If you are like most men, you probably haven’t even heard the word prostate, let alone knowing
that you have one.
And please, note that the word is p-r-o-s-t-a-t-e and not p-r-o-s-t-R-a-t-e! Sadly, with your prostate, the saying that what you don’t know can’t hurt you does not apply.
In fact, the reverse is the case here, as not knowing or paying adequate attention to your prostate can affect your life significantly.
What is Prostate?
The prostate is a small gland about the size and shape of a walnut. Never mind if you don’t even
know what a walnut is.
The point to be made is that your prostate is small and roughly shaped like an inverted cone or inverted pyramid.
It is located at the neck of your urinary bladder.
The prostate secretes biochemical substances called hormones.
It also secretes semen. Semen is a component of the fluid that comes out of your penis when you ejaculate.
We routinely refer to the ejaculate as sperm but it contains more than sperm cells.
It also contains semen or seminal fluid.
Seminal fluid contains a number of substances including glucose which gives energy to the sperm cells to keep them alive and active even after leaving the testes.
The prostate is important, isn’t it? Well, like other important parts of our bodies, we usually pay very little attention to it when it is working well until when trouble bursts.
For most people, that’s only when they pay attention to their prostate. Indeed, for many, the first time they learn about their prostate is when it gets into trouble.
You don’t have to be like that. You can pay attention to your prostate and save yourself from problems that begin to set in when you age.
Below are two things that can happen to your prostate and how they affect your life.
Your Prostate Can Enlarge and Make Urinating Difficult
If you’ve lived closely with an elderly man, you may have noticed that they often have problems
They usually may not be able to hold their urine once they feel pressed.
One moment, they say they are pressed.
The next moment, even before they finish unzipping their trousers, they have started peeing in them.
They may also be urinating frequently, but having to strain and hesitate before their urine comes out.
Although many elderly males may experience these symptoms, rarely do they or their
caregivers realize what is going on.
They just assume old age is taking its toll on the man.
While they are partly correct, that’s not the whole truth. Often times, the prostate is involved.
Your prostate can enlarge in size.
There is no clear medical explanation for why this happens in some people and not in others, but a pattern has been identified.
First, it is known to happen only in males. This is to be expected, isn’t it?
Only males have prostates, you know. Second, your prostate tends to enlarge as you cross your sixtieth birthday.
I don’t mean it can’t start getting bigger at a younger age, but this happens more commonly after age sixty.
Third, your prostate is more likely to enlarge if you have a family history of
That is to say your father or brothers have an enlarged prostate.
With extended family members, the chances are slimmer.
Now, back to the enlargement. When your prostate enlarges, it presses on the neck of your bladder and your urethra.
The urethra is a small tube-like structure that connects your bladder
to the outside via your penis.
It’s that tube that conveys urine from the bladder and semen to the outside.
With this pressure on the neck of your bladder and urethra, the space for urine to pass is reduced.
This leads to the following symptoms.
This means your urine hesitates before coming out. You feel pressed to urinate.
You hurry to the toilet and unzip. Suddenly, your urine seems to think twice about coming out.
Here, even when the urine starts to come out, it comes out so reluctantly that you have to strain in order to put pressure on your bladder and literally squeeze the urine out.
Given that the passage for your urine is reduced, the flow of the urine from your penis is no longer as quick and straight.
Rather, it flows slowly and sort of merely trickles from your penis.
When you are about to finish urinating, the last volume of urine to come out merely trickles from your penis right in front of you.
Feeling of Incomplete Voiding.
This is the feeling of still having urine in your bladder even after you’ve just finished urinating.
This feeling is true because your bladder is no longer able to empty itself completely.
Sometimes, everything grinds to a standstill and you can’t even urinate at all.
When this develops, your bladder keeps filling with urine and distending itself.
As it does so, it causes tremendous pain coupled with the torture of desiring to urinate but being unable.
Your Prostate can Develop Cancer
In some cases, after enlarging, your prostate can deteriorate even further and develop a cancer.
You will experience the symptoms of an enlarged prostate as well as those of the cancer.
Doctors usually refer to the condition of the enlarged but noncancerous prostate as benign prostatic hypertrophy (BPH).
When it becomes cancerous, they refer to it as carcinoma of the prostate or simply cancer of the prostate.
Again, if you have family members who have had prostate cancer, your chances of having the condition are higher.
In contrast to BPH, your prostate can start developing a cancer from your eightieth birthday.
Apart from the urinary symptoms, prostate cancer can have various other symptoms depending
on where it spreads to.
Most people will experience waist pain, difficulty passing stool and so on.
What to do for Your Prostate
Your prostate is one scenario where merely paying attention may save you a lot of cost.
It is recommended that all males from the age of forty should pay attention to their prostate by monitoring their urinary habits.
As they age further, a routine medical check at intervals including an assessment of their prostate is quite helpful.
Those who have a higher likelihood of developing a prostate condition should pay even greater attention.
Sadly, there is no intervention that can summarily stop a male from developing a prostate condition.
However, if an enlarging prostate is detected early, medical and surgical interventions exist that can slow down its enlargement.
In some cases, your doctor may perform a surgical operation to remove your prostate.
However, if not detected early until cancer develops, the options become very limited and the outcome too less rewarding.