A man’s prostate gland usually starts to enlarge after he reaches age 40 years or middle age. This condition is called Benign Prostate Hyperplasia (BPH).
The prostate gland, which is normally about the size and shape of a walnut, wraps around the urethra between the pubic bone and the rectum, below the bladder. In the early stage of prostate enlargement, the bladder muscle forces urine through the narrowed urethra by contracting more powerfully. As a result, the bladder muscle becomes thicker and more sensitive, causing a need to urinate more often.
The prostate gland secretes a fluid that is discharged with sperm. The gland itself surrounds the urethra, which is the tube that carries urine from the bladder out through the tip of the penis. As the prostate grows larger, it may press on the urethra. This narrowing of the urethra can cause some men with prostate enlargement to have trouble with urination. Prostate enlargement may be the most common health problem in men older than 60 years.
Many men with an enlarged prostate have no symptoms. Common symptoms may include the following:
- Difficulty starting urination
- Dribbling of urine, especially after urinating
- A sense of not emptying the bladder
- Leaking of urine
- More frequent urination and a strong and sudden desire to urinate, especially at night
- Blood in the urine
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