It’s quite difficult to talk openly about the prostate, its care, and the diagnosis of prostate-related diseases, in fact, many men would prefer to avoid the subject altogether. After all, it is never easy to talk about personal and intimate health problems.
But many ask themselves the question of how to know if they have prostate problems.
Still, it is very important that men around the world feel comfortable and not think of it as a taboo subject. Knowing how the prostate works and identifying the signs that something is wrong can be a great advantage.
It is particularly important for men over 50, who should be more careful about it. And it is that, one of the most devastating data about prostate cancer is that it affects approximately 1 in 7 men.
Fortunately, it is a disease that can be favorably treated if detected early. In fact, most problems tend to have a fairly effective treatment, hence the importance of knowing all the signs and symptoms so that you can detect any problem at an early stage and catch it at the right time.
What is the prostate used for?
Technically known as the prostate gland, it is a chestnut-sized organ that functions primarily as a secondary bladder that exerts pressure for semen to be expelled through the urethra.
Females have two similar glands called Skene’s glands although they are much smaller than the male version.
This difference is due to the fact that the prostate produces approximately 30% of the compounds found in semen and is responsible for releasing this fluid during a man’s ejaculation.
What diseases can affect the prostate?
The best-known problem is prostate cancer, which develops when irregular cells mutate and grow in and around the gland.
Other fairly common diseases are prostatitis and benign prostatic hyperplasia. Prostatitis is called any type of inflammation of the gland, occasionally caused by an infection, while benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) refers to a condition that appears when the prostate swells and becomes oversized, negatively affecting urination and urinary bladder function.
How can men tell if they have a prostate problem?
1- Need to urinate all the time
A constant need to urinate, especially at night, is one of the most common symptoms of a diseased prostate. This is because certain irregularities or swelling of the prostate can cause the gland to press on the bladder and urethra.
That pressure that the prostate exerts on the bladder makes the body feel the need to urinate more frequently. The desire to urinate can be a symptom of a mild problem like BPH swelling, or something much more serious like the development of a prostate tumor.
2- Bloody urine
Blood in the urine is a symptom that should cause alarm and can affect both men and women. Any good news? Although it can be a sign of something serious, it’s usually not as bad as it seems.
The prostate can cause some bloody discharge if it swells for any reason and blocks the flow of urine. If it becomes blocked, the urethra can become irritated and inflamed and bleed slightly.
3- Intermittent urination
One of the most uncomfortable side effects of prostate problems is that the need to urinate makes it impossible to maintain a constant flow of urine. Instead of a regular flow, it is normal to experience a ‘trickle’ or feel the flow stop and start again.
This is another sign that a part of the prostate is pushing on the bladder and urethra, a sign of swelling, infection, or a tumor.
4- Pelvic pain
A problem in the prostate could trigger sensations in men similar to the pelvic pain that women experience due to menstruation.
If the prostate becomes enlarged or infected it can cause painful cramps in the lower abdomen. This may indicate that the prostate is swollen enough to cause pain and could be pressing on other organs such as the kidneys or bladder.
5- Painful urination
Men with prostate disease can experience pain when urinating or ejaculating because the pressure from an enlarged prostate not only puts pressure on the bladder and urethra, but also transfers that pressure to the vas deferens and other fragile parts of the penile anatomy.
Taken together, that pressure can cause some very unpleasant swelling that can make any type of urination a painful situation, especially if the urethra is blocked enough to cause a “backflow” of fluids.
How can men prevent prostate problems?
Prostate problems are, to some extent, a natural part of aging. Most cases occur in men over 50 years of age.
Fortunately, there are some healthy habits that can prevent future prostate problems or the worsening of one you already have.
All men should have annual checkups after passing the 50-year-old line. Those with a family history of prostate cancer should even start screening at age 40.
A healthy lifestyle full of exercise accompanied by a good diet is the best way to avoid and take care of these types of problems from the root. On the other hand, a high body weight is one of the most important risks that degenerates into a diseased prostate.
When should men get prostate exams?
As we’ve seen, it’s a good idea for all men over the age of 50 to have regular screening for prostate cancer. This is the easiest way to detect a potential problem at an early stage so that it can be dealt with effectively.
If you experience any of the symptoms listed above, make an appointment with a proctologist right away. Even if it’s something benign like BPH, it’s always better to get the right care and stay safe. Prevention is the best treatment there is.