Prostate health has long been a topic of men’s health, and there’s a lot to learn about it, both for men and for the women who love them. The prostate is a walnut-sized gland located between the bladder and rectum. It secretes a fluid that helps to nourish and protect sperm cells. The prostate tends to grow larger with age, which can eventually cause urinary problems.
As men age and the prostate enlarges, it can block the urethra (the tube that carries urine from the bladder out of the body), making urination difficult and sometimes painful. You may notice changes in their urinary patterns, such as a need to urinate more frequently or a weaker urine stream. You may also have difficulty starting to urinate or holding back urine.
1. Beginning at age 50, all men should talk to their provider about being screened for prostate cancer. Earlier screening is recommended for African-American men or men with a family history of prostate cancer. Talk to your provider about what approach would be best for you.
2. After 50, many men develop BPH (benign prostatic hypertrophy), an enlargement of the prostate gland. BPH is not cancer and it does not increase your risk for cancer. It can cause discomfort with urination, however, including the need to take more frequent trips to the bathroom and reduced urine stream. Depending upon the severity of the symptoms, treatment may include medications or surgery.
3. Try these simple lifestyle tips to help minimize the impact of BPH on your lifestyle:
- Stay active – inactivity can cause urinary retention
- Each time you go to the bathroom try to fully empty your bladder
- To reduce your need to go to the bathroom at night, stop drinking water and other liquids after 8 p.m.
- Limit alcohol consumption
4. Most men say they would get their needed screenings for prostate cancer if reminded to do it by a loving spouse or partner.
Contact our Primary Care office today if you have any question (419-232-2077) or click here to send us a quick message.
Sources: American Cancer Society; Men’s Health Network