Signs Of An Enlarged Prostate
Nearly half of all men in their 50s have an enlarged prostate, and this number rises with age, as 90% of men in the United States over the age of 80 have the problem. The good news is that an enlarged prostate usually doesnt present any serious medical concerns. The bad news is that it can lead to quality-of-life issues thanks to the side effects.
The Most Common Prostate Problem Among Men Over Age 50 This Condition Can Cause Embarrassing Urination Issues
While BPH does not increase your risk of getting prostate cancer or having sexual problems, it can affect quality of life, specifically by causing annoying and embarrassing urination problems.
“Since prostate enlargement happens gradually, men often think more frequent trips to the bathroom are a natural part of aging,” says Dr. Howard LeWine, chief medical editor at Harvard Health Publishing and an assistant professor of medicine at Harvard-affiliated Brigham and Women’s Hospital. “But a little medication can help relieve symptoms, meaning less urinary urgency and fewer nighttime awakenings to use the bathroom.”
What Medications Are Used To In The Treatment Of Bph
Several types of medications have been approved for treatment of urinary symptoms secondary to prostate enlargement. Men with severe symptoms may require treatment with a combination of these medications. Your doctor will determine the optimal combination for your condition:
Alpha-blockers, such as terazosin , prazosin , or doxazosin , relax the muscles in the prostate and thus may relieve symptoms. Newer alpha-blockers, such as tamsulosin , alfuzosin , and silodosin, are more commonly prescribed because they may have fewer side effects.
Tadalafil has recently been approved for the treatment of BPH.
Once your doctor has given you a medical plan, you should stick to it and follow up as recommended. Sometimes men need follow-up with a urologist.
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About Half Of Men Older Than 50 Have An Enlarged Prostate Here Are Some Of The Basic Facts You Need To Know About This Common Condition
As men age, many experience prostate gland enlargement. This condition is known as benign prostatic hyperplasia .
The prostate gland surrounds the urethra, the hollow tube that carries urine out of the body. When the prostate gets bigger, it can squeeze or partially block the urethra, which leads to problems urinating.
BPH is quite common in older men. In fact, the condition impacts about 50% of men between the ages of 51 and 60. For men 80 and older, the prevalence of BPH is approximately 90%, according to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases.
When Prostate Cancer Symptoms Are Not Related To Voiding
Only when prostate cancer metastasizes to the bones and other organs do secondary and systemic symptoms of bone pain, weight loss and fatigue develop.
It is important to remember that the majority of men diagnosed with prostate cancer will die with itnot from it.
Yet early detection and appropriate management will help to achieve the best outcome and quality of life for each individual.
If you are a man of African descent or have a family history of prostate cancer, you should discuss with your physician about the option of screening starting at age 40, explains Dr. Lutz.
Symptoms Of Prostate Cancer
- Frequent urge to pass urine, especially at night
- Weak or interrupted urine stream
- Pain or burning when passing urine
- Blood in the urine or semen
- Painful ejaculation
- Nagging pain in the back, hips, or pelvis
Prostate cancer can spread to the lymph nodes of the pelvis. Or it may spread throughout the body. It tends to spread to the bones. So bone pain, especially in the back, can be a symptom of advanced prostate cancer.
With A Massager Strap
If youre playing with sex toys, you can really mix it up by playing with the different vibration settings, as well as pressure and depth.
- Pressure. Controlling pressure when using a toy is easier, especially when youre playing solo. Try pressing the toy against the prostate using more or less pressure till you find your sweet spot.
- Depth. Depth is another area where toys win out since reaching can make it hard to go deep, if thats what you crave. Try different sized anal toys or get a longer one that you can insert as deep as your bottom desires.
- Vibrations. You can buy prostate massagers that offer up multiple speed and pulse settings. Play with the different settings to find your preference. Up the vibes as you get closer to orgasm.
- Sensation. Some prostate massagers have an attached external stimulator to give your perineum some sweet lovin while the other end penetrates. Who doesnt love a hard worker?
Want a little more?
If your partner has a penis, you can kick things up a notch with penis-in-anus penetration. Prostate stimulation for you, penile stimulation for them and a happy ending for you both.
Different positions can make reaching and pleasuring the prostate easier. These positions work for external and internal prostate stimulation, alone and with a partner.
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What Does A Prostate Orgasm Feel Like
P-spot orgasms are said to feel similar to penile orgasms, only way more intense and felt through the entire body.
There are reports of people having super orgasms, which are a stream of fast, continuous orgasms that cause the body to shudder.
Not everyone ejaculates during a prostate orgasm, but some release a dribble of milky fluid from the urethra.
A little bit of prep can help make the experience a good one whether youre flying solo, or on the giving or receiving end of things.
What Is An Enlarged Prostate
The prostate is a small gland, usually about the size of a walnut, that is situated just below the bladder and above the penis. The urethra passes through the prostate, which produces fluid that is mixed with sperm to create semen. When the prostate enlarges, it places pressure on the bladder and the urethra, which can cause urinary problems.
The prostate is made up of four zones:
- Peripheral zone. The area most easily felt during the standard digital rectal exam and the zone from which prostate cancer tends to develop.
- Transition zone. This surrounds the part of the urethra that passes through the prostate. It enlarges as men age, causing benign prostatic hyperplasia and consequent urinary symptoms.
