Male Health

What Every Man Should Know About Prostate Health

Oct 22, 2023
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What Every Man Should Know About Prostate Health

Most men don’t like going to the doctor, and even fewer feel comfortable talking about their sexual health and reproductive systems. We get it.

At Gulf Coast Urology in Houston and Nassau Bay, Texas, we understand men — not just their bodies, but their hesitancy to seek medical care.

Some feel that seeking help of any kind is less than masculine; others fear the potential diagnosis they’ll hear; and still others just don’t have the time to schedule regular visits.

Whatever’s keeping you away, it may be putting you at risk for health problems you can easily avoid or treat before they become serious. Your prostate falls into this category. While you may think of cancer when you hear the term prostate, cancer isn’t the only problem that affects this gland.

Here, Dr. John Bertini and Dr. James Harris, our prostate specialists, take a closer look at the prostate to give you a better overall understanding of what it does and what can go wrong with it.

Sometimes, a little information is all you need to recognize a potential problem and let you know when it’s in your best interest to seek medical attention.

Understanding your prostate

Your prostate is a gland in your reproductive system, but it’s easy to see why some people associate the prostate with the urinary tract because it can trigger symptoms like frequent urination or difficulty urinating.

That's because it’s located underneath your bladder, just in front of your rectum. In fact, it surrounds your urethra, so if it’s inflamed, it can restrict the flow of urine.

Despite its effect on your urinary tract, the prostate’s main function is to produce seminal fluid that nourishes and transports sperm during ejaculation.

How big is your prostate?

When it comes to your prostate, size matters. As you age, your prostate continues to grow, which is why older men tend to struggle with an enlarged prostate.

Your prostate goes through various growth cycles. By the time you reach puberty, it’s about the size of a walnut. Once you hit your 20s, it grows again steadily for the rest of your life.

By the time you’re 60, your prostate could be the size of a lemon. And by the time you’re 80, chances are you will notice at least some of the signs of an enlarged prostate.

Possible problems with your prostate

There are several different conditions that can affect your prostate. In addition to prostate cancer, prostatitis — inflammation and/or infection of the prostate — is one of the more common problems.

Some of the symptoms of prostatitis are minor annoyances and others are more problematic. Here’s what to watch for:

  • Frequent or urgent urination
  • Pain in your abdomen, groin, or back
  • Pain or burning when you urinate
  • Cloudy urine
  • Pain when you ejaculate
  • Painful scrotum or rectum
  • Tender testicles or penis
  • Flu-like symptoms

Prostatitis typically affects men over 50, but you can get it at any age.

How we treat prostate problems

Most prostate problems are easily treated, and the earlier we catch them, the better.

In many cases, we can simply take a wait-and-see approach and monitor the problem over time.

Depending on what’s causing your prostate issues, medication may be the best treatment to relax your bladder and the prostate muscle.

When surgery becomes necessary, Drs. Bertini and Harris rely on the most advanced technology to resolve the issue. In a procedure called transurethral resection of the prostate (TURP), we can remove the excess tissue that’s blocking the free flow of urine.

If you have prostate cancer, your treatment plan may include surgical removal of the tumor, radiation therapy, chemotherapy, and/or hormone therapy.

Regardless of what’s causing your prostate issues, we can help. If you’re experiencing symptoms of a prostate problem or simply want to have the peace of mind knowing your prostate is healthy, schedule a consultation with one of our experts by calling or booking online.

We’re here for you

Book your personalized care

To access the best, most comprehensive urological care, partner with the team at Gulf Coast Urology. Request your appointment today by calling the office or clicking the online booking tool.

Gulf Coast Urology patient and doctor