No matter how healthy you are, if you're a man, it's not unusual to develop prostate problems as you get older.
The good news is, although all men are at risk for prostate problems, if symptoms develop, they're usually easily treated or don't require treatment.
What is the prostate?
The prostate is a walnut-sized gland in men that sits below the bladder and in front of the rectum. And, it's common for the prostate to get larger as you age.
For most men, that doesn't cause problems. But for some men, it can.
Common symptoms of prostate problems
As the prostate grows, it puts pressure on the urethra, the tube that carries urine out of the body. That pressure can cause issues with urination.
Other symptoms that may signal you have prostate problems and should see a doctor include:
- Blood in urine
- Dribbling urine
- Frequent pain or stiffness in lower back, hips, pelvic or rectal area, or upper thighs
- Frequent urge to urinate
- Need to get up many times during the night to urinate
- Pain or burning during urination
- Painful ejaculation
Common prostate problems
An enlarged prostate, also known as benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), is the most common non-cancerous prostate problem. It can develop as men age and as the prostate grows.
BPH is often at the root of urination issues. Treatment can include:
- Medications that can help shrink the prostate or relax the muscles around it
- Surgery, if other treatments haven't improved your symptoms
- Watchful waiting to see if symptoms get worse
Prostatitis is when the prostate becomes inflamed. It's often caused by a bacterial infection and develops quickly, causing flu-like symptoms, such as fever and chills.
Prostatitis can also cause urination problems. Prostatitis is typically treated with antibiotics.
Prostate cancer is another prostate-related condition that can develop in men as they get older. According to the American Cancer Society, it's the most common cancer for American men besides skin cancer.
Prostate cancer is diagnosed most often in men over age 65, with African-American men at higher risk. Many prostate cancers are slow-growing, so doctors consider many factors when deciding how to treat it.
When to see a doctor
Even though it's one of the body's smallest glands, the prostate can make life uncomfortable (at the least) when you ignore signals that something's not right.If you're dealing with symptoms of a prostate problem, make an appointment with a urology specialist. You can find one at West Georgia Urology by calling 770-834-6988.
For more information about West Georgia Urology, visit wgurology.com.