How Your Doctor Can Help
If you have one or more of these symptoms, its important to talk with your doctor about a treatment plan. Treatments for BPH include medication, minimally invasive therapies, and surgery. You can also try lifestyle changes to control symptoms. And sometimes the symptoms get better even without treatment, according to the Mayo Clinic. The best news? Although they can produce similar symptoms, enlarged prostate has no connection to prostate cancer.
Identifying Potential Prostate Problems
Sign : Hesitancy To Start Urinating
It sometimes happens. You go to urinate, and nothing comes out immediately. However, if it occurs regularly, something might be amiss.
When the prostate pushes too much against the urethra, the narrowed tube can prevent you from even starting. You stand there ready, yet it takes a while to get going. This is particularly frustrating if it has happened when youve urgently wanted to go.
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How Does An Enlarged Prostate Affect Your Life
The prostate is a walnut-sized gland just in front of the rectum. It surrounds the urethra and produces fluid that contains sperm during ejaculation. As men age, its common for their prostate to become enlarged. This doesnt mean you have cancer. An enlarged prostate doesnt even raise your risk of having prostate cancer. Its actually a condition calledbenign prostatic hyperplasia or BPH.
Our doctors at Gulf Coast Urology are experts in managing this condition. Its not fatal, but it can be uncomfortable and inconvenient. Read on to find out the best treatment options for your enlarged prostate.
When Should You Call A Doctor For Bph
Urinary symptoms related to enlarging prostate initially affect the quality of life, and if no complications exist, as mentioned above , the decision to treat is optional and is left to the patient. This means that if you dont feel bothered enough to take a medicine or undergo a procedure for it, youll need to follow up with your doctor to ensure the symptoms are stable, and the bladder empties well. This can be assessed by prostate symptom questionnaires and a measure of the strength of the urinary stream and residual urine in the bladder. If complications develop, however, or if the bladder starts holding increasing amounts of residual urine after urination, treatment should be started.
If you experience bladder pain or burning with urination, blood in the urine associated with fever/chills or nausea/vomiting, or if the prostate enlargement condition worsens and symptoms such as blood in the urine or lower back pain are present, consult a doctor immediately. If you cannot reach your doctor when these symptoms are present, seek evaluation at a hospitals emergency department.
For acute symptoms such as acute urinary retention , you should immediately go to the closest emergency medical facility for bladder drainage, usually with a catheter, which is a tube inserted into the bladder.
Men over 50 years of age should have their prostate checked annually by their physician even if they have no symptoms.
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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
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:
- 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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Remedies For An Enlarged Prostate
Even if you have an enlarged prostate, that does not mean you must live with the symptoms for the rest of your life. Your doctor might advise one of several approaches to coping with BPH, including lifestyle changes, medication changes, and other treatments. The remedies and treatments available will depend on your own health situation and how disruptive the symptoms have become.
Get Sufficient Exercise
Exercise can improve with your overall fitness, as well as benefit your prostate health. Studies have shown a connection between increased physical activity and reduced risk of BPH, with exercise of any type having some degree of benefit.
Seated activities, such cycling, can put pressure on the perineum and groin. This can lead to numbness or pinched nerves. To avoid these issues, make sure you utilize a wide seat and engage in a variety of activity types.
You can also try Kegel exercises to strengthen your pelvic muscles and reduce urine dribbling. To do these exercises, squeeze the muscles that affect urine flow and then release, repeating several times to train the muscles.
When you head to the bathroom, make sure you slow down. When you relax your muscles and leave time to account for delayed urine and possible dribbling, you’re much more likely to completely empty your bladder. Urine that remains in the bladder because of an enlarged prostate can lead to urinary tract infections or painful bladder stones.
Reduce Caffeine and Alcohol Consumption
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At the start, prostate cancer does not cause symptoms. As the cancer grows, you may have trouble urinating. Some men need to urinate often, especially at night. Others have pain or burning during urination, blood in the urine or semen, pain in the back, hips, or pelvis, and painful ejaculation.
