What Happens During A Rectal Examination
First, you’ll be asked to undress from the waist down. If you’re wearing a loose skirt, you can usually just remove your underwear.
Let the doctor or nurse know if you’d like to get changed behind a curtain or be alone in the room.
The doctor or nurse will:
If you’re a man, the doctor or nurse may press on your prostate. This can make you feel the urge to pee, but it should not hurt.
Once you’re dressed, they’ll discuss the results of the examination with you.
Page last reviewed: 23 December 2020 Next review due: 23 December 2023
How To Locate Your Prostate
This article was medically reviewed by Erik Kramer, DO, MPH. Dr. Erik Kramer is a Primary Care Physician at the University of Colorado, specializing in internal medicine, diabetes, and weight management. He received his Doctorate in Osteopathic Medicine from the Touro University Nevada College of Osteopathic Medicine in 2012. Dr. Kramer is a Diplomate of the American Board of Obesity Medicine and is board certified.There are 11 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page. This article has been viewed 140,179 times.
The prostate is a walnut-sized organ in males that plays a major role in the production of semen. The easiest way to access the prostate is by way of an index finger carefully inserted into the rectum. The processes for accessing the prostate as part of a medical exam or for sexual pleasure are the same, and the same precautions should be taken. You should also keep an eye out for signs of potential prostate problems and contact your doctor as needed.
How Does A Person Prepare To Receive A Prostate Massage
One quick FYI is that prostate massages can make people feel like they have to pee, so the person having their prostate massaged should probably empty their bladder beforehand. Then you and your partner should take deep breaths. Deep breathing activates the bodys relaxation responsewhich is good for everyone involvedand a relaxed anal sphincter is a happy anal sphincter . Keep in mind that the more relaxed and turned on one is, the more comfort and pleasure theyre likely to experience.
Another thing to remember: The physical position may make receiving a prostate massage feel better or more feasible. Its not a guarantee, but some people find that being on top makes anal penetration easier, SELF previously reported. Your partner can kneel with your hand between their legs, for instance. With that said, it will likely take some experimentation to figure out which position feels best for the person receiving a prostate massage.
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Routine Tests For All
There are some examinations that everyone should undergo on an annual basis. Depending on the specific markers and symptoms you may be exhibiting, having a year to year baseline to compare your numbers to can be of great benefit to getting to the root of any medical problems. The routine tests everyone should undergo include:
Yearly screenings, even when you feel healthy are crucial to assessing our risk for future problems, can encourage a healthier lifestyle, allows you to build a relationship with your healthcare provider, update any vaccinations and of course, screen for any health issues you may be having at the moment.
Depending on whether you are male or female, there may be additional tests that you should also undergo.
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What Are Additional Tests For Detecting Prostate Problems
If the DRE or the PSA blood test indicates a problem may exist, the health care provider may order additional tests, including urinalysis, urodynamic tests, cystoscopy, abdominal ultrasound, transrectal ultrasound with prostate biopsy, and imaging studies such as magnetic resonance imaging or computerized tomography scan.
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Is Going To The Bathroom Frequently A Sign Of Prostate Cancer
Thats one of the challenging things; having urinary symptoms is very rarelyalmost nevera sign of prostate cancer. Having urinary symptoms means you should probably be evaluated for an enlarged prostate, also known as;benign prostatic hyperplasia . We can treat your urinary symptoms and help you pee better.;
If urinary symptoms bring men to the doctor, we can discuss screening for prostate cancer. Thats important because not all men will go to a doctor until theres something wrong with them. And prostate cancer screening really is the only way to detect prostate cancer, because its almost always asymptomatic.;
Okay Exactly What And Where Is The Prostate
The prostate is a walnut-size gland nestled deep inside the male pelvis, and it helps produce semen and nourish it with important substances, Hong, M.D., a urologist in Phoenix, tells SELF. Cisgender women dont have prostates. But for the folks who do have them, the prostate is made up of tissue known as stroma, secretory glands that produce semen ingredients, and muscle fibers. Its located right in front of the bladderthe ducts in the prostate gland actually flow into the urethra, which is why prostate issues can affect urinary function. For example, if someone has an enlarged prostate , they might find that they have a more frequent urge to pee, among other symptoms, the Mayo Clinic explains.
