Present only in males, the prostate is a small gland, approximately the size of a walnut. It is located below the bladder and surrounds the urethra. It secretes fluid which helps to transport sperm during ejaculation.
As men age, the prostate grows larger. The gland puts pressure on the urethra and can make urination difficult. Men usually experience some symptoms or prostate problems after age 50, but younger men can have difficulties as well.
Common Prostate Problems
Prostatitis: Infection of the prostate that can neither be acute (one time only) or chronic (ongoing). Chronic prostatitis is usually more difficult to treat.
Benign prostatic hypertrophy (BPH): Enlargement of the prostate because of small non-cancerous tumors that grow inside the prostate. If not treated, BPH can cause incontinence, bladder infections, and possible kidney damage.
Prostate cancer: Cancerous tumors may develop in the prostate. If not treated, this cancer can spread throughout the body. When detected early, chances for a complete recovery are good.
• fever, chills
• painful or difficult urination
• pain erection and/or ejaculation
• pain in lower back, or groin area
• weakening of the urine stream
• frequent or urgent urination
Regular medical checkups, including a rectal exam, are recommended for men older than age 40. The doctor can feel the prostate through the rectal wall and detect signs of possible problems.
Consult with your doctor immediately if any unusual symptoms occur.