Enlarged prostate is a common occurrence for men above the age of 40. The prostate is responsible for secreting a fluid to help nourish sperm. When the prostate becomes enlarged it can begin to put pressure on the urethra. This can cause difficulty urinating.
Who is at Risk of Enlarged Prostate?
Men over the age of 40 can begin experiencing an enlarged prostate
but it is a very common problem for men in their 60′s and older. Most
men will experience at least slight enlargement of the prostate at some
point in their life. There are precautions that can be taken to help
Many men who have an enlarged prostate may experience no symptoms. Those who do experience symptoms may experience:
- Frequent urination
- Sudden desire to urinate
- A weak stream during urination
- Difficulty starting urination
- Blood in urine
- Feeling like bladder is never completely emptied
- Leaking of urine
- Dribbling of urine after urination
The cause for an enlarged prostate is a natural occurrence that generally takes place after a man’s 40th birthday. Now this is not a magical age but is generally when the prostate begins to enlarge although it may not cause noticeable problems until many years later. The prostate naturally grows larger around the urethra making urination more difficult. At first you may notice the feeling of having to urinate more frequently. Later on after the prostate has enlarged it can even cause blockages to the urethra which is a medical emergency. While an enlarged prostate is one of those things that just occurs with age, there are steps and precautions that can be taken to prevent the prostate from affecting your urination. It is important to remember that an enlarged prostate is not life threatening in most cases and does not mean that you have prostate cancer.
Alternative Treatments for an Enlarged Prostate
While mild enlarged prostate is generally not treated there are steps that you can take to help relieve the symptoms you may be experiencing. The key to this is to urinate as soon as the urge hits you. If you have the sensation to urinate do so immediately. It is also important to completely empty your bladder at each urination. It is important to have patience since many cases of prostate enlargement can lessen on their own without medical intervention.
Over the Counter Treatments
There are no over the counter treatments for Enlarged Prostate
When is Medical Attention Necessary?
In most cases this is up to the man. When symptoms begin to affect everyday life or become painful it is time to seek medical attention for an enlarged prostate.
Prostate exams should begin around age 40 and after age 50 these exams should be done yearly. This can help a doctor detect a problem before it even begins to show symptoms. It also allows a doctor to check for prostate cancer. This exam is basically painless. It is a simple digital rectal exam. It is more of a embarrassment for the man rather than painful or uncomfortable. The doctor simply inserts a gloved hand into the rectum to palpate the prostate. It should be about the size and shape of a walnut. This exam allows him to feel for nodules and hard spots as well as the size and location of the prostate.
Immediate medical attention should be sought if you become unable to urinate or unable to complete urination. This can also become rather painful.
There are several types of medication used to treat an enlarged prostate. These medications should only be used when necessary as they can cause side effects including sexual dysfunction. Here is a list of the medications used to treat an enlarged prostate:
- Alpha Blockers
There are also two medications used to shrink the prostate:
- Proscar and Avodart
Other surgical procedures do come with risks and side effects. These surgical procedures are usually only suggested in extreme enlarged prostate cases because of the possible side effects. You should speak with a urologist about the options available and their possible side effects.