As men age one of the things to be concerned about is having enlarged prostates. This is often called benign postatic hyperplasia or BPH. Men often don’t go to the doctors and many don’t even realize that their prostate may be enlarged. It’s important to talk about it and to get as much information about prostate enlargement treatment to help in this discomfort situation. Even if men feel uncomfortable about talking about it, it’s important to know if you have enlarged prostates and to know how to treat them.
What is your prostate? Your prostate is a walnut-sized gland located just below the bladder and in front of the rectum. It is a part of the male reproductive system and is vital to reproducing. It is made up to two lobes that surrounds the urethra which is where urine passes our of the body. The main function of the prostate is to squeeze fluid through the urethra and help sperm during male sexual climax. The fluid is important as it makes up semen and makes the vaginal canal less acidic during intercourse.
Enlarged prostate isn’t uncommon in men. Actually, the prostate goes through two growing phases. The first being through puberty where it double in size and the second around age 25. It continues to grow throughout a man’s life and it usually causes problems later in life, usually after 40 years of age. Nearly 90% of men in their seventies and eighties exhibit enlarged prostates.
When you have prostate enlargement it can become uncomfortable. When the prostate enlarges it presses against the urethra causing the bladder to contract even if there is a small amount of urine in the bladder. This results in frequent urination. Eventually there will be a gradual loss of bladder function, if left untreated. Other common symptoms associated with BPH is a weak stream of urination, leaking or dribbling urine, and more frequent urination especially during night time.
It’s very important to tell your doctor if you notice any discomfort during urination or frequent urination. The sooner you tell your doctor, the faster you will be to prostate enlargement treatment. Your doctor will most likely prescribe you either a alpha blocker or a finasteride.
Alpha blocker medication work by relaxing the muscles in the bladder in order for urination to occur. This usually helps for people who have an acute urinary retention, whereby no urine passes through the urethra. It helps around 75% of men who have prostate enlargement. Poplar brands are doxazosin Cardura, tamsulosin, Flomax and terazosin Hytrin. These work quickly and men should notice an improvement within 1-2 days.
The other type of medicine, finasteride, works for men who have a particularly large prostate. Finasteride (Proscar) works by actually shrinking the prostate gland. This drug is slow acting and can take up to a year to who improvement in symptoms.
If you feel that medication isn’t the route you are willing to take, there are herbal supplements that are proving to be highly effective, if not equal to, traditional medicine. A popular herbal supplement for an enlarged prostate is saw palmetto Serenoa repens. It works by preventing testosterone from breaking down into the hormone associated with prostate growth. Saw palmetto is just as effective in reducing prostate glands as finasteride.
Whichever method you end up choosing, know that there is help to having an enlarged prostate. You don’t need to live in discomfort anymore.