The prostate is an essential gland for males, situated at the base of the penis, below the bladder, and surrounding the urethra. The prostate gland has a special role in the production of semen. It produces a fluid that, when combined with sperm cells from the testicles and other gland fluids, forms semen. Additionally, the muscles of the prostate work to forcefully push the semen into the urethra and outwards during ejaculation.
As men age, it is common for their prostate gland to experience growth. This noncancerous condition has a name which is benign prostatic hyperplasia or BPH. BPH is the most diagnosed prostate gland issue that mainly occurs in men past the age of 50.
Symptoms of prostate growth
As the prostate grows larger, it will begin to press against the urethra, a tube in which urine from the bladder travels through this tube to the penis, where it is eliminated out of the body. Unfortunately, the pressing of the prostate against the urethra leads to certain annoying symptoms men will experience, such as:
- Frequent urination
- Difficulty urinating or delay in starting a urine stream
- A feeling of being unable to empty your bladder completely
- Experiencing dribbling of urine even after you think you are done
- Accidentally urinating or incontinence
- Pain while urinating or during ejaculation
- Urine having a strange color or smell
An enlarged prostate is a common condition among men, and most do not experience severe complications. However, if you are experiencing symptoms that are interfering with your life or lifestyle, it’s essential to visit a primary care doctor to make sure the symptoms are not caused by more serious issues such as inflammation, prostate cancer, bladder or kidney damage.
Shrinking an enlarged prostate
As mentioned earlier, BPH symptoms can cause discomfort even when not considered serious. However, there are medications available, such as 5-alpha reductase inhibitors and alpha-blockers, which can assist in size reduction of the prostate in addition to easing symptoms.
There are several ways to treat an enlarged prostate, including procedures like UroLift, which can prevent the prostate from pressing on the urethra. Aquablation therapy is another option that utilizes water to remove prostate tissue and reduce the size of the prostate.
You can also try to shrink your prostate naturally.
Lifestyle changes can help
Studies have shown that implementing healthy lifestyle changes, especially improving your diet and exercise routine, may help alleviate the symptoms of BPH and prevent it from progressing. According to a study from Harvard University, men who engaged in regular, high levels of physical activity were less likely to experience BPH. Even low to moderate activity, such as regular walking, was found to have positive effects.
A study in the Nutrients journal suggests that BPH symptoms can improve by following a low-fat Mediterranean diet rich in vegetables, fruits, fish, nuts, and legumes while limiting red meat.
As men age, they may experience discomfort due to an enlarged prostate. However, the guidance of a urologist can expertly address these symptoms and prescribe treatment and healthy lifestyle habits to help the prostate shrink. This can help men to maintain their daily routine without worrying about frequent restroom breaks.