Everyone knows that a doctor who is responsible for the sexual health of women can be called a gynecologist.
But it isn’t so simple when it comes to the men’s health.
If you encounter a few sexual issues, it can be confusing to know which specialist you should visit – an andrologist, and urologist, or perhaps a sexologist?
Don’t worry because you are not alone.
In this guide, we will show you the main difference between andrology and urology so that you can make an informed decision when facing these problems in your life.
What Is Urology?
Urology or genitourinary surgery is a branch of medicine which focuses on medical and surgical diseases of the male reproductive organs, as well as the female and male urinary-tract system.
Organs under the field of urology include the urethra, urinary bladder, ureters, adrenal glands, kidneys, and other male reproductive parts such as penis, prostate, seminal vesicles, vas deferens, epididymis, and testes.
In other words, a urologist can be considered as a broad specialist and can conduct a surgical operation of certain systems and organs in the body.
Some common techniques used in urology include laser-assisted surgeries, minimally invasive laparoscopic and robotic surgery, and other scope-guided methods.
If you have any issues with the urination like pain or burning during urination, chronic or acute prostatitis, erectile dysfunction, and other conditions concerning the urogenital system, it’s advisable to visit a urologist.
What is andrology?
Andrology is a specialization within the urology, which deals with men’s health, especially relating to the issues of the male reproductive system or urological issues that are unique to male patients.
Andrology will cover any anomaly in the connective tissues associated with the genitalia and changes in the cell volume, such as in genital macrogenitosomia or hypertrophy.
It is basically the counterpart to gynaecology, which involves medical problems that are specific to women’s health, particularly urologic and reproductive health.
An andrologist can be seen as a men’s specialist who would treat a broad range of health issues in male, including men’s infertility in different natures; impotence; cosmetic defects in men’s genitals; sexually transmitted diseases; sexual dysfunctions such as premature ejaculation, erectile dysfunction, and inability of reaching orgasm; minor surgical genital operations.
Unlike urologists, an andrology specialist can only treat men, meaning this is a narrower specialist.
While gynaecology has a lot of programs for medical board certifications all over the world, andrology has none.
Differences and Similarities
The main differences between andrologists and urologists often come from the individual choices of a doctor rather than the intrinsic differences in these specialties.
Every andrologist is basically a urologist, but one who has narrowed his expertise to a specific subfield of patients.
Urologists can treat a male or female patient, and for urinary issues as well as other male reproductive problems.
Andrologists are known as the male equivalent of the gynecologists, which entirely focuses on male reproductive diseases.
An andrologist might choose to specialize even further and treat only erectile and impotence dysfunction or reproductive problems.
Andrologist and urologist training
Urology is currently one of the most highly-sought and competitive surgical specialties for many new physicians, with the number of new urologists comprising approximately 1.5 percent of medical school graduates in the US each year.
Just like other doctors, andrologists and urologists will start their careers by completing a 4-year undergraduate education and 4 another years of training in a medical school.
During those 8 years of college, those students who have already chosen a career in andrology or urology might take relevant electives in human sexuality or biology as their opportunity permits.
After graduation, every new doctor should complete a 5-year program at the urological residency.
This will provide many practical opportunities for them to master the essential surgical and clinical in their selected field.
More importantly, they can learn and work under the supervision of many experienced andrologists and urologists, who can give them many valuable pieces of advice on the job.
After completing the residency program, they should take a 2-part certification exam from the Board of Urology and become board-certified.
There are seven subspecialties that are recognized by the American Urological Association, including oncology, female urology, calculi, pediatrics, infertility, renal transplant, and neurourology.