The prostate is one of the unique pieces of equipment that distinguishes men from women. This walnut sized gland is responsible for secreting the fluid that nourishes and protects sperm. In addition to this life-creating job, the urethra (which carries urine out of the body) runs through the center of the prostate. If the prostate is inflamed, urine flow is impacted as the tube the urine travels through can become compressed.
As long as everything seems operational in the body we often don’t think about it. I have seen men’s eyes fill with fear when I ask them about their prostate and they proceed to reveal ‘horror’ stories associated with prostate exams. This fear can create a profound sense of impending doom as men age and the exam becomes a necessary part of their medical care. I believe some men even avoid going to see their doctor because of it.
To learn more about the exam, read Don’t DREad the DRE – this blog reveals what happens in a digital rectal exam (DRE) and busts any myths associated with the exam. Knowledge is power and knowing what is going to happen generally helps a patient feel less reluctant to get what can be a life saving examination.
I recently had a close family member diagnosed with prostate cancer, the day after running a full marathon in record pace. I tell this story, because it illustrates that prostate health is important to absolutely everyone. There are several conditions that have prostate involvement, learn about the difference in diagnoses here.
Some men are blessed with an abundance of warning sides that their prostate may be angry (while some others are completely symptom free but may still have an equally angry prostate).
Symptoms that your prostate may not be functioning optimally include:
- Urine flow may seem slow or weak (the urethra runs through the center of the prostate, inflammation of the gland can squeeze the urethra and make urination increasingly difficult)
- A feeling of incomplete bladder emptying
- Difficulty starting urination
- Frequent urination – sometimes returning to urinate minutes after finishing
- Urgency to urinate
- Getting up at night to urinate (nocturia)
- A urine stream that starts and stops
- Straining to urinate
- A continued dribbling of urine
- Blood in urine
- Pain when with urination
- Pain in lower back, groin or at the top of the penis
- Difficulty or pain with ejaculation
- Unexplained feeling or pressure behind the penis
If you are experiencing these or other symptoms and have concerns about your health please consider visiting your naturopathic or medical doctor as soon as possible. Naturopathic doctors are great resources when you want to learn more about your health, they are trained and tested in conducting physical exams that include DRE as well as genital inspections on both men and women.
Note: This blog provides general information and discussion about medicine, health and related subjects. The words and other content provided in this blog, and in any linked materials, are not intended and should not be construed as medical advice. If the reader or any other person has a medical concern, he or she should consult with an appropriately-licensed health care worker.