- Men's Health & Wellness
5 Signs Your Prostate Might Be Enlarged
The prostate gland is a walnut sized gland that sits at the base of the urinary bladder in men.
In the younger years, it secretes certain substances that are necessary to keep sperm active and virile. Without the prostate gland, having children would be difficult.
As men get older, the prostate gland becomes larger in size. While a lesser degree of enlargement usually does not cause much bother, the larger it gets, the more problem it can create.
Not just that; an enlarged prostate gland is not always age related but also can be due to cancer.
So if you experience any of the symptoms described below, make sure you seek medical attention to get it looked into.
In the medical world, age related enlargement of the prostate is called benign prostatic hypertrophy.
Signs Your Prostate Might Be Enlarged
Since the prostate gland sits at the base of the bladder, it comes to pass that urinary problems in men are due to an enlarged prostate.
A large prostate can lead to a number of different symptoms. However, there are some markers that you need to look out for that will help you identify this as a problem.
1. Increased Frequency Of Urination
The prostate gland can press upon the bladder like a squeeze toy. Even when the bladder is partly filled with urine, the compression can make a person want to pass urine.
This leads to increased frequency of urination. Some men go to the bathroom every two hours and only pass a little urine at a time.
2. Starting Trouble
Men with large prostate find it difficult to start passing urine. This 'starting trouble' can often be the first sign of the prostate getting bigger.
This is because the prostate presses upon the urethra. This is a tube that allows urine to flow out from the bladder. A narrow urethra makes it difficult to initiate urination.
3. A Thin Urinary Stream
As the urethra is compressed, the urinary stream that emerges during urination seems to be slow and thin. Many men know how their urinary stream looks, and a change in it should prompt the possibility of the prostate being larger than usual.
4. Urinary Infections
Urinary infections are uncommon in men. However, if they do occur, it could be because the bladder is not emptying out fully.
Any urine that remains in the bladder can become infected, leading to urinary tract infections, or UTI.
5. Getting Up In The Night To Pass Urine
It is common for men to get up in the night to pass urine, especially as they get older. But this only occurs once a night in most.
Those with large prostates wake up 5 to 6 times sometimes. This disturbs their sleep greatly and can disrupt their daily activities.
There are many other signs that indicate an enlarged prostate. Even those with prostate cancer can have the same symptoms.
A simple ultrasound scan of the abdomen is sufficient to diagnose an enlarged prostate gland.
The individual will undergo a scan with the bladder full of urine. A calculation of how much urine is present in the bladder will be made. Following this, the patient is asked to pass urine, and the quantity of urine in the bladder is reassessed.
Those with enlarged prostate glands that cause trouble may find that only a small amount of urine has been passed and a large amount still remains in the bladder.
Another test that could help is a blood test. Specifically, a value called PSA or prostate specific antigen will be determined. If the value is markedly elevated, it could indicate cancer of the prostate gland.
In age related enlargements, it could be only mildly increased or even normal.
A large prostate is treated with medicines. These tablets help ease the pressure off the bladder and help urine pass more freely.
However, in some, these medicines are not as effective. In such patients, removal of the prostate gland through laser surgery is recommended.
An enlarged prostate is a common problem in men as they age. It can be easily identified through these 5 signs. Treatments are simple and very effective.
© 2017 Dr Vivek Baliga Bantwal