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9 questions women ask their urologist

Some women may think that all issues related to their vagina must be treated by a gynecologist. But that simply isn’t true. Urologists treat a variety of urinary tract and kidney problems in both women and men.

Nazia Bandukwala, D.O., a urologist at Piedmont, answers nine of the most common questions she receives from her female patients.

1. How often should I be going to the bathroom?

On average, I usually recommend going to the bathroom every three or four hours. But there is no right or wrong answer. It really depends on how much water you drink in a day.

If you only drink one or two cups of water, you may only have to go to the restroom once or twice a day. If you drink two or three liters of water a day, you may have to go more frequently, like every hour or every two hours.

If frequent urination becomes bothersome to you, you may need to see a urologist or follow up with your primary care physician.

2. Do hormones play a part in urologic function?

Hormones have a lot to do with urologic function. Women can develop an estrogen deficiency as they age. As a result, they can have a lot of issues with their bladders, painful intercourse and urinary leakage.

Most of the time, a simple fix with some estrogen creams and other therapies can really help with the post-menopausal female patient who has a lot of pelvic floor issues.

3. What color should my urine be?

The color of your urine is 100 percent related to your fluid intake. If you’re not drinking enough water, your urine may be more concentrated and appear darker. Ideally, you want your urine to be light-yellow to clear in color.

4. How common is urinary incontinence?

Urinary incontinence, or leakage of urine, is a very common issue. Approximately one in two women have some form of urinary leakage issues, which can be related to giving birth to a child.

A lot of women think they are alone in their urinary leakage issues, but this is a misconception. Almost 50 percent of women have some form of urinary incontinence.

5. Do Kegel exercises actually do anything?

Yes, they really do help strengthen the pelvic floor. Some women may continue to have urinary leakage issues despite Kegel exercises, and that may be the time to see your urologist.

6. Do a lot of women suffer from pelvic pain?

Pelvic pain is a condition that affects many women. It can be related to issues in your bowel function, your ovaries, your uterus and even your bladder.  A screening by a gynecologist is a good way to determine what is actually causing your pelvic pain. If you need additional care, they can refer you to another specialist.

7. Is it true cranberry juice can cure a urinary tract infection (UTI)?

If you have a urinary tract infection, cranberry juice may not be the one-step to treat all.

UTIs are very common in women. They are related to estrogen deficiencies, sexual intercourse, bladder emptying and urinary incontinence. But there may be more specific reasons why you are getting the UTI. So while cranberry juice may be good at staving off UTIs every now and then, women with recurrent UTIs need to see a urologist for further evaluation.

8. Are kidney stones more common in the South?

Kidney stones are more common in the South because of warmer temperatures and dehydration during  warmer months. Most kidney stones form from dehydration, a lack of water intake. Unfortunately, if you live in one of the southern states, you are just more predisposed to it because of warmer temperatures.

9. Is pain during intercourse common?

If you are having pain with intercourse, remember that your urologist can help you. There are a lot of reasons why you can have pain during intercourse. It could be related to pelvic organ prolapse, urinary tract infections or urinary incontinence, amongst other things.

If you don’t speak up, we won’t know. So come and talk to us about it. We are here to help.

Even though it can be an embarrassing topic to talk about, you shouldn’t shy away from something that is so important to your happiness and quality of life.

To schedule an appointment with a urologist near you, check out our “Find a Doctor” feature.

Need to make an appointment with a Piedmont physician? Save time, book online.

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