Common Urinary Issues

Q: What causes kidney stones?

A: Kidney stones are a painful condition whereby stones form in the kidney and pass through the ureter into the bladder.  Usually the pain associated with kidney stones is caused by the passage of the stone into the bladder.  Surprisingly, most patients experience few symptoms when the stone leaves the bladder. There are multiple causes for kidney stones.  Most of the time though, there is no definable cause. The best prevention for kidney stones is to drink plenty of fluids, at least 6-8 glasses of water a day.  Depending on the composition of the stone, certain medications are useful in preventing kidney stones.

Q: Why do I keep getting urinary tract infections?

A: Urinary tract infections (UTIs) are caused by bacteria that grow in any part of the urinary tract. The bladder is the most common site for a UTI.  Frequent UTIs, 3 or more per year, are divided into persistent (one bacteria that doesn’t resolve with treatment) or recurrent (a separate infection, with the same or different bacteria, that has a period of resolution between infections).

Causes for frequent UTIs include poor hygiene techniques, hormonal changes such as menopause, incontinence, kidney stones and intercourse to name a few. Some serious diseases, including bladder cancer, may mimic a urinary tract infection and should be ruled out by a qualified urologist before starting treatment for frequent UTIs.

Q: I’ve started to leak urine. Is this a normal part of aging?

A: No, it is not a normal part of ageing but unfortunately may become more common as women age. Over 40 million women in the United States are believed to have some type of urinary leakage. There are two main types of leakage. Urge urinary incontinence which is when you have to rush to the bathroom and don’t make it in time and stress urinary incontinence which occurs with physical activity, cough or sneeze. It is most common in my practice to see women with a component of both which is a bit more complex  to treat. The most important thing to know is that these conditions can be successfully treated and can vastly improve a person’s quality of life.

Q: My doctor told me I have an enlarged prostate, but I have no difficulty urinating.  In fact, I urinate too often. I have good flow and sometimes I have difficulty making it to the bathroom.  If my prostate was enlarged wouldn’t it be difficult to urinate?

A: Symptoms of an enlarged prostate (BPH) can be frequent and urgent urination rather than difficulty urinating. As the prostate grows and begins to obstruct the bladder, the bladder muscles become thicker, and the bladder begins to contract more often and unexpectedly. A careful urology evaluation can determine if these symptoms are due to enlarged prostate, cancer or a bladder or kidney problem.  

 Jonathan Jay, M.D. , Board Certified Urologist Specialists in Urology 239-434-6300