The prostate is a small, walnut-sized gland of fluid to help break down semen so sperm can help swim up to the egg in the fallopian tube and conception can occur. It is located next to the bladder, and the urethra runs right through the prostate – which is the reason why benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), or an enlarged prostate, often affects a man’s ability to urinate.
Let’s take a look at the main factors that cause problems with a man’s prostate.
Causes of Benign Issues in the Prostate Gland
There are two primary causes of prostate problems in men: an enlarged prostate (BPH) and prostatitis:
BPH (Enlarged Prostate)
Most men’s bodies experience continued prostate growth over the course of their lives. It varies from man to man whether they feel or notice any ill effects from BPH.
Because the male urethra goes from the bladder through the middle of the prostate, any expansion or pressure on the prostate can lead to bladder dysfunction and inconsistent urination. The reason the prostate enlarges with age is not clear, but it is most likely a result of normal hormonal changes that occur as men grow older.
When Do Men Get BPH?
Most men rarely have any issues with their prostate until after age 40. By age 60, about 30% of all men have moderate symptoms of BPH, and that figure rises to 50% of all men by age 80.
Men who have a family history of an enlarged prostate or prostate cancer should start getting annual urology checkups after age 40. Men who are obese or eat a high-fat diet also have increased odds of developing prostate issues, including prostate cancer.
Getting a prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test, digital rectal exam (DRE), prostate ultrasound, or a biopsy done are ways in which doctors will test the prostate. They will check for BPH or other prostate problems, including prostatitis.
Prostatitis is a condition marked by inflammation and swelling of the prostate, and it most often affects men under the age of 50, according to the Mayo Clinic. It can cause pain in the groin or pelvic area, difficulty while urinating, and even flu-like symptoms.
This condition is usually treated with a course of antibiotic if it is caused by a bacterial infection. If it is caused by something else, such as a physical injury or nerve damage, your urologist may recommend alpha blockers and regular pain relievers to help with any pain or discomfort.
If prostatitis is not addressed by a skilled urologist, it can become a chronic issue. This can result in scar tissue and may cause the same negative effects as BPH, as well as intense abdominal pain.
Prostate Doctor in Nashville
If you have symptoms of an enlarged prostate or abdominal discomfort, contact our friendly team at Knoll Urology. With proper attention and the help of a good urologist, men can enjoy leading an active lifestyle.
If you are in the Nashville area and want a world-renowned urologist on your side, contact Knoll Urology today. Call us at (615) 622-5033 or request an appointment online, and get back to the life you love!