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American Cancer Society Recommendations For Prostate Cancer Early Detection
The American Cancer Society recommends that men have a chance to make an informed decision with their health care provider about whether to be screened for prostate cancer. The decision should be made after getting information about the uncertainties, risks, and potential benefits of prostate cancer screening. Men should not be screened unless they have received this information. The discussion about screening should take place at:
- Age 50 for men who are at average risk of prostate cancer and are expected to live at least 10 more years.
- Age 45 for men at high risk of developing prostate cancer. This includes African Americans and men who have a first-degree relative diagnosed with prostate cancer at an early age .
- Age 40 for men at even higher risk .
After this discussion, men who want to be screened should get the prostate-specific antigen blood test. The digital rectal exam may also be done as a part of screening.
If, after this discussion, a man is unable to decide if testing is right for him, the screening decision can be made by the health care provider, who should take into account the mans general health preferences and values.
If no prostate cancer is found as a result of screening, the time between future screenings depends on the results of the PSA blood test:
- Men who choose to be tested who have a PSA of less than 2.5 ng/mL may only need to be retested every 2 years.
- Screening should be done yearly for men whose PSA level is 2.5 ng/mL or higher.
How To Do A Prostate Massage
If performing prostate massage for sexual purposes, it often helps to achieve a state of arousal first. Doing so moves the gland into a slightly upward and backward position as the penis becomes erect.
At that point:
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What Is A Digital Rectal Exam
The most common way for doctors to check on the health of your prostate is with a DRE. Its a fairly quick and simple procedure.
For the exam, youll bend at the waist while standing or lie on your side with your knees bent toward your chest.
Your doctor will lubricate a gloved finger and gently place it inside your rectum. Theyll press one hand on your prostate, and their other hand will feel your pelvic area. It should only take a few moments.
You may experience momentary discomfort. You may also feel the urge to urinate, especially if your prostate is enlarged or inflamed.
Your doctor will be able to tell you if your prostate seems to be a normal size and shape. In general, a DRE has no risks.
What Happens During A Prostate Exam
If youve never had a DRE before, you may be concerned about what happens during a prostate exam and what it feels like. Dont worryit is not a painful experience.
Before performing a prostate exam, your healthcare provider will ask you to remove your clothes from the waist down and will provide you with a gown to wear. During the DRE, you will stand and bend at the waist or lie on your side with your knees bent. Your healthcare provider will apply lubricant to a gloved finger, gently insert it into your rectum, and sweep their finger along the wall of the rectumthis allows them to feel any abnormalities in the prostate.;
Your provider may press down on your lower abdomen during this process, potentially causing mild discomfort and the urge to urinatethis is normal. The good news is these sensations only last a few minutes.;
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Ways To Perform Self Prostate Exam For Most Common Prostate Diseases
How do you perform self prostate exam? Do you know that you have got a problem with your penis? The answer is not very clear.
You can insert your finger, as described in my own page of self prostate massage, you may have some ideas, but not sure. It should be soft and not hard, painless soft touch, and feel smooth without caking. Make sure you use gloves and lubricate to make insertion easier. To be gentle!
DRE or digital rectal examination by a trained urologist will provide you with the information you need. He would be very hesitant if he wants to do a biopsy. This is because the procedure has a lot of risks. He may underestimate the path of the invasion including the act if he finds the slightest sign of cancer.
Due to prostate disease symptoms often have no specificity, which means that prostate disease is difficult to distinguish only from the symptoms. So when you have these symptoms, you should also check through many other exams to finally determine whether it is really a prostate disease. It is best to get aids from professional hospitals as soon as possible to find a solution. Urinary problems can warn male urinary system, including many organs, such as lower urinary tract, the bladder, prostate and urethra, they have;directly relations to the appearance of urinary symptoms.
How Are Prostate Problems Diagnosed
To diagnose prostate problems, the health care provider will perform a digital rectal exam . The health care provider will also ask the patient
- when the problem began and how often it occurs
- what symptoms are present
- whether he has a history of recurrent urinary tract infections
- what medications he takes, both prescription and those bought over the counter
- the amount of fluid he typically drinks each day
- whether he consumes caffeine and alcohol
- about his general medical history, including any major illnesses or surgeries
Answers to these questions will help the health care provider identify the problem or determine what medical tests are needed. Diagnosing BPH may require a series of medical exams and tests.
