What is an Enlarged Prostate?
The prostate is an integral part that is located inside the male reproductive organ. It is a small, muscular organ which makes the margin of the urethra. The prostate is behind the making of the fluid of the semen. Also, its muscular characteristic aids in the ejaculation of fluid and semen out of the penis during sexual intercourse.
Prostate enlargement is a common problem found in men, especially who are above the age of 60. An enlarged prostate starts to develop when there is an increase in the number of prostate cells in the male reproductive system which lead to the swelling and enlargement of the prostate.
What causes enlarged prostate?
The prostate is basically located in the male reproductive organ which makes the location of the prostate right under the bladder. Urethra, the urinary tube, makes its way through the prostate gland and to the penis. However, when the prostate gland starts to increase in size, the urethra may not be able to carry the urine forward and out through the penis.
This blockage may cause a urinary infection to develop which may further aggravate the enlargement of the prostate. Another cause of an enlarged prostate is age. As men grow older, their sex hormones may become unbalanced. This can also lead to the prostate increasing in size.
Further, prostate cancer is another cause of an enlarged prostate. A malignant prostate starts to form when the cells of the prostate start to become “abnormal.” This abnormality of the cells may be due to mutation. This phenomenon then causes the cells to increase, hence, leading to an enlarged prostate.
Types of enlarged prostate
There are two basic types of an enlarged prostate; benign prostate and malignant prostate.
- Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH)
This is a commonly occurring type of prostate enlargement found in men. Some people also refer to benign prostatic hyperplasia as simply, prostate enlargement. This type of prostate enlargement usually occurs with an increase in age. Men, who are mostly older than the age of 60 complain about this problem.
As such, there is no set explanation as to why the prostate gland of men starts to increase in size with age. However, the most common reason for benign prostatic hyperplasia is the imbalance of sex hormones.
- Malignant Prostate
A malignant prostate is also known as prostate cancer. A malignant prostate occurs when the cells of the prostate gland are infected by mutant germs or bacteria. This abnormality, then, leads to an increase in the number of prostate gland cells. With time, this cancer can also spread to other parts of the body.
Prostate cancer or a malignant prostate is also known to cause lumps and masses in places in the human body where it spreads. This malignancy of the prostate then also interferes with the normal functioning of the tissues and other parts of the body, hence, ultimately affecting the overall health of an individual.
Signs and symptoms of an enlarged prostate
Enlarged prostate symptoms include:
- A weak urinary system
- Finding it difficult to start urinating
- The urge to urinate often
- Going to urinate again just minutes after you finished
- The feeling of having a full bladder even if you have just urinated
- Frequently going to urinate even at night
- Urge to go and urinate and then suddenly there is no urge to urinate
- Dribbling of urine after you have finished urinating
Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia symptoms
- Bladder does not empty out completely
- Urge to urinate two or more than two times at night; nocturia
- Experiencing dribbling after you have urinated
- Leakage of urine
- Sudden rush to urinate
- Experiencing pain while urinating
- Blood in urine
- Slow urinary system
- Weak urinary system
Malignant prostate symptoms
- The need to go and urinate frequently
- Blood in urine
- Blood in your semen’s fluid
- Pain while urinating
- Burning sensation while urinating
- You frequently urinate in the night as well
- Feel uncomfortable even while sitting
- Erectile dysfunction
Treatment of an enlarged prostate
Enlarged prostate treatment has to begin somewhere. That “somewhere” can be the first step that you take towards taking care of yourself. Following are some of the natural remedies, medications, and surgery options that can be considered for the treatment of an enlarged prostate.
Such treatments include:
- Not holding in your urine and urinating whenever you feel like you have to.
- Avoid taking antihistamine medication and medicines that are easily available without a prescription such as over-the-counter decongestants. These medicines make it more difficult for the bladder to empty out.
- Limit your alcoholic and caffeine beverages, especially after dinner.
- Try going for a massage treatment or just employ relaxation therapies, so you do not feel nervous. Nervousness can also lead to an enlarged prostate.
- Exercise on a daily basis, especially Kegel exercises1.
- Try to keep warm, especially during the winters.
These include taking:
- Alpha-1 blockers which include doxazosin, terazosin, tamsulosin, and prazosin.
Hormone reducing medicines
- Dutasteride and finasteride are generally prescribed for treating prostate enlargement. They help reduce hormone levels, thus, aiding the flow of urine. This limits the risk of one developing a urinary infection which further aggravates an enlarged prostate.
One option of treating an enlarged prostate through surgery is an outpatient procedure. These procedures include an instrument being inserted into the prostate gland. Outpatient procedures include:
- Transurethral Needle Ablation
The prostate tissues are shrunk in size with the aid of radio waves.
- Transurethral Microwave Therapy
The prostate tissue is reduced in size by using the energy similar to which is present in a microwave.
- Water-induced Thermotherapy
The prostate tissue is limited in size by using warm water therapy2.
The second option is going for inpatient therapy. This includes:
- Transurethral resection
The prostate gland is removed piece-by-piece by inserting an instrument into the prostate gland.
- Simple prostatectomy
The inner section of the prostate is removed via an incision in your abdomen.