Understanding Prostate Changes: A Health Guide For Men
Understanding Prostate Changes is a health guide for men. It has information about prostate cancer symptoms, risk factors, and the PSA screening test. Other prostate conditions, such as BPH and prostatitis, are also discussed.
This health guide answers questions you may have about prostate-related conditions:
- What are signs and symptoms of prostate-related conditions and changes?
- What causes these signs and symptoms?
- What lifestyle changes may help men feel better?
- What are risk factors for prostate cancer?
- What do we know about preventing prostate cancer?
- What is the PSA test? What causes PSA levels to rise or fall?
- What medical tests and procedures are used to diagnose and treat prostate conditions?
Also included are tips to help you prepare for your doctors visit, questions to ask your doctor, medical images, and a list of prostate-related organizations and resources.
The information in this booklet was last updated in August 2011.
The prostate gland makes fluid that forms part of semen. The prostate lies just below the bladder in front of the rectum. It surrounds the urethra .
Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men in the United States, after skin cancer. It is the second leading cause of death from cancer in men. Prostate cancer occurs more often in African-American men than in white men. African-American men with prostate cancer are more likely to die from the disease than white men with prostate cancer.
Touching Your Prostate With Your Finger
Why Is Prostate Anatomy Important
There are several reasons why prostate anatomy is important. Firstly, prostate anatomy contributes to the specific functions performed by this gland.
Without its particular location or structure, it would have been more difficult for the prostate to combine its fluids with semen, thus creating sperm. The prostates anatomy also ensures semen can be nourished and protected from acidity which it is exposed to when the semen enters a vagina.
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Type Of Prostate Pain
Prostate pain can be non-specific and often associated with chronic unexplained pelvic pain in men . The presence of urinary symptoms, microorganisms and inflammatory cells in the urine and semen are the only conclusive indication that the pain is associated with the prostate gland.
Prostate pain is often described as discomfort or pain that lies deep to the penis and scrotum although most patients will report that it is not extending to the rectum. The character of the pain can vary significantly with some patients reporting a mild discomfort like the bladder is not completely empty pressure or fullness but not actual pain.
At other times, it may be described as a dull ache or pain that is mild, moderate or severe. The pain may be burning, attacks of sharp or stabbing pain, or a bursting pain similar to an extremely distended bladder. Identifying a prostate condition solely on the location and nature of the pain is difficult and therefore other symptoms have to be noted.
Tissues In The Prostate Gland
There are two types of tissues in the prostate gland. These are the fibromuscular tissues and exocrine glandular tissues.
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What Is Your Prostate And What Does It Do
Your prostate is a small gland that lives inside your body, just below your bladder. It sits around the urethra, which is the tube that carries pee from your bladder through your penis. Only men have a prostate.
Your prostate produces some of the fluids contained in your semen, the liquid that transports sperm. This liquid contains special enzymes and hormones that help your sperm cells function properly, which means the prostate plays a key part in your fertility. The muscles in your prostate also help push semen through your urethra when you ejaculate.
The Benefits Of Prostate Massages
Over the last year several of my clients have shown curiosity about prostate massages, apparently a new hot trend in male sexuality, whether heterosexual, bisexual or homosexual. Several health professionals are recommending prostate massage as a preventive health practice, and some men are reporting it gives them the best orgasms they have ever experienced.
In some Asian countries, prostate massage therapy is widely practised by men to enhance their sexual performance. A side benefit may be the fact Asian men tend to have lower rates of prostate cancer. Historically, men who had many wives or mistresses hired monks or doctors to administer prostate massages to help ensure they could perform sexually.
Prostate massage: the secret to a better love life?
The prostate is a walnut-sized gland located between the bladder and the penis in front of the rectum. The urethra runs through the centre of the prostate, from the bladder to the penis, letting urine flow out of the body. The prostate secretes fluid that nourishes and protects sperm. During ejaculation it squeezes this fluid into the urethra and it is expelled with sperm as semen.
So why is regular prostate massage healthy and what are the benefits?
It helps eliminate the build-up of prostatic fluid in the prostate gland ducts, which can lead to prostatitis, a painful inflammation of the prostate.