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Symptoms And Characteristics Of Prostatitis
From the clinical symptoms it can be seen that the main symptoms of prostatitis are shown at somewhere else. That is, many symptoms are outside the lesion. So for the initial patients who are suffering from the disease, it is most likely to delay the disease and the best timing of treatment. We can conclude them into the following three categories:
1, Symptoms of prostate pain
The pain mainly appears at the back, perineum, lower abdomen, bilateral inguinal area, testes, anus, etc. A slight pain and a feeling of bulge discomfort. In the clinical we found that some young patients, due to abdominal pain which we should get into deeply investigation, but in the end doctors treat it as gastroenteritis. This will ultimately be invalid and even delay the treatment of the disease.
2, Urinary tract symptoms
The symptoms mainly show as dysuria, such as hard voiding, prolonged voiding, unclean urination, thinner urine, urine interruption, or even a bit like droplets or urination dysfunction. Some of these patients were found to have mild bladder irritation symptoms. And they have received treatment according to urinary tract infection with long-term ineffectively. What is more, it will also delay the best time for treatment.
3, Sexual dysfunction symptoms
How Do Men Feel About The Rectal Exam
I think most men are willing to do it, but some men are exceptionally opposed to it. They might be happy to hear that there are studies ongoing in the United Kingdom looking at using magnetic resonance imaging as a screening tool to be able to avoid doing a digital rectal exam in the future. There is a large African immigrant population in London with a higher incidence of prostate cancerthey didnt want to have the prostate exam because they had a lot of opposition to it. They were uncomfortable with it.;
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Special Types Of Psa Tests
The PSA level from a screening test is sometimes referred to as total PSA, because it includes the different forms of PSA . If you decide to get a PSA screening test and the result isnt normal, some doctors might consider using different types of PSA tests to help decide if you need a prostate biopsy, although not all doctors agree on how to use these tests. If your PSA test result isnt normal, ask your doctor to discuss your cancer risk and your need for further tests.
Percent-free PSA: PSA occurs in 2 major forms in the blood. One form is attached to blood proteins, while the other circulates free . The percent-free PSA is the ratio of how much PSA circulates free compared to the total PSA level. The percentage of free PSA is lower in men who have prostate cancer than in men who do not.
If your PSA test result is in the borderline range , the percent-free PSA might be used to help decide if you should have a prostate biopsy. A lower percent-free PSA means that your chance of having prostate cancer is higher and you should probably have a biopsy.
Many doctors recommend a prostate biopsy for men whose percent-free PSA is 10% or less, and advise that men consider a biopsy if it is between 10% and 25%. Using these cutoffs detects most cancers and helps some men avoid unnecessary biopsies. This test is widely used, but not all doctors agree that 25% is the best cutoff point to decide on a biopsy, and the cutoff may change depending on the overall PSA level.
Preparing For A Prostate Exam
If you decide to get a prostate cancer screening, your doctor will likely order a blood test, so inform the person drawing your blood if youre prone to dizziness.
Your doctor may ask you to sign a consent form before performing a cancer screening.
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What Happens During A Dre
The DRE will take place in a private exam room at your doctor’s office. The test only takes a few minutes. You will need to take off any clothes below your waist. You will be given a gown to wear or a cloth to wrap around your body.
For men. The doctor will ask you to stand and bend forward at the waist or they will ask you to lie on your side on an exam table with knees pulled up to your chest. As they start the DRE, the doctor may ask you to relax and take a deep breath. Then they will gently insert a lubricated, gloved finger into your rectum. The doctor will feel the size of your prostate gland. They will also feel for bumps, soft or hard spots, or other abnormal areas. The doctor will also examine the wall of your lower colon and rectum.
For women. The doctor will usually ask you to lie on your back on an exam table. Your feet will be in raised stirrups. The doctor may ask you to relax and take a deep breath as they start the DRE. Then they will gently insert a lubricated, gloved finger into your rectum. The goal is to feel your reproductive organs and the bowel. The doctor may also feel for problems in your internal organs. They do this by pressing on your lower abdomen or pelvic area with their other hand.
A DRE usually does not hurt, but you may be uncomfortable. You may also feel the need to urinate. If a man’s prostate is enlarged, there may be some discomfort or mild pain during the exam.