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What Are The Signs Of An Enlarged Prostate

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How Might An Enlarged Prostate Affect My Life

Enlarged Prostate Signs & Symptoms (& Why They Occur)

Having an enlarged prostate affects men in different ways. Some men can manage mild symptoms and dont need treatment. Other men find they need to stay near a toilet. This can make it difficult to work, drive, be outdoors and attend social events. If you need the toilet a lot during the night, this can affect your sleep and make you feel more tired during the day.

Some men with an enlarged prostate find their symptoms improve over time without treatment. But for most, the symptoms will stay the same or slowly start to cause more problems over time unless they have treatment.

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.

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.

Not Sure What To Do Next

If you are still concerned about your prostate problems, why not use healthdirects online Symptom Checker to get advice on when to seek medical attention.

The Symptom Checker guides you to the next appropriate healthcare steps, whether its self care, talking to a health professional, going to a hospital or calling triple zero .

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What Are The Most Common Prostate Problems

The three most common prostate problems are:

Benign prostatic hyperplasia : BPH is the noncancerous enlargement of the prostate. It is the most common problem in men, and it is a part of the normal aging process. Factors like changes in hormone levels and fibrosis may play a role in causing BPH. Fibrosis is the thickening and stiffness of the organ wall.

Prostatitis: Prostatitis is the inflammation of the prostate. Though it can affect men of all ages, it is more common in men younger than 50 years. It is of two types:

Bacterial prostatitis: Bacterial prostatitis can be either acute or chronic. Diagnosis usually involves detecting white blood cells and bacteria in the urine with laboratory urine tests.

  • Acute bacterial prostatitis: The symptoms of acute bacterial prostatitis appear suddenly and usually subside with antibiotic therapy.
  • Chronic bacterial prostatitis: In chronic bacterial prostatitis, the symptoms build up gradually and stay for a couple of weeks.

Chronic prostatitis : Doctors do not know the exact cause of chronic prostatitis. The diagnosis of chronic prostatitis is done when there are symptoms of prostatitis but no signs of infection. Bacteria are absent in urine tests.

Prostate cancer: Prostate cancer is the most common cancer amongst men in America. Having your father or brother with prostatecancer makes you more likely to develop it. High-fat diets also put you at risk for prostate cancer.

Behind An Enlarged Prostate

Symptoms of 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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When To Contact A Medical Professional

  • 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.

How Can It Be Treated

Treatment will depend on the amount of discomfort, overall health, age, and the size of the prostate. Medications are available to moderate symptoms, such as alpha blockers , 5-alpha reductase inhibitors , or Tadalafil . Combination therapy is also sometimes used for alpha blockers and the inhibitors. There are also different types of minimally invasive surgeries available if other methods are effective.

An enlarged prostate is a frustrating condition, but it can be treated. If you have symptoms and need treatment, make an appointment with Drs. Herman, Kester and Urology Center of Florida today to get help.

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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 isn’t painful,” she tells WebMD. “It shouldn’t 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.

Enlarged Prostate Causes Signs And Symptoms

Signs, Symptoms and Treatment of an Enlarged Prostate

Written byMohan GarikiparithiPublished onAugust 10, 2016

Benign prostatic hyperplasia is a non-cancerous enlargement of the prostate. There are two prostate growth periods: one during early puberty and another around the age of 25. As it grows, the gland can press and pinch the urethra, and the bladder walls thicken. Over time, the bladder can become weaker and lose its ability to empty fully. If the urethra continues to narrow and the bladder still cant empty, complications associated with benign prostatic hyperplasia can arise.

Benign prostatic hyperplasia does not increase a mans risk of developing prostate cancer. Prostate cancer begins in the outer peripheral zone and grows outward to invade surrounding tissue. In BPH, the growth moves inward towards the prostates core, causing the urethra to become tighter and making it difficult to urinate.

