uses them to maintain all bodily functions including energy and self-repair. After your body has taken what it needs from the food, waste products are left behind in the blood and in the bowel. The urinary system works with the lungs, skin, and intestines—all of which also excrete wastes—to keep the chemicals and water in your body balanced. Adults eliminate about a quart and a half of urine each day. The amount depends on many factors, especially the amounts of fluid and food a person consumes and how much fluid is lost through sweat and breathing. Certain types of medications can also affect the amount of urine eliminated.

The urinary system removes a type of waste called urea from your blood. Urea is produced when foods containing protein, such as meat, poultry, and certain vegetables, are broken down in the body. Urea is carried in the bloodstream to the kidneys.

What Causes Problems In The Urinary System?

Problems in the urinary system can be caused by aging, illness, or injury. As you get older, changes in the kidneys’ structure cause them to lose some of their ability to remove wastes from the blood. Also, the muscles in your ureters, bladder, and urethra tend to lose some of their strength. You may have more urinary infections because the bladder muscles do not tighten enough to empty your bladder completely. A decrease in strength of muscles of the sphincters and the pelvis can also cause incontinence, the unwanted leakage of urine. Illness or injury can also prevent the kidneys from filtering the blood completely or block the passage of urine.

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