Very few urologic conditions require urgent medical attention. However, the following conditions require immediate medical care from an urologist or emergency room doctor.

  • Acute Urinary Retention – A sudden inability to urinate. This condition causes severe abdominal pain, and if not treated can damage the bladder and lead to chronic kidney failure. Urinary retention can occur because there is an obstruction in the urethra or bladder, or as a result of a bladder condition, such as a urinary tract infection or prostate cancer.

  • Testicular Torsion – A testicle rotates, hindering blood flow. This condition causes sudden, extreme pain and swelling. Emergency surgery is necessary. If testicular torsion is treated within a few hours, usually the testicle can be saved. Failure to receive urgent care can cause permanent damage and possibly sterility.

  • Priapism – Prolonged erection of the penis, not caused by sexual arousal. It is usually painful. Urgent treatment is needed to prevent tissue damage and erectile dysfunction.

  • Fournier’s Gangrene – A type of gangrene that affects the genital organs. It typically develops due to an infection in the genital area or urinary tract. Symptoms include genital pain, redness, tenderness, and swelling. Although this is not a common condition, it can be fatal if not treated immediately. Men are more likely to experience fournier’s gangrene.

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