HomeEnlargedHow Do I Know If I Have An Enlarged Prostate

How Do I Know If I Have An Enlarged Prostate

Wednesday 4 October 2017

Enlarged prostate – What do I need to know?

Hey guys, we know that talking about your prostate can be a little uncomfortable. You might not know where or what it is, or you might have only heard about it in stories about older men having difficulty peeing or the doctor sticking their finger up you know where to check on it.

Below, weve got all the details about what your prostate is, where it is and what it does. Well also discuss how it might change as you age, and any changes or symptoms you should keep an eye on and tell your doctor about.

What Are The Signs Of An Enlarged Prostate

In many cases, that tubular opening of your prostate becomes tight and constricted when your gland enlarges. This leads to a restricted flow of urine. So, difficulty peeing is the most common sign of prostate problems, Dr. Ramin says.

In 2017, the American Urological Association created a seven-question symptom index for severity benign prostatic hyperplasia. How you answer themoptions include not at all,less than 1 time in 5,less than half the time,about half the time,more than half the time, and almost alwayscan help your doctor evaluate you.

The full questionnaire from the AUA is available here, but the symptoms include the following:

1. The sensation of not emptying your bladder when youre finished peeing

2. The need to pee again less than two hours after you finished urinating

3. Stopping and starting again several times when you urinated

4. The difficulty to postpone urination

5. Having a weak stream of urine

6. The need to push or strain to start to pee

7. Waking up often at night to pee

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Behind An Enlarged Prostate

Before we jump into the signs of an enlarged prostate, lets quickly take a look at the location and role of this gland, which will help you better understand the side effects of BPH.

Your prostate gland surrounds your urethra, and its main responsibility is to produce semen. With BPH, the cells of your prostate begin to multiply, enlarging your prostate and placing pressure on your urethra, which is what accounts for the symptoms we discuss below.

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Enlarged Prostate Many Options To Treat This Common Problem

ROCHESTER, Minn. More than half of men in their 60s experience symptoms caused by an enlarged prostate gland. Add another decade or two, and nearly all men experience symptoms that may include a weak urine stream, difficulty starting urination, stopping and starting while urinating, and an urgent need to urinate.

The July issue of Mayo Clinic Health Letter covers how the prostate gland changes with age and ways to find relief for whats technically termed benign prostatic hyperplasia.

The prostate gland is just below the bladder and surrounds the urethra through which urine passes out of the body. After puberty, the prostate gland is about the size of a walnut. As men age, the prostate gland can increase in size, pressing on the urethra and interfering with urine flow.

Men with mildly enlarged prostate glands and mild symptoms may not need immediate treatment. Studies have shown that up to one-third of mild cases clear up without treatment.

When treatment is needed, the focus is on reducing troubling symptoms and restoring normal urinary tract function. Several medication options are available for men with mild-to-moderate symptoms. Therapies include:

Alpha blockers: These drugs relax the bladder neck muscles and muscle fibers in the prostate. They help increase urine flow and reduce the need to urinate as often. Medications in this category are terazosin, doxazosin, tamsulosin, alfuzosin and silodosin.

Surgery options include:

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Prostate cancer has few symptoms, meaning for many men they wont realise there is an issue until the cancer begins to spread. In order to avoid this, heres how to assess your risk for prostate cancer, and when to speak to your doctor.

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What Are The Symptoms Of An Enlarged Prostate

Men with enlarged prostates experience some common symptoms that can get worse over time. With that said, symptoms arent linked to the size of the enlarged prostate. You can have a larger prostate and experience no symptoms or less severe symptoms than someone with a smaller prostate.

Here are the most common symptoms:

  • Frequent or urgent urination
  • UTIs or urinary tract infections
  • Blood in urine

There are several conditions that can mimic these symptoms. For example, kidney stones or cancer. Thats why its important to seek medical intervention as soon as you begin to notice anything abnormal.

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How Will Your Doctor Diagnose A Prostate Infection

A prostate infection diagnosis is based on your medical history, a physical exam, and medical tests. Your doctor can also rule out other serious conditions such as prostate cancer during the exam. During a physical exam, your doctor will conduct a digital rectal exam to test your prostate and will look for:

  • discharge
  • enlarged or tender lymph nodes in the groin
  • swollen or tender scrotum

Your doctor may also ask about your symptoms, recent UTIs, and medications or supplements youre taking. Other medical tests that can help your diagnosis and treatment plan include:

  • urinalysis or semen analysis, to look for infections
  • a prostate biopsy or a blood test for prostate-specific antigen
  • urodynamic tests, to see how your bladder and urethra store urine
  • cystoscopy, to look inside the urethra and bladder for blockage

Your doctor may also order an ultrasound to get a closer look. The cause will help determine the correct course of treatment.