To find out if these symptoms are caused by prostate cancer, your doctor will ask about your past medical problems and your family’s medical history. He or she will perform a physical exam. During the exam, your doctor will put a gloved finger into your rectum to feel your prostate for hard or lumpy areas.
Your doctor may also do a blood test to check the prostate-specific antigen level. PSA levels can be high in men with an enlarged prostate gland or with prostate cancer. You may also need an ultrasound exam that takes computer pictures of the prostate.
If tests show that you might have cancer, your doctor will want to confirm this with a biopsy. He or she will take out tiny pieces of the prostate to look for cancer cells. Your doctor may want to do a biopsy again to re-check the results.
Treatment for prostate cancer depends on whether cancer is in part or all of the prostate or if it has spread to other parts of the body. It also depends on your age and overall health. Talk with your doctor about the best treatment choice for you. You may want to ask another doctor for a second opinion.
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What Is A Prostate Infection
A prostate infection occurs when your prostate and the surrounding area become inflamed. The prostate is about the size of a walnut. Its located between the bladder and the base of the penis. The tube that moves urine from the bladder to the penis runs through the center of your prostate. The urethra also moves semen from the sex glands to the penis.
Several types of infections can affect the prostate. Some men with prostatitis experience no symptoms at all, while others report many, including intense pain.
Touching Your Prostate With Your Finger
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What Other Problems Might An Enlarged Prostate Cause
A small number of men may find it difficult to empty their bladder properly this is called urine retention. If youve been diagnosed with an enlarged prostate, your doctor will look at your test results to see if youre at risk of urine retention. You may be more likely to get urine retention if:
- youre aged 70 or over
- your prostate is very large
- you have a raised prostate specific antigen level
- you have severe urinary symptoms and a very slow flow.
Chronic urine retention
This is where you cant empty your bladder fully, but can still urinate a little. It usually develops slowly over time. Chronic means long-lasting. The first signs often include a weak flow when you urinate, or leaking urine at night. You may feel that your abdomen is swollen, or that youre not emptying your bladder fully.
Chronic urine retention is usually painless. But the pressure of the urine can slowly stretch your bladder muscle and make it weaker. This can cause urine to be left behind in the bladder when you urinate. If you dont empty your bladder fully, you might get a urine infection, need to urinate more often, leak urine at night, or get painful bladder stones. You might also see some blood in your urine. Chronic urine retention can damage your bladder and kidneys if it isnt treated.
There are treatments for chronic urine retention, including:
- passing a thin, flexible tube called a catheter to drain urine from your bladder
- surgery to widen the urethra.
Acute urine retention
Minimally Invasive Treatments For An Enlarged Prostate
When medications don’t help your enlarged prostate, several procedures can relieve symptoms — without surgery. They are performed in a doctor’s office. “These procedures use various types of heat energy to shrink a portion of the prostate,” explains Westney. “They are very effective.”
TUMT : This therapy for mild to moderate blockage reduces urinary frequency, urgency, straining, and intermittent flow — but does not correct any bladder-emptying problems. In this procedure, computer-regulated microwaves are used to heat portions within the prostate to destroy select tissue. A cooling system protects the wall of the urethra during the procedure. TUMT is performed in a doctor’s office and requires only topical anesthesia and pain medications.
Possible side effects include painful urination for several weeks. Temporary urgency and frequency of urination is also possible. There may be less semen ejaculated. Many men must have this procedure repeated, either because symptoms return or do not improve.
TUNA : This procedure also destroys prostate tissue to improve urine flow and relieve symptoms. It involves heating the tissue with high-frequency radiowaves transmitted by needles inserted directly into the prostate . The procedure does not require a hospital stay. Possible side effects include painful, urgent, or frequent urination for a few weeks.
