The prostate is a small gland located right below the bladder in front of the rectum. It makes semen in the body. It grows larger with age. If your prostate gets very large, it can cause many health problems. Prostate problems commonly occur after 50.
It’s good news that you can do several things to prevent them. It is possible to diagnose and treat the condition earlier if you notice early signs. Let’s look at some of the common problems of the prostate, their first signs, and ways to detect them.
Prostate problems and their symptoms
Here are some commonly seen symptoms based on the type of prostate problem:
- Benign prostatic hyperplasia, or BPH, is when the prostate is enlarged but does not form cancer. This condition may not always show symptoms. You can sometimes feel a sudden urge to urinate, often during a night’s sleep. You may also have urine with abnormal odour and colour. In addition, you may experience painful ejaculation or urination.
- Acute bacterial prostatitis is an infection of the prostate gland caused by bacteria. Its common symptoms include pain, body ache, discomfort, fever, and chills.
- Chronic bacterial prostatitis is again a bacterial infection that keeps happening repeatedly. The symptoms are similar to acute bacterial prostatitis, but they are less intense and remain for a longer duration. In bacterial prostatitis, you may not be able to empty your bladder.
- Chronic prostatitis, or chronic pelvic pain syndrome, causes severe pain or discomfort in the lower back, groin, or penis.
- Prostate cancer develops when cells of the prostate gland begin to grow uncontrollably. The early stages usually show no symptoms. More advanced prostate cancers can cause symptoms that include:
- Slow or weak urinary stream or frequent urge to urinate, especially at night
- Blood in the semen or urine
- Erectile dysfunction (trouble getting erection)
- Pain in the hips, back, chest, and other areas where cancer has spread
- Weakness in the legs or feet
- Loss of bladder or bowel control from the pressure of cancer on the spinal cord
First signs and symptoms of prostate problems:
Following are the common first signs of prostate disorder or problems:
- A sudden urge to pass urine
- Urination happening in dribbles or drops
- A weak stream of urine
- Frequent urge to urinate during the night
- Pain or discomfort while passing urine
- Feeling of bladder not being wholly emptied after urinating
- Long-lasting discomfort and pain in your lower abdomen
- Hematuria (blood in the urine)
- Stiffness in the lower back, pelvic, hips, upper thighs, and rectal area.
- hematospermia (blood in semen)
- Erectile dysfunction (inability to have a persistent erection during sexual activity)
How to diagnose prostate problems?
Your doctor will detect prostate problems depending on the following tests and examinations:
- Evaluate your family and medical history
- A physical exam that includes a digital rectal exam of the prostate.
- Tests of the urine to determine if there is any infection present.
- Blood tests to find out if there is an infection.
- Prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test confirms the diagnosis of prostate cancer.
- Cystoscopy: Here, a tube-like camera is inserted inside your urethra to reach the bladder, which helps visualize the inside of the bladder.
- Ultrasound to check for any abnormalities in the prostate.
- The prostate biopsy includes observing a small piece of your prostate obtained by making a few minor cuts in your abdomen under a microscope.
Timely treatment of prostate disorders can prevent them from getting worse. Knowing the first signs of prostate problems can help quickly detect and cure the conditions. Regular screenings after the age of 50 can help the early diagnosis of any prostate issues.