The genito-urinary system includes the organs that make, collect and store urine – that is the kidney, ureters and bladder – as well as those that are involved in reproduction for men and women. There are many conditions that affect this system, from common infections like a urine infection or chlamydia, to more complex, life-changing conditions like prostate cancer and diabetic kidney disease.
Acute Cystitis and Pyelonephritis
Cystitis (sis-TI-tis) is the medical term for inflammation of the bladder. Most of the time, the inflammation is caused by a bacterial infection, and it’s called a urinary tract infection (UTI). A bladder infection can be painful and annoying, and it can become a serious health problem if the infection spreads to your kidneys. Less commonly, cystitis may occur as a reaction to certain drugs, radiation therapy or potential irritants, such as feminine hygiene spray, spermicidal jellies or long-term use of a catheter. Cystitis may also occur as a complication of another illness. The usual treatment for bacterial cystitis is antibiotics. Treatment for other types of cystitis depends on the underlying cause.
Pyelonephritis results when a UTI progresses to involve the upper urinary system (the kidneys and ureters). The kidneys filter the blood to produce urine. Two tubes called the ureters carry urine from the kidneys down to the bladder. Urine travels from the bladder out of the body through the urethra. Most cases of pyelonephritis are complications of common bladder infections. Bacteria enter the body from the skin around the urethra. They then travel up the urethra to the bladder.
Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia
Benign prostatic hyperplasia is nonmalignant (noncancerous)enlargement of the prostate gland, a common occurrence in older men.
Polycystic Kidney Disease
Polycystic kidney disease (PKD) is an inherited disorder in which clusters of cysts develop primarily within your kidneys. Cysts are noncancerous round sacs containing water-like fluid. The cysts vary in size and, as they accumulate more fluid, they can grow very large. Although kidneys usually are the most severely affected organs, polycystic kidney disease can cause cysts to develop in your liver and elsewhere in your body. The disease causes a variety of serious complications. A common complication of polycystic kidney disease is high blood pressure. Kidney failure is another common problem for people with polycystic kidney disease. Polycystic kidney disease varies greatly in its severity, and some complications are preventable. Lifestyle changes and medical treatments may help reduce damage to your kidneys from complications, such as high blood pressure.
Acute kidney failure occurs when your kidneys suddenly become unable to filter waste products from your blood. When your kidneys lose their filtering ability, dangerous levels of wastes may accumulate and your blood’s chemical makeup may get out of balance. Acute kidney failure — also called acute renal failure or acute kidney injury — develops rapidly over a few hours or a few days. Acute kidney failure is most common in people who are already hospitalized, particularly in critically ill people who need intensive care. Acute kidney failure can be fatal and requires intensive treatment. However, acute kidney failure may be reversible. If you’re otherwise in good health, you may recover normal kidney function.
Testicular torsion occurs when a testicle rotates, twisting the spermatic cord that brings blood to the scrotum. The reduced blood flow causes sudden and often severe pain and swelling. Testicular torsion is most common between ages 12 and 16, but it can occur at any age, even before birth. Testicular torsion usually requires emergency surgery. If treated within a few hours, the testicle can usually be saved. But waiting longer can cause permanent damage and may affect the ability to father children. When blood flow has been cut off for too long, a testicle may become so badly damaged it has to be removed.
Some people with bladder stones have no problems — even when their stones are large. But if a stone irritates the bladder wall or blocks the flow of urine, signs and symptoms can develop. These include: Lower abdominal pain, in men, pain or discomfort in the penis, painful urination, frequent urination, difficulty urinating or interruption of urine flow, blood in your urine, cloudy or abnormally dark-colored urine.