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Sign : Stop And Start Urination
Typically, the flow of urine should be smooth and steady. But when the prostate is too big, urine could come out in interrupted spurts. You urinate a little and then it stops, even though you know theres more.
We know how bothersome this is. Be careful not to force out the remaining urine as you might strain the various muscles in the pelvic area.
Providing Your Medical History
At first, the doctor will probably ask you about your medical history. Do you have any chronic illnesses? What illnesses and operations have you had in the past? What medications are you taking, if any? Your doctor is also likely to ask about your psychological well-being and lifestyle: Do you suffer from depression? Are you under a lot of stress? Do you drink alcohol? Smoke? Use illegal drugs? Have you felt a loss of affection for your partner? Have you recently grown interested in a new partner?
As part of this health history, be prepared to tell your doctor specific details about the symptoms that brought you to the office and when they began. Your doctor might want to know how often you had sex before the problem started and if there have been weeks or months in the past when youve had erectile dysfunction. Your doctor may conduct a written or verbal screening test.
If the cause is clear a recent operation for prostate cancer, for example the conversation may move directly to your treatment options. Otherwise, you may need to answer more questions to help the doctor narrow down the possible causes and avoid unnecessary testing.
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What Is Bph And How Does It Affect Me
The prostate gland surrounds the urethra and assists in reproduction. As a man ages, the prostate gets larger and begins to put pressure on the bladder and urethra, causing uncomfortable symptoms. It may be responsible for blocking the flow of urine out of the bladder, and can cause issues in the bladder, urinary tract, or kidneys.
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.
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What Is An Enlarged Prostate
Your prostate gland is located underneath your bladder and urethra. When you pee, your bladder pushes its contents into the prostate and then into the urethra, the tube through which urine exits your body.
The opening within the prostate acts as a continence mechanism, says Dr. Ramin, so you only pee when you want to. Without your prostate, youd likely be dealing with urine leaking out of the bladder and incontinence issues.
What Are The Symptoms Of Prostate Problems
- Frequent urge to urinate
- Frequent pain or stiffness in lower back, hips, pelvic or rectal area, or upper thighs
See your doctor right away if you have any of these symptoms.
Treatment for An Enlarged Prostate
Avoiding the symptoms of an enlarged prostate can cause further complications later on. Untreated BPH can cause urinary tract infections, incontinence, urinary retention , and kidney stones. Treatment options for an enlarged prostate include medications and surgery. After your consultation, your urologist can make a diagnosis and give you treatment options, based on these factors:
- How your symptoms interfere with your everyday life
- The size of your prostate
- Overall health
- Other medical conditions
To learn more about how to treat your enlarged prostate call Charlotte Mens Health at 786-5131 to request an appointment, or request one online.
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Tips For Coping With An Enlarged Prostate
When a man reaches about age 25, his prostate begins to grow. This natural growth is called benign prostatic hyperplasia and it is the most common cause of prostate enlargement. BPH is a benign condition that does not lead to prostate cancer, though the two problems can coexist.
Although 50% to 60% of men with BPH may never develop any symptoms, others find that BPH can make life miserable. The symptoms of BPH include:
- a hesitant, interrupted, weak urine stream
- urgency, leaking, or dribbling
- a sense of incomplete emptying
- more frequent urination, especially at night.
As a result, many men seek treatment. The good news is that treatments are constantly being improved. Patients and their physicians now have more medications to choose from, so if one doesn’t do the trick, another can be prescribed. And thanks to some refinements, surgical treatments are more effective and have fewer side effects than ever before.
But there are some things men dealing with BPH can do on their own. When symptoms are not particularly bothersome, watchful waiting may be the best way to proceed. This involves regular monitoring to make sure complications aren’t developing, but no treatment. For more troubling symptoms, most doctors begin by recommending a combination of lifestyle changes and medication. Often this will be enough to relieve the worst symptoms and prevent the need for surgery