Symptoms of an Enlarged Prostate

Symptoms of an Enlarged Prostate

The topic of an enlarged is a common topic that people talk about frequently. It is among those things that affect men as they grow older. And you may wonder what the fuss is all about an enlarged prostate.

An enlarged prostate can lead to difficulties for a man in their lower body. There are identifiable signs that can make you know if it is growing bigger. You should, therefore, look out for those signs and go for a check-up before you experience further issues.


What happens when your prostate enlarges?

An enlarged prostate could cause lots of issues for men. can be a big problem for a man. A  prostate gland is found between your bladder and the penis with its size being close to that of a walnut or a tiny plum. As you age, it keeps growing throughout your life and at times its size can get to a little grapevine.

In normal circumstances, it alternates between exiting liquids from your penis and this includes ejaculation as well as urine. This, therefore, means there are pipeworks going through your prostate and the while your prostate grows, it can squash the pipes thus hindering fluid movement through them.

 an illustration of the difference between a normal and an enlarged prostate

What symptoms are there of an enlarged prostate?

It may not be such a big deal for the majority of the men to have an enlarged prostate since its growth is gradual as you grow and a natural process. With some men, it may not be an issue at all. The following are signs you should always look out for.

Popular symptoms you need to look out for are:

  • Having to wake up at night constantly to urinate.
  • Experiencing difficulties while urinating.
  • Reduced and slow flow in urine.
  • Urinating frequently.
  • Having a feeling that you are not done immediately after urinating.
  • The need to push a bit harder so you can urinate.
  • Having Urinary infections
  • Completely being unable to urinate.
  • Being unable to delay the urge to urinate.


In case you experience some or all the above symptoms, seek medical advice immediately. In as much the growth is a natural process and some issues can be treated using antibiotics, it can still be something serious. Prostate massagers can be such a great tool to prevent such illness. They are like anal or dildo vibrators but are completely different in supposed use.


Getting checked up

The method that your doctor uses to examine your prostate gland will usually include a physical examination as well as asking you a couple of questions.  The American Urological Association is the institution that developed these questions. Individuals answer them on a scale rating how each scenario relates to them. Basing on the answers you give, the doctor can then determine how bad your situation is. 

The doctor would then conduct a couple different physical examinations. Your doctor will then usually perform one of a few types of physical examinations. A very popular test is the Digital Rectal Examination and to simplify this, a doctor usually puts a glove on and inserts their finger to in order to get a feeling of your prostate to determine what is up. If in any case, this doesn’t work, they can then go ahead and test your urine as well as your blood to determine if there are infections. 

In case it is affirmed that your prostate is enlarged, further tests can be conducted to determine how bad the situation is as well as the specific cause. Such tests include getting an ultrasound image of your bladder as well as the prostate, studies on the urinary flow as well as the bladder, as well as a cystoscopy which is a small tube used for imaging being inserted into your urethra to get a better look of the prostate.

 illustration of a normal and an enlarged prostate

Treatments for Enlarged Prostate

As soon as the doctor has made a judgment on whether your prostate puts you at risk or not, as well as the exact cause of the issue, they can then select the best treatment method that will suit you.

In some instances, antibiotics may work best though if they do not, further options can be explored.

A good option would be Alpha Blocker Medication.  Initially designed to work for patients with blood pressure by helping them in relaxing the muscles around the prostate as well as the bladder which eases the process of urinating.  Though they do not provide a cure, they are great at alleviating a couple of symptoms. 

5-alpha reductase inhibitors. This is also a great option. Their functionality is very simple. Dihydrotestosterone is a hormone in men that play a key role in the growth of the prostate. These inhibitors lower the levels of dihydrotestosterone and this will also lower the amount of prostate growth that happens in your body.

The two treatments have risks associated with them. You are likely to experience headaches, stomach issues, dizziness, erection issues, reduced libido among other.  It is of paramount importance that the doctor clearly diagnoses you in order for you to get proper treatment, and in order for this to happen, ensure that you are honest with your doctor.  


Last treatments before surgery

In case medication does not work for your prostate, there are other measures that a doctor can take before suggesting surgery. Such can be conducted in a doctor’s office and include shrinking the prostate so as to reduce on the issues. A doctor can try the below 3 therapies.   

  • TUNA (transurethral radiofrequency needle ablation)

The procedure is conducted under local anesthetic. The doctor would insert needles into the prostate and help in transmitting radio waves that would work on heating the tissues. Use of heat usually destroys some tissues in the prostate while making room for passage of urine. 

  • ILT (interstitial laser therapy)

This is also conducted when one is under local anesthetic. The process involves inserting a cystoscope via your urethra while passing a laser fiber via the same to cause a puncture on your prostate.  As soon as the puncture happens, the fiber would then heat up the prostate while destroying tissues as well as shrinking the gland. 

  • TUMT (transurethral microwave therapy)

This may be the only one that is not as painful as the other two because you do not need anesthesia but only topical anesthetic as well as painkillers. It makes use of microwaves to get to areas in the prostate that need to be destroyed.  When this is happening, some specific areas are usually cooled down to avoid them from being destroyed.


Surgery for enlarged prostates

The last option can be surgery, This is not so invasive as it mostly involves an open surgery.

  • Laser Surgery

This takes different forms for shrinking the prostate. Though the methods may be different, the results are similar. The laser behaves as a high energy vaporizer as it destroys some parts of the prostate which would, in turn, allow urine to flow in a normal way.  In some occasions, having a laser surgery would need you to spend a night at the hospital.

  • TUIP (transurethral incision of the prostate)

This is a bit different. It entails small incisions being made to the tissue. The incisions are meant to aid the urethra to start functioning normally, patients are discharged on the same day. 

  • TURP (transurethral resection of the prostate)

It is very popular for patients seeking surgical treatment. The doctor will use an electrical loop for cutting of specific areas of your prostate that may be putting your urethra under pressure. Majority of the doctors recommend this as it is the least invasive method of treatment.  

  • Prostatectomy (Open Prostate Surgery)
This will be the last resort in case all procedures do not work.  This procedure only happens if your prostate is very big and in case the damage is already affecting other parts of the body. The doctor would make an incision into your abdomen as well as the inner layers, the prostate can be removed to help in easing pressure on your urethra. 
In as much as surgery is usually the last option, it also comes with risks. The above surgical treatments potentially have side effects and some you may never snap from.  Popular side effects include urinary issues, erection issues and this can end given time. There is a possibility one can get a retrograde ejaculation which entails ejaculation moving into your bladder instead of out of your body.  This may not be painful though it can cause fertility issues and in this case, it is important to discuss the same with your doctor and especially if you want to have children in the future.
In as much as there are diverse options for treating a prostate and it can be scary, you need not worry a lot. Ensure you get checked by a doctor especially if you experience symptoms listed above.  This will help you to get back to your normal life and with a prostate that is healthy.

Fiona Petree

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