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What to do if the prostate causes problems?

60–80% of men in Europe experience an enlargement of the prostate, which typically becomes noticeable around the age of 45.

The symptoms of an enlarged prostate include:

  • Frequent urination

  • Dribbling

  • Wet underwear

  • Nocturia (nighttime urination)

  • nterrupted urination

  • Delayed urination

  • Weak urine stream

  • Straining during urination

  • Difficulty initiating urination

  • Fear of urination

  • Noticeable decrease in urine stream

  • Feeling that the bladder is not empty

  • Retention of residual urine in the bladder

  • Strong urge to urinate, but the amount of urine expelled feels insufficient

  • Uncontrollable urge to urinate, also known as imperative urgency. In this case, the urge to urinate is so strong that it is impossible to prevent urination.

Frequent own problem solving

To avoid the problem, people drink less so that they don't have to go to the toilet so often. However, drinking less is unhealthy. In order to provide the body with a sufficient amount of fluids, it is recommended to drink at least 2 litres per day.

Älterer Mann trinkt Wasser aus einem Glas.

If you consistently drink less, various health problems may arise. This can lead to not just one, but several issues, such as overall dehydration or a lack of water in the body, potentially leading to severe dehydration (exsiccosis).

Preventive care

The preventive examination of the prostate aims to detect and treat early changes. Prostate enlargement is the most common benign condition in men aged 45 and older, causing symptoms during urination.

However, with increasing age, the risk of malignant changes in prostate tissue also rises. Therefore, prostate cancer screening in men is a sensible preventive measure. This tactile and ultrasound examination, recommended annually from the age of 45, aims to identify both prostate enlargement and early detection of malignancy.

Ein älterer Patient und Arzt in einem Zimmer.
Regular preventive examinations can aid in early detection.

Men at increased risk of prostate cancer are those whose grandfather, father, brother or uncle developed the disease between the ages of 45 and 60. In such cases, it is advisable to start screening with a urologist (specialist) between the ages of 35 and 40.

Taboo Topic: Prostate Health

Only about 25% of men who undergo preventive examinations have prostate changes detected, often (too) late. The topic is frequently suppressed due to feelings of shame. Embarrassment, fear, and lack of awareness hinder visits to the urologist. Some men continuously make jokes about the subject, while others actively avoid discussing it.

There are also concerns about getting an erection during the test. More common is the fear that the doctor will diagnose cancer. But avoiding the examination is the wrong approach. It makes the prospect of maintaining a reasonably healthy prostate into old age very difficult, if not impossible. You should also confide in your partner and talk about your worries and fears.

Source: Prof. Dr. med. Dietmar Molitor, Urologist

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