When you think of prostates, cancer likely comes to mind, and with it, the assumption that prostate problems are something for older people to worry about. However, you don’t have to reach your father or grandfather’s age to develop prostate problems.
Here are some things you probably didn’t know about prostate conditions. Since many conditions aren’t preventable, it’s important to know how to recognize the signs and symptoms.
The prostate is a small gland, about the size of a ping pong ball, located between the rectum and the base of the penis. The prostate is responsible for producing seminal fluid, which mixes with semen formed in the testes. Seminal fluid is important for ensuring fertilization during reproduction.
Prostatitis is inflammation of the prostate. Most sub-types of this condition are painful. Acute or chronic bacterial prostatitis are sub-types of prostatitis that develop due to a bacterial infection. Chronic pelvic pain syndrome is another sub-type.
Prostatitis is not uncommon. In fact, 10-15% of men in the U.S. have it. The most common urinary tract problem in men under 50, it can happen to men of all ages.
Unfortunately, there doesn’t seem to be a known, scientifically-proven way to prevent prostatitis. This makes knowing the warning signs all the more important.
What are the symptoms of prostatitis?
Signs you may have chronic pelvic pain syndrome include:
- Pain or discomfort in the lower abdomen, penis, scrotum, lower back, and between the scrotum and anus for more than three months
- Pain after ejaculation
- Pain during urination
- Frequent urination (more than eight times a day) and difficulty controlling urination
Acute bacterial prostatitis symptoms can appear suddenly. If you suspect it, find medical help right away. Signs you may have this prostatitis sub-type include:
- Urination problems, including increased urgency, pain, a weak or interrupted urine stream, and urinary retention
- Nausea and vomiting
- Pain in your genitals, lower abdomen, and lower back
- Flu-like symptoms like fever, chills, and body aches
Chronic bacterial prostatitis exhibits similar symptoms to its acute relative, but is often less severe and comes on gradually. This condition can even appear after treating acute bacterial prostatitis or a urinary tract infection.
How do you treat prostatitis?
Thankfully, there are numerous treatments available. Treatment will depend on the sub-type of prostatitis. Chronic pelvic pain syndrome can be treated by several medications, including pain-killing NSAIDs like aspirin and ibuprofen, as well as 5-alpha reductase inhibitors like AVODART (dutasteride). Acute and chronic bacterial prostatitis are usually treated with antibiotics.
Patients can save money buying from international or Canadian online referral site like Canada Drug Warehouse. They reliably connect you to licensed pharmacies outside the United States, where medications can be substantially cheaper due to more rigid drug price controls.
Prostate enlargement, or prostatic hyperplasia, is another prostate problem that can affect younger men, although it is more common in older men.
Your prostate grows in two phases, once during puberty, and a second time beginning at around age 25. Prostate enlargement may happen during the second growth phase. As the prostate gets bigger, it can press against the urethra and lead to urine retention.
Scientists aren’t certain what causes prostate enlargement, but they believe a man’s balance of testosterone and estrogen may play a role. Family history, obesity, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and a sedentary lifestyle can also increase one’s risk of developing prostate enlargement.
Symptoms of Prostate Enlargement
Most of the time, symptoms of prostate enlargement comes from an overworked bladder or a blocked urethra. Other symptoms in the lower urinary tract include:
- Urination problems, such as increased frequency, incontinence, trouble urinating, urine retention, and getting up frequently during the night to urinate
- Unusual urine colors or smells
- Pain after urinating or ejaculating
Prostate Enlargement Treatments
Treatments for prostatic hyperplasia may include medications, lifestyle changes, as well as surgical procedures. Medications can even include erectile dysfunction drugs like tadalafil (generic Cialis). Your treatment method will depend on the severity of your case. There are also numerous surgical methods for treating prostate enlargement.
Take Care of Your Prostate
If you suspect a problem with your prostate, discuss this with your doctor. Some men may be deterred from speaking up about potential prostate problems because a digital prostate exam sounds uncomfortable. However, it is a brief moment of discomfort for peace of mind. You’ll likely have to undergo a prostate exam at some point, as it is often routine for men after age 40.
At the end of the day, don’t be afraid to voice your concerns! Medical doctors, especially urologists (specialists in the urinary tract and male reproductive system), are trained to help you attain optimal health, no matter the concern.