- Central zone
- Anterior fibromuscular stroma
The prostate can become enlarged for a variety of reasons. The most common are:
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Do I Have An Enlarged Prostate
If youre having trouble urinating, you may have an enlarged prostate. Known as benign prostatic hyperplasia , an enlarged prostate commonly affects men as they age.
An overgrowth of cells in the prostate, a walnut-sized organ that is part of the male reproductive system, can cause it to become enlarged. Because the prostate gland surrounds the urethra, an enlarged prostate can constrict the flow of urine through the urethra.
Almost all men will experience an enlarged prostate as they age. Between the ages of 51 and 60, nearly 50% of men develop an enlarged prostate, with the percentage increasing each year. By age 80, 90 percent of men are likely to experience problems urinating because of an enlarged prostate.
When To Seek Medical Care
A person may have urinary symptoms unrelated to prostatitis that are caused by bladder problems, UTIs, or benign prostatic hyperplasia. Symptoms of prostatitis also can signal more serious conditions, including prostate cancer.
Men with symptoms of prostatitis should see a health care provider.
Men with the following symptoms should seek immediate medical care:
- complete inability to urinate
- great discomfort or pain in the lower abdomen and urinary tract
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The Symptom Overlap From An Enlarged Prostate And Prostate Cancer Are Nearly Identical As Far As Urine
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.
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.
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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.
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 don’t bother them.
The balance of hormones in your body changes as you get older. This may cause your prostate to grow.
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.
When To Seek Medical Advice
See;a GP if you have any of;the symptoms of an enlarged prostate .
Even if the symptoms are mild, they could be caused by a condition that needs to be investigated.
Any;blood in your urine must be investigated by a GP to rule out other more serious conditions.
Page last reviewed: 10 February 2020 Next review due: 10 February 2023
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Soreness In The Groin
When prostate cancer spreads, its common for cancer cells to go to your lymph nodes and then move to more areas of your body. The lymph nodes are a network of glands that help your body filter fluids and fight infections.
There are several lymph nodes in your groin. These are the ones closest to your prostate, so its common for the cancer to spread to them first. Cancer cells prevent your lymph nodes from draining fluid and working properly. When this happens, your lymph nodes swell. As a result, you might experience pain or soreness in the area.
Using Medication To Reduce Symptoms
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It May Be Able To Help Alleviate Symptoms Of An Enlarged Prostate
An enlarged prostate, or benign prostate hyperplasia , is extremely common: in fact, according to the National Kidney and Urological Disease Information Clearinghouse, it is the most common prostate problem for men over 50. Like prostatitis, the most common symptoms are painful urination, urinary retention, and frequent urination.
Often, men with BPH can take alpha blockers to relax their bladder muscles and make it easier for them to urinate, or 5-alpha reductase inhibitors to try to reduce the size of their prostate gland by blocking hormones that contribute to prostate growth. A small 2006 case study found that regular prostate massage combined with such medications can also help alleviate symptoms.
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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What Are The Signs And Symptoms Of An Enlarged Prostate
An enlarged prostate is the most common cause of urinary problems in men as they get older. Possible symptoms include:
- a weak flow when you urinate
- a feeling that your bladder hasnt emptied properly
- difficulty starting to urinate
- dribbling urine after you finish urinating
- needing to urinate more often, especially at night
- a sudden urge to urinate you may sometimes leak before you get to the toilet.
You may not get all of these symptoms, and some men with an enlarged prostate dont get any symptoms at all. These symptoms can also be caused by other things, such as cold weather, anxiety, other health problems, lifestyle factors, and some medicines.;Blood in your urine may be a symptom of an enlarged prostate. But this is rare and is usually caused by something else.;
If you have any of the symptoms above, you should visit your GP to find out what may be causing them.
Surgical Treatment For Enlarged Prostate
Transurethral resection of the prostate . In this surgery, the inner portion of the prostate is removed. Used 90% of the time, this is the most commonly used surgical procedure for BPH.
Open prostatectomy .The surgeon makes an incision and removes the enlarged tissue from the prostate.
Laser surgery –Laser surgery uses laser energy to destroy prostate tissue and shrink the prostate.
Transurethral incision of the prostate .This surgery does not involve removing prostate tissue. A few small cuts are made in the prostate gland to reduce the prostate’s pressure on the urethra, making urination easier.
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It May Be Able To Help Treat Erectile Dysfunction
While there isn’t much scientific literature to definitively prove that prostate massage can improve erectile function, every doctor we spoke to says that it could potentially help.
“The theory behind the potential benefit involves an improvement in blood flow resulting from vigorous milking or massaging of the prostate. Because erections are largely the result of good blood flow, any increase could potentially lead to better boners,” says Joshua R. Gonzalez, MD, who has his own practice in Los Angeles.
Blood In Urine/bladder Stones
A number of factors associated with enlarged prostate can cause blood in the urine: Enlarged veins in the prostate can rupture, or if youre forcing hard to urinate, that can also rupture veins. Blood in the urine can also be a sign of a UTI. Urine retention in your bladder can also cause bladder stones. These occur when urine becomes concentrated and crystallizes. They can be very painful and can further block the flow of urine. However, its unlikely that bladder stones would be the first noticeable symptom of an enlarged prostate, Dr. Linehan says.
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