As a man, it’s your responsibility to get a regular prostate check. Your friends and family look to you to take care of your health and to stay healthy. After all, they rely on you for quite a few things! Here at the Men’s Vitality Center, we take prostate health very seriously. Prostate care has certainly come a long way in the past few years as medical knowledge continues to grow. What do you know about prostate health?
What is the prostate?
The prostate is the a very small gland, about the size of a walnut, in the man’s body that is part of his reproductive system. It sits right below a man’s bladder and in front of the rectum. The prostate helps make semen for your body. semen is important as it is what transports sperm.
Have you been told that you may have an enlarged prostate?
As you age, your prostate can enlarge over time. Think of it this way, by the time a man is 40, his prostate can enlarge from the size of a walnut to the size of an apricot. By the time you reach the age of 60, it may have increased from the size of an apricot to that of a lemon! Since the prostate surrounds part of the urethra, it can restrict the urethra and cause issues with urination. An enlarged prostate is also often referred to as benign (noncancerous) prostatic hyperplasia or BPH. BPH is common and is difficult to prevent. Over half of men over the age of 50 will develop BPH, while up to 90% (!) of men older than 90 years old will develop the condition.
What are the symptoms of an enlarged prostate?
- Trouble initiating urination
- Having to urinate frequently, particularly at night
- Feeling that the bladder is not empty after urinating
- Feeling a sudden urge to urinate
- Having to stop and start repeatedly while urinating
- Having to strain to urinate
To prevent or manage an enlarged prostate, it’s imperative that if you notice the above symptoms and speak to your doctor at the Men’s Vitality Center immediately.
What types of treatments are available for an enlarged prostate?
- Lifestyle changes. These changes could include less drinking at night and before bedtime, especially those drinks with alcohol in them.
- Watching and waiting. Patients who have an enlarged prostate but do not suffer any of the symptoms may be advised by their doctor to simply continue to get an annual checkup to keep a watchful eye on it.
- Drug therapy. Two common treatments for BPH are alpha-blockers, which alleviate BPH symptoms, and 5 alpha-reductase inhibitors, which help shrink the prostate. Many men take them together.
- Surgery. Surgery is normally a last resort thing used for men who have severe symptoms that have not been helped by other treatments.
Your prostate health is important. Call and schedule an appointment with your medical provider at the Men’s Vitality Clinic today.