As you move into your 40’s, and especially when you hit your 60’s, you may start having some male plumbing problems that are caused by an enlarged prostate or BPH.
The prostate is part of the male reproductive system that’s located between the bladder and the base of the penis. The urethra, which carries urine from your bladder, and semen from your sex glands out through the penis, runs through the center of the prostate. So an enlarged prostate can interfere with urinary function.
Think of it this way: It’s a tie game. The Green Bay Packers have first and goal with a few seconds left on the clock — and you’ve got to go to the bathroom.
According to the American Urological Association, an enlarged prostate can cause:
- A weak or slower urinary stream
- The feeling that your bladder isn’t empty
- A delay before you start urinating
- Frequent urination
- An urgent need to go
- Getting up frequently at night to go to the bathroom
- A urinary stream that stops and starts
- Straining to urinate
- Dribbling after urination ends
You should see your Bellin Health primary care physician, or urologist, if you have any of those symptoms.
To verify the problem, your doctor will ask for details about your symptoms and may conduct tests to make the proper diagnosis. The tests may include:
- A digital rectal exam
- A PSA test to screen for prostate cancer
- A urine flow study to determine how fast your urine flows
- Urinary cytology: A urine test to screen for bladder cancer
- A post-void residual volume (PVR) to determine the amount of urine left in your bladder after you go to the bathroom
- An ultrasound of the prostate to view the enlargement
Once your doctor determines that you do, in fact, have an enlarged prostate, treatment options depend upon severity. For example, adjusting your diet can reduce symptoms. You may be asked to:
- Decrease the amount of liquids you drink
- Decrease the amount of alcohol and caffeine
Other treatment options include:
- Alpha 1-blockers to relax the muscles of the bladder neck and prostate
- Finasteride and dutasteride lower prostate hormone levels, reduce the size of the gland, increase urine flow rate, and decrease other unwanted symptoms
- Saw palmetto, a natural herb
- Your doctor may recommend surgery for more severe symptoms such as incontinence, recurrent blood in the urine, frequent urinary tract infections, bladder stones, decreasing kidney function or urinary retention
Call a Bellin Health Primary Care Physician.
If you’re experiencing symptoms of an enlarged prostate, get the guidance you need from a Bellin primary care physician.
Call Bellin Health On-Call 24/7 at (920) 445-7373 for more information and to make an appointment.