Your prostate is a little gland that you’ve probably given little thought to. About the size and shape of a walnut, this small organ has a big job: It produces all the fluids you need for semen.
Your prostate is located between your bladder and your rectum and wraps around your urethra. If your prostate enlarges, it can cause symptoms in all of those organs, lowering your quality of life.
Unlike other organs in your body, your prostate grows larger as you get older. This growth is slow. It's so slow that you won’t realize it’s happening until the symptoms start. By the time you’re 60, you have a 50% chance of having an enlarged prostate. If you reach age 85, your chances climb to 90%.
Alex Lesani, MD, is an expert urologist who screens for, diagnoses, and treats enlarged prostate, also known as benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH). At our offices in Las Vegas, Nevada, we encourage men to get regular prostate exams to try to slow growth and prevent or alleviate symptoms.
Has your quality of life suffered lately? Your prostate may be behind your symptoms.
Do you have trouble urinating?
As your prostate grows bigger, it puts pressure both on the bladder above it and on your urethra, which is the tube that you urinate through. When you have BPH, classic symptoms include:
- Feeling like you can never fully empty your bladder
- Getting up multiple times a night to pee
- Urine comes out in drips and drabs
- You need to pee so badly you barely make it to the bathroom
- Your once-gushing flow slows down to a dribble
- You strain to evacuate your bladder
- You have to pee every hour or two
- Pelvic pain or pain when urinating
When urination causes consternation, you may be tempted to hold off on fluids to avoid those trips to the bathroom. But your kidneys and other organs need to stay hydrated to stay healthy.
If you pee too much or too little or experience pain or bleeding when you urinate, come see us immediately. The symptoms of BPH can also be symptoms of prostate cancer. Both conditions can be treated.
Do you have trouble with your erections?
Erectile dysfunction (ED) can have many causes, including emotional distress and trauma. However, one cause or contributor to ED may be BPH.
Erections are mechanical processes that rely on hydraulics. Good, healthy erections need healthy “equipment,” including healthy blood vessels and nerves. An enlarged prostate can press against nerves, causing pelvic pain, which could, in turn, lower your libido.
If your prostate is enlarged and presses upon your urethra, you may experience painful ejaculation. Some medications that are used to treat BPH may also trigger ED.
At our office, we recommend lifestyle changes or GreenLight™ laser therapy as first-line approaches to treat BPH. Lifestyle changes, including a healthier diet and more exercise, may help to shrink your prostate. Laser therapy reduces prostate size. If we prescribe medications, we monitor you for side effects, including ED.
Whether you’re aware of it or not, if you’re getting older, your prostate is growing. Take charge of your prostate health now so that you can prevent or reverse symptoms of BPH.
To keep your prostate healthy, call our team today for a prostate evaluation and prostate cancer screening at 702-470-2579. You can also book your appointment online.