Are you experiencing pain when you urinate, blood in your urine, discomfort in your sides, or a lack of control over when you go to the bathroom? Then it’s probably time to see a doctor. The question is, which type of doctor do you see? 

Specific circumstances often require the assistance of a specialist. In the case of kidney and urinary troubles, there are two types of specialists who may be able to help you: nephrologists and urologists. 

What’s the difference between them? Let’s take a look! 


A nephrologist is a doctor that specializes in addressing and treating kidney issues. They can help diagnose kidney problems such as kidney infection, kidney disease, kidney stones, and more. 

Additionally, they work with people who have high blood pressure, also known as hypertension. Because your kidneys are responsible for filtering your blood, they can be greatly impacted by high blood pressure. In turn, your blood pressure can be negatively affected by damaged kidneys. 

Nephrologists typically take blood and urine samples while learning more about your current diet, wellness habits, family history, and more. From there, they determine what’s causing you problems and how it can be addressed. 

Often, this is through lifestyle and dietary changes. 

If you are suffering from kidney failure, you may be put on dialysis, which a nephrologist can perform. This is when your blood is taken out of your system, filtered through a machine, and then put back in. 


A urologist is a doctor that specializes in urinary tract system and male reproductive organs. The urinary tract includes your kidneys, so there is some overlap between what nephrologists and urologists do. 

However, urologists deal with much more than kidney-related issues. While they can help with kidney stones and kidney cancer, they also treat conditions such as bladder/urinary trouble, prostate conditions, erectile dysfunction, UTIs, and more. They can perform vasectomies as well. 

This brings up another important distinction between urologists and nephrologists: urologists can perform surgeriesThis provides more treatment options when dealing with issues like kidney stones. 

Which Do I Need? 

The type of specialist you should see depends on the situation that you are experiencing. Because symptoms stemming from bladder issues, UTIs, and kidney problems can look very similar, it isn’t always obvious what you need treatment for. 

Often, the first step is to see your primary care physician. They’ll be able to do an initial examination and recommend you to a specialist. In fact, your health insurance may require a referral before you can see a specialist. 

If your doctor is recommending you see a urologist in Dayton, Ohio, we’d be more than happy to see you. At Urology Specialists of Ohio, we provide a wide variety of modern treatments for conditions involving the bladder, kidneys, liver, urinary tract, and male reproductive organs. 

We have a doctor’s referral form that your primary physician can fill out here. Otherwise, feel free to contact us directly with any questions you might have.