Prostate gland care refers to the series of ways of taking care of your prostate to avoid health issues related to it. It also encompasses diagnosis and treatments for an already “sick” prostate. All in all, prostate gland care is the act of keeping the prostate healthy.
Although the prostate is not an organ man cannot survive without, it is still vital that we keep it healthy since it plays a significant role in male fertility. Also, because serious complications may arise from leaving prostate conditions untreated, we have to be well-informed about Prostate gland care.
What is the Prostate Gland?
The prostate gland is a small gland (popularly compared to a walnut) in the male reproductive system. It is found between the bladder and the penis, near the rectum. The urethra, the organ through which urine passes, lies at the center of the prostate. The prostate is made up of glandular and fibromuscular tissues. The fiber muscles around the prostate make it feel elastic and smooth.
The prostate gland is known as the largest accessory gland in the male reproductive anatomy. It produces special enzymes called proteolytic enzymes that nourish and protect sperm cells. The fluid makes the higher percentage of the semen during ejaculation and serves as transport for sperm.
Semen must be kept fluid to aid the movement of sperm from the vagina to the point of fertilization or potential fertilization. It is the enzyme secreted by the prostate that keeps the semen from clotting.
As you can see, if your prostate is left uncared for and becomes diseased, you are at serious risk of infertility.
So, without any further ado, let’s jump right into the topic.
How to care for the Prostate Gland?
Here are some tips on how to keep your prostate gland healthy.
These are daily behaviors and ways of life that can keep your prostate healthy.
- Always urinate as soon as you feel the urge to.
- Avoid taking alcohol or caffeine in late hours.
- Do not take medications like antidepressants or hormone boosters without your doctor’s prescription.
- Do kegel exercises routinely to strengthen your pelvic muscles
- Reduce stress levels. Always get enough rest
- Empty your bladder when urinating
- Try bladder training exercises
Some foods are known to help prevent the risk of prostate diseases, particularly prostate enlargement. You are what you eat. So is your prostate. Here are some of the foods to include in your diet.
- Tomatoes: they contain lycopene which is an essential antioxidant to prostate gland cells’ health.
- Berries: all berries ( blackberries, blueberries, strawberries, e.t.c) are also a healthy source of antioxidants. They help to remove excess by-products of metabolism that may be harmful to the body.
- Vegetables: Vegetables like broccoli contain sulforaphane which is presumed to fight cancer cells and promote a healthy prostate.
- Citrus fruits: citrus fruits like oranges, lemons, and limes are rich in vitamin C and may help to promote a healthy prostate.
Here are also some things you take that you may need to delete or reduce from your diet if you want a healthy prostate:
- Dairy: reduce dairy products like cheese and butter in your diet. Regular consumption of dairy may increase the risk of enlarged prostate.
- Caffeine and alcohol: Too much caffeine and alcohol may increase urine production and increase urine urge. It may pose as a symptom of prostate condition.
- Red meat: Constant consumption of red meat is believed to increase the risk of prostate enlargement.
3. Prostate massage:
To keep a healthy prostate, you can milk the prostate gland by getting a prostate massage. You can go for routine milking or get trained to do it on your own. It involves inserting your finger or a prostate massager through the rectum to stimulate the prostate. Stimulation of the prostate may lead to intense orgasm in men, as the prostate is very sensitive.
4. Routine checkup:
it is advisable to go for a prostate checkup at least once or twice a year. The doctor examines your prostate by inserting his fingers into your rectum to feel the prostate. They check for abnormalities like lumps or nodules in the prostate. The doctor also checks if any swelling has occurred. Routine examination of the prostate can aid early diagnosis and may save your life.
Why is Prostate Gland Care important?
We cannot stress the importance of good care for your prostate. As stated earlier, the prostate gland plays a significant role in fertility. Your prostate has to be in good condition for you to produce healthy and nourished semen.
Prostate illnesses are mostly known to go hand in hand with urinal problems. Good care for your prostate may reduce the risk of urinal problems that may disturb your comfort and affect your quality of life.
Finally, it is essential to give good care to your prostate to avoid prostate conditions that may threaten your life.
These are health disorders or illnesses that may affect the prostate. The most common prostate condition is prostate enlargement, and it is discussed in detail further in the article. Other common conditions are briefly discussed.
What is Prostate Enlargement?
Prostate enlargement is medically known as Benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH). It involves the swelling of the prostate due to cell multiplication in the gland.
The swelling causes squeezing of the urethra and makes urination uneasy. It is common in older men aged 50 and above.
What causes Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia?
