The Prostate is located next to the bladder and it is a small walnut-shaped gland in males that produces the seminal fluid that nourishes and transports sperm. It is part of the reproductive system of men. The prostate is essential for a man’s fertility. Growing old increases your risk of Prostate problems. There are three issues that affects the Prostate:
- Enlarged Prostate (Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia BPH)
- Prostate Cancer
- Prostatitis (Inflammation of the Prostate)
One does not lead to another, meaning, if you have Prostate Enlargement, it does not predisposes you in having Prostate Cancer or Prostatitis. It is also possible to have more than one condition at a time.
Enlarged Prostate (BPH)
BPH stands for benign prostatic hyperplasia, It is a condition in men in which the prostate gland is enlarged and not cancerous. BPH is not linked to cancer and does not increase your risk of getting prostate cancer—yet the symptoms for BPH and prostate cancer can be similar. Benign prostatic hyperplasia is the most common prostate problem for men older than age 50.
As the prostate enlarges, the gland presses against and pinches the urethra(refer to the image below). The bladder wall becomes thicker. Eventually, the bladder may weaken and lose the ability to empty completely, leaving some urine in the bladder. The narrowing of the urethra and urinary retention—the inability to empty the bladder completely—cause many of the problems associated with benign prostatic hyperplasia.
Urine flow in a normal (left) and enlarged (right) prostate. In diagram on the left, urine flows freely. On the right, urine flow is affected because the enlarged prostate is pressing on the bladder and urethra.