A lot of men are still not aware of exactly what the prostate gland is and of how important it is to consult your doctor once they begin to experience the signs and symptoms of a developing prostate problem.
It may seem odd but for years men knew little about their prostate and it is only in recent years as prostate cancer has become such a prominent issue that men are beginning to ask just what the prostate is and what it does.The prostate is a crucial part of a man's reproductive system that manufactures the clear fluid that makes up a significant portion of male seminal fluid. Sperm is carried from the testicles up to the prostate where it is mixed with prostatic fluid and proteins to make semen.A normal prostate is roughly the size of a walnut, weighs about one ounce and sits just under the bladder and in front of the rectum. It is also often described as being shaped something like a donut and partly wraps around the urethra, which carrying urine from the bladder and out of the body.Through a man's life the prostate continues to grow, although from about the age of twenty until the mid-forties growth is extremely slow and is all but undetectable. Once a man passes approximately forty-five however it is extremely common for the growth of the prostate to speed up and most men will start to experience the symptoms of an enlarging gland during their forties or fifties.In many cases an enlarging gland leads to little more than some mild discomfort that a lot of men simply learn to live with. In other instances however the prostate may become so enlarged that it squeezes the urethra enough to produce various symptoms that need treatment or persuade a man to ask for treatment to ease his discomfort. Mere growth of the prostate at this point in a man's life is simply a normal part of aging and is referred to as benign prostatic hyperplasia, or BHP.However, the biggest danger with an enlarged prostate is that this may be something more than a simple case of enlargement and may be effectively masking an underlying cancer.As the prostate begins to grow it also begins to put pressure on the urethra and to narrow it so that the first signs of a developing problem are normally seen when it comes to urinating. In particular you might experience difficulty in urinating and need to 'strain' to start the process. You may also suffer from a weak urine flow and a flow that tends to stop and start. As time goes on you will also find that you need to visit the bathroom more frequently, particularly during the night, and that you feel as if you need to visit the bathroom even just after you have just done so.As you can imagine this can become more than a little bit of a nuisance but, nevertheless, a lot of men are content to simply see it as one of the problems of aging and learn to live with it. Now there is nothing wrong with this but the mistake which all too man men make is not to consult their doctor at this stage to ensure that the problem is only BPH and that it is unlikely to lead to other problems in their particular case.Aside from the obvious risk of their being an underlying cancer, BPH can also cause other problems such as kidney disease or bladder infection.Should you begin to encounter symptoms that are suggestive of a developing prostate problem then talk to your doctor so that the problem can be diagnosed.