Urological conditions don’t only affect adults. Children, especially newborns and infants, may also need to see a urologist for a variety of reasons, including an undescended testicle, hydrocele, incontinence and bedwetting. A urologist can also perform circumcisions.
As a baby boy develops in his mother’s womb, the testicles form in the infant’s abdomen and typically drop down into the scrotum right before birth. If this doesn’t occur like it should, the undescended testicles may remain in the infant’s belly or groin area.
They will often drop down into the correct position before the baby is 6 months old. However, it is important to talk with your child’s health care provider about treatment options if this doesn’t happen. The provider may recommend surgery to move your child’s undescended testicle down into the scrotum and refer you to a urologist for treatment.
Many children gain control over their bladders between the ages of 2 and 4 years old. While occasional wetting is still common in children up to 6 years old, most can stay dry during the day.
If a child is having a bladder control problem (urinary incontinence) and leaks urine by accident after being potty trained, it can be embarrassing and upsetting. These bladder leaks can happen in the daytime or at night while the child is asleep (usually referred to as bedwetting).
There are a variety of reasons children can have urinary incontinence, but talk with your child’s health care provider if your child has possible signs of a bladder infection, a weak urine stream, a sudden start to daytime wetting, or no apparent sense of when he or she needs to go to the bathroom. If further treatment or evaluation is needed, your child’s provider can refer him or her to a urologist who specializes in the treatment of this condition.
A hydrocele is a type of swelling in the scrotum that occurs when fluid collects in the thin sheath around a testicle. This condition can be common in newborns and can disappear without treatment by the child’s first birthday, and is usually indicated by a painless swelling of one or both testicles.
If your child is experiencing scrotal swelling, it’s important to see your child’s primary care provider to rule out any other causes that might require treatment or surgery by a urologist.