If you are a male over the age of 45, it is a good idea to have a complete physical exam including a prostate check. Why is this important? The prostate can become enlarged and can lead to serious health problems if it goes unchecked.

What is a Prostate?

The majority of males are most likely unaware of what the prostate is or does until it becomes a problem. The prostate is a small gland located underneath the bladder. It is part of the reproductive system. When the prostate becomes enlarged it can cause both painful urination and ejaculation. Another term for the condition of an enlarged prostrate is Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia(BPH). The two major causes of this condition are age and genetics.

Symptoms of BPH

There are various symptoms associated with Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia, such as:
Difficulty urinating
Urinary infection
Frequent urination
Inconsistent urinary flow
Stiffness in back and hips
Painful ejaculation
Decrease in libido
If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, make an appointment with your doctor or a Healthcare Professional. Being proactive and getting checked out can help prevent kidney and bladder damage. Also, the condition can sometimes be cancerous, so catching it at an early stage is crucial.
Prostate Cancer
Prostate cancer is caused by extraneous growth of malignant cells in the prostate. The troublesome thing about this particular condition, is that can take years before any noticeable symptoms emerge. For this reason, it is important to have a physical exam at least once a year. This exam will include a PSA (Prostate-specific antigen) blood test. If PSA levels are too high, it could be an implication of prostate cancer. If that is the case, further tests will need to be conducted.
Treatment and Prevention
Due to the potentially cancerous traits of BPH, it is critical to stay ahead of it. Preventative measures can be taken, such as:
Getting yearly check-ups
PSA tests
Good nutrition
Regular exercise
Treatments can come in the form of:
Drink less fluid before bed
Medications to reduce prostate enlargement
Surgery in very serious cases
So, if you are experiencing any of the symptoms mentioned in the article, make an appointment to get checked out right away!