The prostate is a walnut sized gland that sits just below the bladder in men and is an integral part of the male reproductive system. Made up of two lobes and enclosed by a layer of tissue, the prostate goes through two main periods of growth. The first occurs early in puberty, when the prostate doubles in size. At around the age of 25, the gland begins to grow again. This second growth phase often results in what is identified as an enlarged prostate. As the prostate gets larger, the layer of tissue surrounding it stops it from expanding, causing the gland to press against the urethra. While the data varies, it is believed that most men over the age of 45 experience some amount of prostate enlargement, but may live symptom free. This enlargement is usually harmless, but it often results in problems urinating later on in life. By 60, it is believed that 80% of all men experience some sort of urinary interference due to prostate enlargement. Enlargement of the Prostate Enlargement of the prostate is not a malignant condition, but it does put pressure on the urethra and can create a number of urinary complaints such as frequent urination, urinary urgency, the need to get up at night to urinate, difficulty starting, a reduction to the force of the urine stream, terminal dribbling, incomplete emptying of the bladder and even the inability to urinate at all. If left unchecked, benign prostatic hypertrophy can cause serious problems over time including urinary tract infections, bladder or kidney damage, bladder stones or incontinence. Enlarged Prostate and Potential Impotency It is important to take care of your prostate and address any prostate, be it an enlarged prostate, prostetitis (inflammation of the prostate) or prostate cancer early on. Take an active role and protect yourself by having your prostate checked regularly. Traditional treatments for prostate issues include the surgical removal of all or part of the prostate. While most people experience a relief of symptoms, it may leave them impotent. For the health conscious, this should only be used as a last resort.
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