The prostate is a gland that sits at the bottom of the bladder and wraps around the urethra. The urethra is like a tube, where urine exits through from the bladder to the outside of the body. An enlarged prostate occurs primarily as function of genetics and time. As the prostate gets larger it may obstruct or block the flow of urine and result in a variety of problems or symptoms related to urination.

Enlarged prostate symptoms include:

  • Weak or slow urinary stream
  • Straining or pushing to urinate
  • Hesitancy (a delay when urine flow starts from attempting to urinate)
  • Intermittency (urine flow may stop and restart)
  • Increased urinary frequency (urinating more often)
  • Increased urinary urgency (suddenly or abruptly needing to urinate)
  • Sensation of incomplete bladder emptying (feeling like you are leaving urine behind)
  • Waking up in the middle of the night to urinate
  • Urinary incontinence, which is leaking urine when you don’t want to. With prostate enlargement this commonly comes in the form of dribbling after urination, however, it sometimes occurs on the way to the restroom with the abrupt sensation of needing to urinate.

It tends to be that the larger the prostate gland, the more likely it is to have these symptoms or severity of these symptoms. However, some might have prostate enlargement and have no symptoms or very minimal symptoms. Alternatively, a patient might have a small prostate gland and the above urinary symptoms, which then could be related to secondary causes and not an enlarged prostate gland. Obstruction of urine flow, specifically the symptoms of inability to get the urine out of the bladder, may also predispose to other problems such as stones in the bladder or urinary bladder infections.

Reviewing your symptoms and examination with your doctor or urologist is the best way to determine if you have an enlarged prostate and if additional tests/treatments need to be pursued. No two patients are the same and it is important to find a treatment plan best for you.


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