The prostate gland secretes fluid during ejaculation to increase the chance of sperm survival in the vagina. Although most of the growth of the prostate gland occurs during puberty and the years after, men experience another period of prostate gland growth during their early forties. This enlargement of prostate is a normal part of male aging, called benign prostatic hyperplasia. An enlarged prostate is not necessarily an issue on its own. It only becomes a problem when it starts to affect the function of urinary and reproductive systems.
Learn the signs of an enlarged prostate, including trouble urinating or ejaculating. You may feel painful cramps in your pelvis during urination or ejaculation. Some men who have an enlarged prostate find that they cannot seem to keep a steady stream of urine when they urinate. Dribbles at the end of a urine stream are another sign of an enlarged prostate. In advanced cases, you may not be able to urinate at all.
Get a professional diagnosis from your doctor. Although benign prostatic hyperplasia is the most common reason for an enlarged prostate in older men, the prostate gland can see abnormal growth due to a prostate infection or prostate cancer. Your doctor will want to rule these out first to give you a definitive diagnosis. He will start with a prostate exam to evaluate the size and consistency of the prostate gland. Your doctor will also run blood and urine analysis on you to help rule out other health conditions.
Discuss using enzyme inhibitors to shrink the size of your prostate gland. Enzyme inhibitors, like Proscar and Avodart, prevent the testosterone from being converted into dihydrotesterone, thereby reducing the size of the prostate gland. These types of drugs are not for every case of benign prostate hyperplasia. They work best in men with particularly large prostate glands and do not do much for cases of small or medium enlargement. Enzyme inhibitors can also take up to a year to show their full effects.
Consider having prostate surgery. Partial removal of the prostate gland can reduce the size of the prostate and reduce the effects of it on your urinary and reproductive system. Prostate gland surgery should not be taken lightly. It can be painful and take up to a month for a full recovery. Prostate gland surgery has also been shown to negatively affect a man’s fertility. Some men who undergo prostate gland surgery experience erectile dysfunction afterward.