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Most Common Types of Urological Conditions Among Children

Urologists treat a wide range of conditions that involve the urogential tract, so it is no surprise that an entire sub-specialty of urology deals with children and their specific issues. Known as pediatric urology, this sub-specialty deals with everything from malformations present at birth to trauma to infections. Here are some of the most common types of urological conditions in children.

Bedwetting in Small Children

Nocturnal enuresis, or bedwetting, is surprisingly common among children and usually nothing to be concerned about until the child is about six or seven years old. Before that age, it is considered quite normal and the child usually grows out of it. However, if a child has reached that age and still has not mastered bladder control while sleeping, it may set the parents’ minds at ease to have the child evaluated by a urologist. Some of the most common reasons for continued bedwetting are diabetes or a urinary tract infection, neither of which are necessarily painful. A urologist can often find the cause, if there is one other than simple delayed control, with simple urine and blood tests. For many children with this problem, more time is all that will be needed to ‘grow out of’ bedwetting.

Undescended Testes in Infant Boys

Undescended testicles can frighten parents, but it is also a very common condition. Usually it is only one testicle that is undescended, but in about ten percent of cases both testes are affected. The condition is even more common if your son was premature. Luckily, urologists have a whole host of treatments available to coax the testicle down into the scrotum, the most common of which is a simple surgery. These surgeries are usually carried out before your son turns a year old, and fertility rates are nearly normal afterwards in cases where only one testicle is undescended. In cases that affect both testes, fertility later in life may only be 65 percent of normal. Of course, these statistics are only true if the testes are normal and simply stuck in the groin. Some boys are born with malformed or dead testes, which may demand more complicated procedures or implants to create a normal appearance, and fertility may be nonexistent in these cases. For fertility reasons, the condition needs to be remedied as soon as your urologist believes it to be safe for your son to undergo treatment.

Ureter Flap Malformation or Absence in Either Gender

Vesicoureteral reflux, a condition where urine backs up into the kidneys from the bladder, is another quite common condition that requires the expertise of a pediatric urologist. All people have tubes, known as ureters, running from their kidneys to their bladder walls. At the end of the tubes is a small flap that allows urine to travel from the kidneys and be stored in the bladder for later elimination. In some kids, these flaps are either missing or do not seal properly, allowing the urine to travel back up into the kidneys. This can cause renal scarring, urinary tract infections and high blood pressure later in life. A pediatric urologist can fix this in a single surgery, and success rates are very good.

While there are a plethora of urological conditions that children experience, these are the three most common. Luckily, all of them are usually quite easily treated and pose no real threat to a child’s future health and well-being if detected and resolved early.