Understanding Prostate Changes: Part 2

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We had talked about prostatitis in Part 1 and this time let’s understand about enlarged prostate.

Enlarged prostate/Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia

Enlarged prostate, also called benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) is a common condition as men get older.

When a man is in his 20’s, the prostate gland is about the size of a walnut and by the time he is 40, it may have grown slightly larger to the size of an apricot. By age 60, it may be the size of a lemon. The enlarged prostate can cause bothersome urinary symptoms as it press against the bladder and urethra, slowing down/blocking the flow of urine.

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The bladder has to contract more forcefully as the urethra narrows, to push urine through the body. Over time, the bladder muscle may gradually become stronger, thicker, and overly sensitive. It begins to contract even when it contains small amounts of urine, causing a need to urinate frequently. Eventually, the bladder muscle cannot overcome the effect of the narrowed urethra so urine remains in the bladder and is not completely emptied.

 

Signs and symptoms of BPH

  • Frequent or urgent need to urinate
  • Increased frequency of urination at night (nocturia)
  • Difficulty starting urination
  • Weak or slow urine stream
  • Dribbling at the end of urination
  • Straining while urinating
  • A feeling of incomplete bladder emptying

The size of your prostate doesn’t necessarily mean your symptoms will be worse. Some men with only slightly enlarged prostates can have significant symptoms, while other men can have only minor urinary symptoms. Consult a doctor if you come across these symptoms.

 

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