10 Signs to be Aware of for an Enlarged Prostate
An enlarged prostate, also known as benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), can be one of the most frustrating conditions to live with. Most men over the age of 50 will experience this condition to some degree, but even younger men can be affected by it.
Most commonly, symptoms of an enlarged prostate can present with difficulty in urinating and having to go more often than usual.
It’s important to identify and treat the problem early, so you can live without the inconvenience that may result from BPH symptoms. Here are 10 common signs of an enlarged prostate that are a common problem in male urology, so you should look out for them.
#1 Difficulty Urinating
When you have urination problems, you might find that you have trouble starting to urinate as well as maintaining the flow. It’s one of the most common signs that men experience.
When the prostate enlarges it blocks the tube that carries urine from the bladder to your penis. This means that when you feel the urge to pee, you have to force urine to pass through a passage that’s more narrow than usual, which takes effort.
If left untreated, these symptoms become worse as the prostate continues to enlarge. So, if you’re finding it harder to go, or it takes longer than usual, it may be time to have a check-up with your doctor.
#2 Weak Stream, Dribbling, or Leakage
A weak stream and dribbling is another common sign of an enlarged prostate. This occurs because BPH forces your bladder to work harder to expel the urine, which can cause it to become weak over time.
When you have a weak bladder caused by BPH, you’ll notice that your stream is weaker than it once was.
When you have a weak bladder, you will also find it difficult to completely empty it. This can cause small amounts of urine to leak out after you’ve already finished urinating. You may notice this as spots of urine on your underwear or clothing.
Make sure you talk to a doctor if you are experiencing any of these symptoms.
#3 Urinary Frequency and Urgency
If you are dealing with frequent, sudden, and uncontrollable urges to urinate, you might have an enlarged prostate. These urges can become so severe that you may struggle to sit in a meeting for long hours or always need aisle seats when traveling.
With this symptom, it may be hard to tell that you are going to the toilet more frequently than usual at first. But if you notice that you need to go to the toilet 8 or more times a day, this may be a sign that something is wrong.
The feeling of urgency can become so severe and uncontrollable that sometimes you may not make it to the toilet in time and end up leaking.
While it’s normal for men to experience a full bladder from time to time, especially as they get older, if those sensations become more common or bothersome than usual, it might be time to talk to a urologist.
#4 Urinating Often During the Night
Although it’s normal for men over 50 to wake up and go to the bathroom once or twice at night, waking up more frequently could be a sign of prostate trouble. This is especially true if it occurs on consecutive nights and without any logical explanation like drinking alcohol, caffeine, or a lot of water before going to bed.
One potential cause of this problem is medications. Certain medications like those used to treat high blood pressure can increase urination frequency. However, if you’re not on any medications that cause increased frequency then you may want to get checked for an enlarged prostate.
#5 Blood in Your Urine
Blood in the urine (hematuria) can be caused by other conditions such as urinary tract infection, cancer, and trauma. But it may also be a sign of BPH. When the blood is caused by BPH, it usually occurs during urination or afterward and may increase urine urgency.
An enlarged prostate can press on the tube that carries urine from the bladder to the penis, causing irritation. As a result, blood cells accumulate and clump together within your urine, which causes it to turn a red or brown color.
Complications of BPH such as urinary tract infection or bladder stones can also result in blood in the urine.
#6 Painful Urination
An enlarged prostate can press against the urethra. When urinating, men with an enlarged prostate may experience a burning sensation when starting to urinate and a need to strain or push in order to begin urination.
It can also make it difficult for you to completely empty your bladder.
#7 You Still Need To Go!
Though many older men are told they have overactive bladders—and that they may simply have to get used to emptying their bladders more frequently—an enlarged prostate may be causing the feeling that you still need to go to the toilet after emptying your bladder.
A study published in The Journal of Urology found that nearly half of participants who thought they had bladder overactivity actually had an enlarged prostate or BPH.
#8 Trouble Emptying Your Bladder
An enlarged prostate can make it difficult to empty your bladder completely. So, shortly after you leave the toilet, you may feel as if you didn’t go at all because your bladder feels full.
#9 Pain in Your Lower Back and Abdomen
In some cases, the pain in the lower abdomen and back can be a sign of a urinary tract infection (UTI), which is caused by bacterial growth in the bladder. A urinary tract infection can also occur alongside an enlarged prostate because of frequent urination and chronic irritation from always having residual urine in your bladder because you can’t completely empty your bladder.
Because UTIs have similar symptoms to those caused by an enlarged prostate so you should see a doctor just to be sure.
#10 Painful Ejaculation
Ejaculation involves more than just sending semen out of your body—it’s also supposed to be pleasurable. But for some men with BPH, ejaculation is painful instead and sex becomes less enjoyable. This can occur because of a variety of causes.
If you have blood in your semen or if your semen is white, cloudy, or otherwise abnormal-looking, it could be a sign that something’s wrong with your prostate.
BPH is more common than you think and will affect most men at some point in their lives. However, you will be very happy to know that it’s not something that you have to suffer with and can easily be treated.
If you are experiencing one or more of the symptoms above then it’s time for you to see a urologist and get your life back!