The growth dynamics of BPH and prostate cancer determines the symptoms. BPH can have annoying symptoms, such as the inability to urinate or releasing a small amount only. Prostate cancer is referred to as a silent killer because its symptoms can take months or years to appear.

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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.

How Do I Know If My Prostate Is Enlarged

If your prostate is enlarged, it may not be a sign of cancer, but it is something that you should discuss with your doctor. Many of the symptoms of an enlarged prostate tend to relate to urination. If you are concerned about an enlarged prostate, here are 7 symptoms to look for:

  • Difficulty starting urination. The enlarged prostate alters the pressure of your bladder to pass urine. This can have damaging effects on your kidneys.
  • Weak urine stream. As the urethra becomes constrained, urine passes at a much slower rate.
  • Urgent need to urinate. You may go from not needing to urinate to suddenly needing to go because of how the bladder gets constrained.
  • Issues with sleeping. Pressure from the enlarged prostate can interfere with nerve signaling in the middle of the night. This leads to you thinking you have to urinate when you dont.
  • Feeling unable to completely empty your bladder. You may not be able to completely empty your bladder, which can lead to Urinary Tract Infections and stone issues.
  • Urinary tract infection. A UTI is caused by the urine that sits in your bladder which you cant fully empty, creating an environment for bacteria to thrive.
  • Bladder stones. The leftover urine in your bladder can also crystallize to create bladder stones.
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    What Are Enlarged Prostate Treatments

    There are a wide variety of strategies for getting that prostate gland back to normal, according to Dr. Ramin. In less severe cases, he notes, it may be enough to limit coffee, tea, and sodacaffeine can stimulate the bladder and increase urinary frequency, which might be putting stress on the prostate.

    In slightly more advanced situations, medications like alpha blockerswhich relax muscles in your bladder and prostate to make peeing easier, and alpha reductase inhibitors, which can shrink prostate growth, may be needed.

    There are also minimally invasive treatment options like microwave therapy, Dr. Ramin says. In other cases, you may need to undergo resection of the prostate through laser therapy.

    For markedly enlarged prostates, patients may need a robotic subtotal prostatectomy procedure.

    The best treatment option really depends on a particular patients symptoms and results of testing, says Dr. Ramin. Not every patient with enlarged prostate is created equal, and not every treatment option is a good option for all patients.

    So talk to your doctor about whats right for you. Just dont ignore the issue: Untreated enlarged prostate can lead to issues like incontinence, blood in your urinedue to inflammation from straining to peeand eventually, youre at risk for kidney damage, says Dr. Ramin.

    What Are The Symptoms Of Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia

    UroLift: New Relief From Enlarged Prostate

    Lower urinary tract symptoms suggestive of benign prostatic hyperplasia may include

    • urinary frequencyurination eight or more times a day
    • urinary urgencythe inability to delay urination
    • trouble starting a urine stream
    • a weak or an interrupted urine stream
    • dribbling at the end of urination
    • nocturiafrequent urination during periods of sleep
    • urinary incontinencethe accidental loss of urine
    • pain after ejaculation or during urination
    • urine that has an unusual color or smell

    Symptoms of benign prostatic hyperplasia most often come from

    • a blocked urethra
    • a bladder that is overworked from trying to pass urine through the blockage

    The size of the prostate does not always determine the severity of the blockage or symptoms. Some men with greatly enlarged prostates have little blockage and few symptoms, while other men who have minimally enlarged prostates have greater blockage and more symptoms. Less than half of all men with benign prostatic hyperplasia have lower urinary tract symptoms.3

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    What Are The Signs Of An Enlarged Prostate

    The most common prostate-related issue for men over 50 is prostate enlargement. Benign Prostate Hyperplasia , or non-cancerous prostate enlargement. By age 85, that number increases to 90%.


