Enlarged Prostate:  What’s Normal and What’s Not

Enlarged Prostate:  What’s Normal and What’s Not 645d548a2440f.png

Enlarged Prostate:  What’s Normal and What’s Not

One of the most common symptoms of an enlarged prostate is frequent urination.

Unless you’re drinking excessive amounts of water before bed, if you find yourself needing to urinate throughout the night, this could signal that you may be experiencing the effects of benign prostatic hyperplasia, also known as an enlarged prostate.

But what exactly is a prostate? And what does it have to do with urinating?

The prostate is a small gland that is part of the male reproductive system. It is responsible for aiding in the production of fluid that carries sperm from the testicles and helps to push semen through the urethra during ejaculation. The prostate is located below the bladder and in front of the rectum and surrounds part of the urethra.

Typically the prostate is about the size and shape of a walnut, however, as a man ages, it is normal for the prostate to become larger. Though it is normal for the prostate to grow, sometimes this growth can be excessive to the point where it can cause problems with urination.

This growth and its impact on urination are so common, that on average about 8 out of 10 men will eventually experience it. However, only around 30% will find these symptoms to be bothersome enough to consult their doctor.

The growth of the prostate is commonly referred to as benign prostatic hyperplasia or BPH. Unfortunately, BPH can not be prevented, however, just like with the rest of the human body, diet, and lifestyle can definitely play a part in its health.

So what are the signs of an enlarged prostate, and when should an appointment be made with your doctor?

The most obvious sign of prostate enlargement is its impact on urination, especially at night. Some of the other symptoms you may experience are:

Straining to urinate.
Stopping and starting during urination.
Feeling the need to urinate when you don’t actually need to. Inability to empty the bladder completely.

It is important to see your doctor if you have symptoms of BPH, especially if you are under the age of 40. Although it’s fairly uncommon, it is possible for enlarged prostate to lead to serious problems such as bladder or kidney damage. If your symptoms are bothersome, your doctor will work with you to find a treatment that is best. This could be medicine, lifestyle changes, or in more extreme cases, surgery.

The bottom line, an enlarged prostate is common, and it is normal for the prostate to grow with age. However, if you are experiencing any discomfort or symptoms of an enlarged prostate, it is best to see your doctor.

An enlarged prostate is not the same as an infection or inflammation of the prostate, however, some of the symptoms can be similar. So the earlier these issues are detected and treated, the better.

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