The prostate gland is a small sac placed between the anal and penile region. It is only present in men and can be examined through the rectal opening. The main function of this important gland is to produce the liquid which carries sperm during ejaculation.
The sperm is produced in the scrotal organs and the fluid to carry it into the penis is supplied by the prostate gland. The prostate region is the cause of many different problems in men and can cause uncomfortable situations as well. Most men are seen to have a slight enlargement of the prostate gland as they grow older.
This situation is not harmful as long the urinary tract and other surrounding organs are not affected. The prostate gland is also a very common area for the onset of cancer. Prostate cancer is a very dangerous disease and the problem with it is that it may go undetected for long periods of time.
Swelling or infection in this gland can also cause sepsis in surrounding organs and cause pressure on the bladder and the urethra. It is very important for all men to be aware of basic information about prostate problems of all kinds.
Symptoms of Prostate problems
Here is a list of common signs and symptoms of problems like prostate cancer and enlarged prostate.
Frequent and Sudden Urge to Urinate
This is one of the first signs of prostate problems. The person may feel the urge to urinate as often as twice in one hour. He may also feel that the bladder feels full suddenly without any warning which causes inability to control the urine for long periods of time. This can be a sign that the prostate is enlarged and is pressing against the bladder and urinary tract.
Problems in Urination
This means that the person may feel that he has to urinate but has to push and strain against the penis a lot to actually force the urine out.
Pain During Urination
Such pain usually takes place when there is an infection or sepsis in the prostate and its surrounding organs. The patient may feel a burning and sharp pain the penis and the lower abdomen while urinating. This can however also be a sign of a urinary tract infection.
This means that the person is unable to control the expulsion of urine. This usually happens when the person coughs or sneezes or travels on a bumpy road. Such a situation can be very embarrassing in social settings.
The patient may often notice that the bladder is not completely empty even immediately after urinating. This means that bladder muscles have become weak due to pressure from the prostate gland and are not able to squeeze out the entire quantity of urine in one go. This problem can lead to other medical conditions as well because the left over urine can cause infection in the bladder and urethra.
Patients who suffer from prostate problems usually have to get up very often at night to urinate. This may be as many as 8 times in one night.
Dribbling means that right at the end of each instance of urination, drops of urine slowly dribble out for about 30 seconds or so. This slow dribbling can be a sign of prostate cancer in many people.
Diagnosis of prostate problems
Here is a list of common tests and examinations that can lead to correct and quick diagnosis of prostate problems.
A physical examination of the prostate region is recommended annually for all men over the age of 40. This is to ensure that no problem goes undetected for too long. The doctor usually examines the prostate gland with his/her hands through the rectal opening. Any swelling or abnormal enlargement in the region can be detected very easily through this method.
A sample of urine may be taken from the patient and tested for the existence of pus cells and blood. This can indicate that there may be an infection in the urinary tract.
Residual Urine Test
This is done to check whether there is any urine being retained in the bladder even after urination. This can also be a cause of infection.
In certain cases the doctor may recommend that the patient needs to be tested for cancerous cells and bodies that may indicate prostate cancer. This can be done through a tissue or fluid check or even through a blood test.
This is a minor investigative surgery which is done to check the condition of the bladder and the prostate gland. A small optical device is fitted onto a thin flexible wire which is then inserted into the affected region. The doctor is then able to determine the extent and severity of the disease, if any.
Treatment of Prostate Problems
Here is a list of commonly used methods and treatments for the cure of prostate problems.
Avoid Large Quantities of Fluids
The patient must ensure that he consumes fluids of any type in small quantities at regular intervals. Too much fluid at once can increase pressure on the bladder.
Whenever the patient feels the urge to urinate (however mild the urge is), he must do so. Holding on or controlling urine can cause even more damage to the walls of the bladder.
It is often recommended that prostate problem sufferers should practice exercises that strengthen the pelvic floor.
In extreme cases, the patient may have to undergo surgical procedure to solve the problem. In case he is detected to have cancer, the prostate may also have to be removed. Some men may even need to have their testicles removed surgically. The fluid pipe between the prostate gland and the scrotum may also need to be tied up or blocked.
In case of infection in the prostate, certain medicines can help cure the problem. Infections are the most common cause of enlargement of the prostate gland. Antibiotics are the most effective to treat such infections in the prostate and the urinary tract.