It may be helpful in minimising painful ejaculation.
Matty Silver is a relationship counsellor and sex therapist
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How The Giver Should Prepare
If youre the one planning to do the fingering, there are some things youll need to do in preparation. The simple, but most important ones are to make sure your nails are trimmed and youre not wearing any jewellery, like rings. This is not just for your benefit but for theirs too.
The anus needs a little more care than fingering a vagina. This is because, although its perfectly safe to explore anal play, the lining of the anus is more delicate and susceptible to injury. Trimming nails and removing jewellery reduces the risk of internal scratches.
Also, check your fingers over to make sure you dont have any scratches or cuts, yourself. Even with proper prep, all sex involves a transfer of bacteria, and this is even more likely with anal play. Trust me, you really dont want to get anything nasty in an open wound.
Some people also like to create a barrier between their finger and their partners anus by using a condom or a small latex sheath called a finger cot. It is by no means necessary to do this, but it can be beneficial for a few reasons.
Firstly, if the giver does have a cut on their hand, this is a great way of protecting it from any nasties. Secondly, youre going to need a long-lasting lube for this sort of play as the anus doesnt self-lubricate like a vagina. The best lubricant to use is a thick water-based anal lube, but this can begin to absorb into your skin as you play, which leads to needing to stop to apply more lube.
Take Baby Steps Staring With The Perineum
Before going in, start with a gentle external massage on your perineum , which is located between the testicles and anus. The perineum is a highly sensitive yet often overlooked erogenous zone.
“Take some time on your own to get to know your body. Lay on your back with your butt under a pillow, tilting your hips up for easy access. Start with massaging your perineum with your hand or fingers. Apply lube to your finger and rub your anus externally to stimulate the nerve endings,” says Chris.
If Youre The Receiving Partner
Youll want to be as relaxed and aroused as possible, because itll make the experience easier and more enjoyable.
The whole poop-comes-out-of-the-butt thing gives some people a case of the heebie-jeebies even when its their own butt.
Remedy this by taking a shower and paying a little extra attention back there to get it squeaky clean. Some people like to use an enema before engaging in butt play, but it isnt necessary.
Use the bathroom before getting started. Prostate stimulation can make you feel like you need to pee, and anal penetration can cause the sensation of needing to poop.
Even though you wont actually do either, worrying that you might can interfere with your ability to let go and enjoy yourself. Knowing your bladder and bowels are empty can help.
Getting used to the sensation of having your prostate touched can help, too. Practice with an anal sex toy, like a butt plug, or your fingers.
Be sure to set the mood so that youre turned on and primed for action. Light candles, watch porn, or engage in some good old-fashioned masturbation or foreplay to get there.
Finally, be sure to lube up real good. Applying a water-based lubricant will allow for easier penetration and make for some easy gliding if stimulating your prostate externally.
Understanding Changes In Prostate Function
Its normal for the prostate to grow in size throughout a mans life. The prostate goes through two main growth periods, the first of which happens early in puberty when the prostate doubles in size. The second growth phase usually starts around age 25 and continues throughout most of a mans life .
Many men report needing to get up to pee more often during the night than they did when they were younger, and a lot of the time, an increase in the size of the prostate is the cause of their nighttime urination, also known as nocturia.
A growing prostate can cause various urinary problems . Some of these will be manageable, while others can take a real toll on your quality of life. Regardless of how common lower urinary tract symptoms are, its a good idea to discuss them with your healthcare provider since there are many treatments available to alleviate your symptoms.
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Questions To Ask The Doctor
- What treatment do you think is best for me?
- Whats the goal of this treatment? Do you think it could cure the cancer?
- Will treatment include surgery? If so, who will do the surgery?
- What will the surgery be like?
- Will I need other types of treatment, too?
- Whats the goal of these treatments?
- What side effects could I have from these treatments?
- What can I do about side effects that I might have?
- Is there a clinical trial that might be right for me?
- What about special vitamins or diets that friends tell me about? How will I know if they are safe?
- How soon do I need to start treatment?
- What should I do to be ready for treatment?