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Possible Cancer Protection From Prostate Drugs

Early research suggested that 5-alpha-reductase inhibitors , a class of drugs used to treat prostate enlargement, might increase the risk of developing more aggressive prostate cancer. However, newer studies have found that not only do the drugs appear to pose no extra risk, they may even protect against prostate cancer.

For instance, research from the Prostate Cancer Prevention Trial study in 2013 showed that taking the 5-ARI finasteride for seven years could lower the chance of getting low-grade prostate cancer by 25% among men ages 55 and older. A follow-up study of almost 9,500 men, published in the Nov. 1, 2018, issue of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, also showed that finasteride lowered the risk by a similar amount , and found the protective effect lasted for at least 16 years.

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When To Contact A Medical Professional

How To Tell If You Have An Enlarged Prostate
  • Less urine than usual
  • Back, side, or abdominal pain
  • Blood or pus in your urine

Also call if:

  • Your bladder does not feel completely empty after you urinate.
  • You take medicines that may cause urinary problems, such as diuretics, antihistamines, antidepressants, or sedatives. DO NOT stop or change your medicines without talking to your provider.
  • You have tried self-care steps for 2 months and symptoms have not improved.

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Surgery For An Enlarged Prostate

For most men with very enlarged prostates, surgery can relieve symptoms but there are both risks and benefits with each type of operation. Discuss them with your doctor. After a careful evaluation of your situation and your general medical condition, your doctor will recommend which is best for you.

TURP : This is the most common surgery for an enlarged prostate, and considered to bring the greatest reduction in symptoms. Only the tissue growth that is pressing against the urethra is removed to allow urine to flow easily. The procedure involves an electrical loop that cuts tissue and seals blood vessels. Most doctors suggest using TURP whenever surgery is required, as it is less traumatic than open surgery and requires shorter recovery time.

With the TURP procedure, patients can expect to have retrograde ejaculation afterwards, says Westney. This is a condition in which a man ejaculates backward into the bladder instead of through the urethra. Retrograde ejaculation generally isnt painful, she tells WebMD. It shouldnt be an issue unless fertility is a concern. Other possible side effects include blood loss requiring transfusion , painful urination, recurring urinary tract infections, bladder neck narrowing, and blood in the urine.

After TURP, the odds of erection problems range from 5% to 35%. However, this is often temporary and the ability to have an erection and an orgasm returns after a few months.

What Causes An Enlarged Prostate

We still dont really know all the things that cause the prostate to grow. But we do know about two risk factors that can increase your risk of having an enlarged prostate.

Age

Your risk of having an enlarged prostate increases as you get older. Many men aged 50 or over have an enlarged prostate, but they dont all get symptoms. And some men have symptoms that dont bother them.

Hormone levels

The balance of hormones in your body changes as you get older. This may cause your prostate to grow.

Other factors

Some studies show that obese men and men who have diabetes may be more likely to develop an enlarged prostate. Regular exercise may help to reduce your risk of urinary symptoms. But we still need more studies into the causes of enlarged prostate to know for certain if, and how, we can prevent it.

There is also some research that suggests you may be more at risk of developing an enlarged prostate if your father or brother has one. Again, further studies are needed to confirm this.

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Signs Your Prostate May Be Enlarged

    Age changes everything hair thins and grays, skin dries and wrinkles, and gravity does a number on once-firm flesh. But changes happen on the inside, too, and you may not realize it until you experience clear symptoms. In many men, one of these changes is a growing prostate gland.

    Although an enlarged prostate doesnt necessarily mean cancer, it can mean youll suffer from some pretty uncomfortable symptoms until you get it treated.

    Dr. James Lee at Woodstock Family Practice & Urgent Care in Woodstock, Georgia, specializes in mens health issues and can diagnose and treat your enlarged prostate to relieve your symptoms. Heres what you need to know.

    The Symptom Overlap From An Enlarged Prostate And Prostate Cancer Are Nearly Identical As Far As Urine

    Can An Enlarged Prostate Cause Urinary Tract Infections UTIs?

    Prostate cancer can masquerade as a benign enlarged prostate if the malignancy is still localized rather than spread.

    First of all, the majority of patients who are diagnosed with prostate cancer have absolutely no symptoms, says Michael D. Lutz, MD, board certified urologist Partner at Michigan Institute of Urology President, MIU Mens Health Foundation.

    The typical prostate cancer is diagnosed by the judicious use of the serum prostatic specific antigen blood test, continues Dr. Lutz.

    Based upon this blood test result and a digital rectal examination, additional tests to confirm the diagnosis would be considered.

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    Medications For Enlarged Prostate

    There are two main classes of pharmaceuticals that work to alleviate enlarged prostate symptoms: alpha blockers and alpha reductase inhibitors

    • Alpha Blockers. Alpha blockers relax the smooth muscle around the bladder neck and within the urethra.

