Enlarged Prostates (Symptoms and Treatment)

Male doctor

The prostate is a very important gland. It only exists in men’s bodies, and it serves an essential function. The prostate works to produce a portion of the fluid that makes up semen, the fluid which is released during sexual activity. Without the prostate, not only would semen not be produced, but it also couldn’t be properly released, as the muscles in the prostate are what expel it during ejaculation.

However, the prostate gland is also very susceptible to becoming enlarged. This is an issue because it can affect sexual function, cause problems with urination, and can even lead to cancer. Thus, it’s very important to make sure you’re caring for your prostate health. 

There are many natural ways that you can work to keep your prostate healthy, such as taking certain supplements such as Prostate911, eating healthy foods, and exercising. However, remember that before you start taking anything or change your diet, it’s always important to first consult with your doctor. 

Because men often have issues with their prostates, it’s very important to take the time to discuss exactly what happens when a prostate becomes enlarged and whether or not there are treatment options available. In this article, we will cover the topic of prostate enlargement, what the symptoms are, and what you can do to help restore your prostate health. 

What is the Prostate and What Does it Do?

The prostate is a small gland that is located directly below the bladder and in front of the rectum. It is essential when it comes to male sexual function. The prostate produces a thin, milky fluid that makes up the lubricating portion of semen.

The fluid that is made in the prostate gland is mixed with sperm cells from the testicles and secretions produced in another small gland, known as the bulbourethral gland. Together, they make up semen, which is expelled during sexual intercourse. 

The muscles in the prostate are also responsible for ejaculation. The muscles contract, making it possible for semen to be released during sexual activity. 

Why Do Prostates Become Enlarged?

An enlarged prostate gland is also known as benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH). There is no one reason why prostates become enlarged. Rather, there are many different factors that can cause your prostate gland to start functioning improperly and potentially become enlarged. 

The most common reason for prostate enlargement is aging. In fact, according to Harvard Medical School, “by age 60, half of all men will have an enlarged prostate, a condition also known as benign prostatic hyperplasia, or BPH. By age 85, the proportion reaches 90%.”

One of the hypotheses behind prostate enlargement is that, as you age, certain male hormones, such as dihydrotestosterone can cause the prostate to grow. 

There are no known risk factors for an enlarged prostate, and BPH has not been linked to prostate cancer. However, it can cause other issues. 

What are the Symptoms of an Enlarged Prostate?

Symptoms of prostate enlargement can be very disruptive to one’s daily life. Most of the symptoms have to do with urinary function due to the fact that the prostate is located directly below the bladder. If you’re dealing with BPH, you may notice the following symptoms:

  • Frequent urination
  • An urgent or sudden need to urinate
  • Difficulty urinating, especially when starting
  • Continued dribbling after urination
  • Not being able to empty your bladder fully
  • Weak urination

When urination is affected by an enlarged prostate, urine is often stored in the bladder. This can lead to urinary tract infections as well. 

Urinary tract infections can be extremely uncomfortable and can lead to other issues. Thus, if you are experiencing any of the above symptoms, it’s important to meet with your doctor before things escalate. 

What Can I Do to Treat an Enlarged Prostate?

There are no clear-cut ways to avoid an enlarged prostate or BPH, but there are some things that you can do to potentially help with the condition and make the symptoms more manageable. If you are concerned about your prostate health, it’s always important to visit a doctor. They can run tests in order to determine the health of your prostate and recommend ways to restore your comfort. 

However, there are some other things you can do to encourage the health of your prostate and help yourself to feel more comfortable. They include:

  • Exercising
  • Eating a healthy diet
  • Limiting the fluids you take in before bedtime
  • Avoiding alcohol and caffeine (These can irritate your bladder and make you have to urinate more frequently.)
  • Urinating when you feel the urge (This can make it easier on your bladder.)

The Takeaway

Enlarged prostates, or BPH, can be very irritating and can lead to urinary issues. Frequent urination and an urgent need to urinate are the most common symptoms of this condition, but it can have many others. Feeling an increased need to urinate while sleeping or having a weak urine stream can also be symptoms of an enlarged prostate. Additionally, the buildup of urine in your bladder can lead to a urinary tract infection if left unaddressed.

If you believe you may have an enlarged prostate gland, don’t hesitate to visit a doctor. They can run tests to determine your prostate health and make recommendations that will help you manage your symptoms and begin feeling like yourself again.