    The prostate is approximately the size of a walnut in younger men but it can grow to be much larger when the cells of the prostate gland begin to multiply as they get older. An enlarged prostate can cause no visible symptoms but will eventually impact urinary and erectile functions if not properly treated. Enlargement does not necessarily mean a person has prostate cancer, but the presence of cancerous cells can lead to more inflammation and a more enlarged prostate.


    When a prostate is enlarged, it puts pressure on the urethra causing it to narrow. This requires the bladder to contract more forcefully to push urine through it and out of the body. This additional strain causes the bladder muscle to become stronger, thicker, and more sensitive, making it contract even when it contains small amounts of urine. This is why frequent urination often becomes an issue for older men. Eventually, the bladder is unable to compensate for the narrow urethra so urine can remain in the bladder, and its not completely emptied.

    For many men, disturbing sleep to make annoying trips to the bathroom every night may be the first sign of an enlarged prostate. Other symptoms include:


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    Frequent Or Intense Urges To Urinate

    Your prostate gland wraps around the urethra, the narrow tube where urine passes from the bladder out of the body. So, as it grows in size and restricts urine flow from the bladder, it often causes urinary tract symptoms.

    One common complaint we see with BPH includes frequent and intense urges to urinate. This can occur at any time, but most people notice increased urination at night and often have to empty their bladders several times in a single evening.

    An enlarged prostate can also cause urinary incontinence, or urinary leakage.

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    Diagnosing An Enlarged Prostate

    As with all incontinence conditions, a thorough diagnosis must be developed before action can be taken. You may have heard of some of these exams. And if you havent, now is a good time to familiarize yourself with them. Not only is knowledge power, but it also eliminates surprises.

    Because those with BPH can experience symptoms from mild to severe, the treatment options featured here are organized from least invasive to more intense.

    Understanding Bph Treatment Options

    Real Question: Symptoms of an Enlarged Prostate?

    If youre struggling with the symptoms of an enlarged prostate, the board-certified radiologists at Alate Health can help. Our team offers one of the safest BPH treatments available: prostate artery embolization .

    This outpatient procedure uses X-ray technology and microspheres to block blood supply to your prostate gland. Your Alate Health provider makes a small incision into the arteries that feed the prostate and uses X-ray imagery to place the microspheres accurately.

    PAE does not require general anesthesia, and youre free to return home when your treatment is complete. Recovery takes 1-2 days, and you can expect to notice a quick improvement in your symptoms as the prostate begins to shrink.

    The best part? Over 90% of men who undergo PAE report a dramatic reduction in symptoms, with the vast majority continuing to enjoy the benefits for years to come.

    If youve noticed any of the signs of an enlarged prostate, dont ignore them! Seek help by contacting the Houston, Texas, offices of Alate Health. Call 713-322-7537 to schedule an appointment or request a consultation online now.

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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.

    Symptoms Of Prostate Cancer

    Prostate cancer may not cause any signs or symptoms in its early stages. Signs and symptoms often appear as the tumour grows and causes changes in the body such as changes in bladder habits. Other health conditions can cause the same symptoms as prostate cancer.

    The signs or symptoms of prostate cancer include:

    • more frequent urination , especially at night
    • a strong or sudden urge to urinate
    • difficulty starting the flow of urine
    • weak or slow urine stream
    • interrupted urine stream
    • being unable to empty the bladder completely
    • having difficulty controlling the bladder , which can cause urine to leak and dribble
    • blood in the urine or semen
    • burning or pain during urination
    • discomfort or pain when sitting, caused by an enlarged prostate
    • painful ejaculation
    • trouble getting an erection
    • pain or stiffness in back, hips or pelvis that doesn’t go away
    • fatigue

    In rare cases, prostate cancer can cause paraneoplastic syndrome. This is a group of symptoms including high blood pressure, fatigue and weight loss that may happen when substances released by cancer cells disrupt the normal function of nearby or distant organs or tissues.

    In some cases, prostate cancer can cause serious problems. These cancer-related emergencies are uncommon but need to be treated right away and are usually a sign of advanced cancer:

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