    • Inhibitors. Inhibitors stop the conversion of the male hormone testosterone to DHT to reduce the prostate’s size, eliminating blockage.

    Dont be surprised if your physician prescribes a combination of the two medications, as they have been shown to work more effectively together than alone. The downside is that combination therapy may increase the likelihood of experiencing side effects from the medications. Be sure to work with your doctor to assess the benefits and costs before starting on combination therapy.

    Diagnosing Benign Prostate Enlargement

    You might have several different tests to find out if you have an enlarged prostate.

    A GP may do some of these tests, such as a urine test, but others might need to be done at a hospital.

    Some tests may be needed to rule out other conditions that cause similar symptoms to BPE, such as prostate cancer.

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    Sign : Frequent Urge To Urinate

    You feel sudden urges to go anytime, even if you have little or no urine in your bladder. The urge may be so strong that you feel like you cant hold it until youre in the bathroom.

    These urges can significantly impact your life. If you wake up to go 2-3 times or more per night because of them, you could suffer from fatigue, loss of focus, moodiness, and lack of energy.

    How Do You Keep Your Prostate Healthy

    Real Question: Symptoms of an Enlarged Prostate?

    A recent study conducted on a large cohort of men throughout their life found that frequent ejaculation with a partner or solo reduces the risk of prostate cancer. Additionally, keeping your waist within a reasonable size with exercises can go a long way to keeping your prostate and your sex life in great shape.

    Stay away from processed foods as much as you can and eat whole foods which nurture your body. What is good for your heart is good for your prostate. Age doesnt matter if you have your prostate health under control.

    However, as you age, muscles around your bladder can become weak. This can lead to erectile dysfunction issues as well as prostate issues. Whats most important to naturally cure prostate problems is to do relevant exercises which will also improve sexual function.

    Thousands of men around the world have waved good-bye to worrying about nagging urinary problems with this best natural prostate cure. Theyve rediscovered their sexual health, eliminated poor urination, restored healthy prostate function and rekindled the intimacy they thought was gone forever.

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    What You Can Do

    The best thing to do is** create a bladder diary to log your symptoms**, and bring it to your doctor. If the onset of symptoms is acute or sudden, its less likely to be BPH. Gradual onset of symptoms, and weak or slow urine flow is more likely to be BPH, or related condition. OAB is usually associated with more urinary tract infections, although there is some overlap.

    Dont Wait To Seek Treatment

    At Gulf Coast Urology, we take your urological health very seriously. Thats why were big believers in early intervention and detection. Even though an enlarged prostate is a benign issue, the symptoms can be a pain. Dont worry, you dont need to live with discomfort. If youre experiencing any issues,contact ustoday to schedule an appointment.

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    Is It Hard To Achieve A Prostate Orgasm

    As Lehmiller notes, there is limited research on prostate orgasms, so personal experimentation is important.

    That trial and error process can be time-consuming. Some prostate owners achieve the big O on the first go-around, while others have to have a bit of practice before finding what works, Saynt says. It also doesnt help that some prostate owners feel ashamed or less manly when partaking prostate play: The internalized shame and feelings of inadequacy could cause mental blocks which prevent the free release of the natural sex drugs our brains release when we are at our most heightened sense of pleasure, he says. This fear is a trauma which many men will never get past, making enjoyable and healthy practices like prostate orgasm impossible.

    Thus, its important for partnersespecially vulva-ownersto be supportive. If youre helping your partner achieve a prostate orgasm for the first time, take it slow dont use toys or fingers until your partner is ready, and have frequent conversations with your partner about what they do and do not like. You can even ask them to demonstrate how they masturbate with their prostate.

    How Common Is Bph

    Pre

    BPH is more common when you get older, usually starting after 40 years of age and affecting nearly all men at some time in their lives. Some people dont have any symptoms, even though their prostate has grown larger. BPH usually becomes more of a problem over time, with symptoms getting worse if left untreated.

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    What The Prostate Gland Does

    Deep within your groin area, a gland the size of a pingpong ball rests just below your bladder. In fact, your urethra, the small tube that carries urine from your bladder through and out of your penis, runs through the middle of your prostate gland.

    If your prostate changes shape or size, it squeezes the urethra and hinders the flow of urine. Here are some of the other signs you might notice if your prostate becomes enlarged, also called benign prostatic hyperplasia .

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    How Is Benign Prostate Enlargement Diagnosed

    If your GP suspects that you have an enlarged prostate, you’ll be asked to complete a questionnaire to assess your symptoms.

    Each question has five possible answers that carry a score, and your overall score indicates the severity of your symptoms.

    Your GP will also want to rule out other conditions that cause similar symptoms to prostate enlargement.

    You may have a number of standard tests, such as urine tests, plus some more specific tests, such as a blood test that measures PSA.

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