Want To Know More About Prostate Enlargement?
The prostate is described as a type of gland which is responsible for producing fluid which carries the sperm when a man ejaculates. The prostate is surrounded by a tube known as the urethra which is responsible for passing urine out the body. When the prostate is enlarged it means that this gland has grown larger. The enlargement of the prostate is common for the majority of men, due to aging. Prostate enlargement also goes by the name of BPH (benign prostatic hyperplasia). This is not classified as cancer and is not associated with increasing the risks linked to prostate cancer.
The actual causes of an enlarged prostate gland are unknown. Yet the factors associated with changes to the cells inside the testicles and aging may play a part in why this gland grows. Men who have undergone surgery to remove the testicles when they are younger due to a cause such as testicular cancer will not develop BPH. In addition, if a man’s testicles have been removed after the development of BPH, the prostate gland will start to decrease in size.
Facts About Prostate Enlargement
- The probabilities of the development of a prostate that enlarges will increase as the man grows older
- BPH has become so common, that most doctors suggest that all men will develop enlarged prostates in the later part of their life
- A smaller percentage of enlarged prostates are present in men over the age of 40, while more than 90% of men that are over the age of 80 will have this condition.
Under 50% of all the men that have BPH will present symptoms of this disease. The common symptoms include:
- Dribbling when urination has come to an end
- Urinary retention
- Unable to completely empty the bladder after urination
- Frequent urination at night
- Bloody urine or pain when urinating
- Delayed or slowed start for a urinary stream
- Sudden and strong urges to urinate
Tests That You Can Take
To test for an enlarged prostate your physician will ask you a few questions associated with your medical history and conduct a digital rectal examination that involves feeling the prostate. Other common tests that are also used include:
- Urine flow rate
- Post-void Residual urination test that checks the urine that stays inside the bladder after you have urinated
- A pressure-flow study that measures the level of pressure inside the bladder during urination
- Urine culture that checks for an infection
- Urinalysis that checks for infection or blood
- PSA (prostate-specific antigen) which is a blood test used to screen for the possibility of prostate cancer
Some doctors will request that you complete a form that rates the severity of your symptoms and how they are affecting your life on a daily basis. The doctor can then use these scores to determine whether the condition is becoming worse over the next few months.
The treatment options available is usually associated with the severity of the symptoms. Your doctor will also account for any other types of medical issues that you may already have. The treatment options generally include lifestyle changes, watchful waiting or surgery. If you have been diagnosed with BPH, your doctor will recommend a yearly examination to monitor the symptoms and to determine whether you require a change in your current treatment plan.
One of the more common medications used to treat an enlarged prostate include the Alpha-1 blockers which are a drug classification that is used for the treatment of high blood pressure. This medication works by relaxing the muscles in the prostate and the bladder-neck. This offers an easier way to urinate. The majority of men that use alpha-1 blockers typically notice an improvement in association with their symptoms.
Dutasteride and finasteride decrease the hormone levels that the prostate produces. These medications are also used to decrease the prostate gland size, decrease the symptoms linked to BPH and increase the urine flow-rate. In some cases, you may have to use these medications for a period of 3 months or longer to notice any improvements in your symptoms. The possible side-effects of these drugs include impotence and lowered sex drive. In some cases, antibiotics are prescribed for the treatment of chronic prostatitis which is prostate inflammation, that can occur with BPH.
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Prostate enlargement is something that can be incredibly common in older men. In medical terms, it is called benign prostatic hyperplasia. The prostate is a walnut-shaped gland which is found in the reproductive system in men – during puberty, the prostate doubles in size, and then it will start to grow again when a man hits the age of 25. This second period of growth will continue for most of an adult male’s life. Sometimes the growth becomes extreme, and this extreme growth is called benign prostatic hyperplasia.
Prostate enlargement can have some side effects – the wall of the bladder will become thicker, and the prostate gland may press against the urethra, meaning that the bladder cannot empty fully when the sufferer goes to urinate. BPH is common in men over 50, and it is thought that 14 million men in the United States have BPH, based on urinary tract symptoms that they report.
Male Colon Enlargement
An enlarged prostate can lead to the sufferer going to the bathroom more often. One rule of thumb is that if someone needs to urinate eight or more times during the day then they may have an enlarged prostate. Other symptoms include the inability to delay urinating, needing to urinate frequently at night, and struggling to either start or delay a urine stream. Some people experience pain during urination or after ejaculation or report that their urine smells or looks unusual.
The diagnosis process for prostate enlargement usually involves a rectal exam, because it is possible to determine if the prostate is enlarged or tender in this way. Other options include sending the patient to a urologist or analyzing a urine sample. In some cases, the patient may be given a PSA test. This test looks for a protein called PSA which is produced by the prostate. It is common for men who have prostate cancer to have elevated PSA levels. It is important to note, however, that elevated PSA levels alone are not a sign of prostate cancer, because benign prostatic hyperplasia can produce the same results, as an inflammation, and some prostate infections.
Coping With an Enlarged Prostate
An enlarged prostate by itself is not a dangerous thing, but it can produce some frustrating side effects. Health care professionals may recommend some lifestyle changes to make it easier to cope with the condition, including:
- Reducing your fluid intake
- Reducing your intake of alcohol and caffeinated beverages
- Avoiding certain medications, including antidepressants, antihistamines, diuretics, and decongestants
- Training the bladder to allow you to hold more urine for a longer time
There are some medications that can shrink the prostate or halt its growth, including alpha blockers. In addition, it is sometimes advisable to have surgery to reduce the size of the prostate, however, this may require general anesthesia and it is usually tried only if other techniques have failed. There are some surgery techniques, such as laser surgery, that will destroy the enlarged prostate tissue and that may be lower risk.