The prostate is a gland that sits under the male bladder and surrounds the urethra. This is the key reason why symptoms of prostate enlargement are usually problems with urination. On this page Dr. Jen Tan explores both the 'irritative' and 'obstructive' symptoms of an enlarged prostate.
As the prostate enlarges, it presses against and puts pressure on the base or bottom of the bladder. This has the effect of ‘irritating’ the bladder, giving rise to what doctors call ‘irritative symptoms’. This pressure sends signals to your brain, fooling you into thinking your bladder is ‘full’ when it really isn’t.
This is the reason that men with an enlarged prostate feel:
Lastly, men with an enlarged prostate may also experience loss of libido or sexual function. The precise reasons for this are still to be fully explained, but it is thought that pressure, and irritation of the bladder and surrounding structures, could play a part. What is interesting is that when symptoms of prostate enlargement improve, so can sexual function.
An enlarged prostate can also ‘squeeze’ the urethra, making it more difficult for urine to flow out of the bladder. This gives rise to ‘obstructive symptoms’. This effect is similar to having a blockage in your garden hose. Obstructive symptoms of an enlarged prostate are:
If you are under 40 it is unlikely that you will suffer from an enlarged prostate, even if you experience some of the symptoms described on this page. Should you experience these symptoms, you should consult your doctor in order to determine what is causing them.
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