- Is there anything I can do to help the treatment work better?
- Whats the next step?
Why Erectile Dysfunction May Result From Prostate Disease
In the past, it was thought that most cases of erectile dysfunction were psychological in origin, the result of such demons as performance anxiety or more generalized stress. While these factors can cause erectile dysfunction, doctors now think that 70% of the time the problem can be traced to a physical condition that restricts blood flow, hampers nerve functioning, or both. Such conditions include diabetes, kidney disease, multiple sclerosis, atherosclerosis, vascular disease, and alcoholism.
However, some types of prostate disease and treatments may also be responsible.
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Where Is The Prostate Gland
The prostate gland is located in male reproductive systems its a little organ about the size of a walnut. It is located below the bladder, where it surrounds the urethra and rests in front of the rectum.
The prostate gland is mainly composed of soft tissue and is branched with multiple ducts. Its cells are located inside the ducts, which secreteseminal fluid.
Four important zones divide the organ:
- The anterior fibromuscular zone is only made of muscular and fibrous tissue there are no ducts in this area.
- The peripheral zone contains a majority of the ducts. It is the closest side of the prostate to the rectum. It can be felt during a digital rectal exam , in which a doctor will insert a finger in the anus to enable palpation of the prostate gland.
- The central zone is the portion of the prostate which surrounds the urethra . It contains ejaculatory ducts that emanate from the seminal vesicles.
- The transition zone is located around the prostaticurethra. It is the primary area that expands with age and causes prostate problems, such as benign prostatic hyperplasia or benign prostatic hypertrophy.
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Symptomatic treatment of an enlarged prostate usually involves a combination of medication and lifestyle changes. A diet rich in fruits and vegetables may be the best option if you suffer from chronic urination. It will help the body adjust to the increased size of the prostate. Also, taking regular urination intervals will help retrain the bladder to function properly. Inactivity also contributes to urine retention, and cold temperatures can increase the urge to urinate.
Invasive treatment of enlarged prostate includes medication that relieves the pressure on the urethra and bladder. However, if the condition is severe, it may require surgical intervention. If treatment is not successful, the enlarged prostate can become a potentially life-threatening disease. As the hormone levels in the body change, the enlarged prostate can lead to various complications, including urinary retention and even cancer. This is why it is critical to see a doctor for further evaluation.
A physician can recommend a number of treatments to address an enlarged prostate. An enlarged prostate will require surgery to relieve the symptoms. In most cases, surgical treatment for an enlargement of the penis is enough. Moreover, a doctor may recommend a course of treatment based on symptoms. A TURP procedure is not painful and requires less recovery time than open surgery. The recovery period will be shorter and less traumatic.
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How Is Anatomic Imaging Of The Prostate Performed
Anatomic imaging of the prostate refers to certain imaging tests being used as a diagnostic tool. These tests are sometimes preferred when the Gleason score returns a suspicious result.
Other tests, such as a PSA test, may also be considered suspicious when levels of the compound are abnormally high.
Magnetic resonance imaging, or MRI, forms as one of the critical elements in prostate anatomic imaging. Scientific papers explain that MRI is one particularly important tool to help with the recognition of prostate cancer5. This is not the only condition that the use of these imaging tests is able to identify.
An endorectal coil will be used when imaging tests are performed from the rectum of the patient. This is an important process in many cases. When a rectal route is chosen to assist with imaging tests, a more transparent overview of the prostate gland can be obtained.
This is because the prostate gland sits in front of the rectum. In such a case, the imaging test may be referred to as a prostate MRI. Other tests can also be performed through this route including an ultrasound.
What Does The Prostate Gland Actually Do
The prostate gland isnt essential for life, but it is vital for reproduction and is part of the male reproductive system.
The rest of semen is composed of sperm cells from the testicles, fluid from the seminal vesicles, and secretions from the pea-sized bulbourethral gland.
The prostatic fluid contains substances that are important to the functioning and survival of sperm cells, such as the enzyme prostate-specific antigen , which thins or loosens up semen, helping the tadpole-like sperm cells swim freely to reach the egg.
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