The particular cause of prostate enlargement remains unknown, but it is mainly associated with old age, hence why it is common in men aged 50 and above. The prostate grows as men grow older; the rate of growth varies anyway.
A direct quote from Healthline goes thus:
“BPH is considered a normal condition of aging. Although the exact cause is unknown, changes in male sex hormones that come with aging may be a factor. Any family history of prostate problems or any abnormalities with your testicles may raise your risk for BPH. Men who’ve had their testicles removed at a young age don’t develop BPH”.(1).
How to know if you have an enlarged Prostate?
You may experience mild symptoms if you have Benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH). These symptoms may become severe if left unchecked. Symptoms of an enlarged prostate include:
- Urinating more than two times before dawn. (This is called nocturia)
- A weak or extremely thin urine stream
- Experiencing pain while urinating
- Presence of blood in the urine
- Inability to empty the bladder during urination
- Weak bladder control
- Delay during urination
- Urine retention (inability to urinate at all) may occur from complications.
It is advised that you see a doctor when you notice any of these symptoms for a while. Note that you should see the doctor immediately if you have urine retention or bloodstains in your urine.
How is BPH diagnosed?
BPH is usually diagnosed from a prostate examination, urine flow test, Urine Culture, Bladder pressure test, and cystoscopy.
In all you do, make sure you only get your diagnosis from a certified health professional.
How is BPH treated after the diagnosis?
After you may have been diagnosed with BPH, there is no need to worry. There are effective treatment procedures available. Your doctor will determine the best one for you, depending on the severity of your condition, age, and overall health.
Medication is used to treat less severe symptoms or relatively small enlargements. It is the most common form of prostate enlargement treatment. These medications include;
- Alpha-blockers: Alpha-blockers relax muscles and fibers around or in the prostate. This makes urine passage easier. Alpha-blockers — which include alfuzosin (Uroxatral), doxazosin (Cardura), tamsulosin (Flomax), and silodosin (Rapaflo) — usually work quickly in men with relatively small prostates.
Side effects might include dizziness and a harmless condition in which semen goes back into the bladder instead of out the tip of the penis (retrograde ejaculation). (2).
- 5-alpha reductase inhibitors: These drugs are used to slowly shrink the prostate size by halting hormonal changes that may assist prostate growth. This is a slower treatment method and may only be fully effective between 6 to 8 months.
- Some Erectile dysfunction drugs: Drugs like Tadalafil used in treating male sexual conditions like impotence and erectile dysfunction may also treat BPH.
- Antibiotics: an antibiotic medication course may manage swellings caused by inflammation due to bacterial infections. Antibiotics will only work if bacteria cause the enlargement.
2. Surgery and surgery therapy:
The surgical process is used for more severe symptoms. The surgery is usually minimally invasive.
- Laser Surgery: The surgeon uses a highly energized laser to destroy and remove overgrown prostate tissues. You should feel immediate relief with your symptoms. This procedure is best because it has a low risk of side effects.
- Prostatic urethral lift: The surgeon inserts special medical tags around your prostate to induce compression. The compressed prostate allows for easy urination. This procedure is mainly used when your symptom is a lower urinary tract symptom. It has a low risk of causing other sexual conditions.
- Prostatectomy: This may be open or robot-assisted. It requires the surgeon to cut your lower abdomen to access your prostate and remove tissues. This procedure is recommended for complicated cases.
- Transurethral resection of the prostate (TURP): The surgeon inserts a lighted scope in your urethra and removes part of the prostate, leaving only the outer part. Symptoms should disappear almost immediately.
- Transurethral incision of the prostate (TUIP): The surgeon makes small and precise cuts(usually between 1 to 2) in your prostate gland. This makes it easy for urine to pass through the urethra. This surgery is advised if you have underlying health conditions that make other surgeries risky.
- Transurethral needle ablation (TUNA): This is an obsolete method of treating prostate enlargement. In this procedure, the surgeon uses a lighted scope to place needles in your prostate gland. The needles allow the passage of radio waves, thereby heating and destroying excess tissues.
- Transurethral microwave thermotherapy (TUMT): The surgeon inserts a special electrode in the prostate area to allow microwave energy to pass through and destroy the inner part of the swollen prostate.
BPH is easily treated or managed, especially when diagnosed early. Complications that may arise when left unattended are:
- Kidney stones: Also known as nephrolithiasis, is a condition where there is a blockage in the kidney caused by the deposition of minerals and acid salts in the body. This is accompanied by severe pain in the lower back and may be hard to pass out through the urine system if it gets larger than 5mm.
- Bladder damage: Complications in enlarged prostate may lead to severe bladder damage.
- Kidney damage: Kidney damage may result from complications. Swollen ankles and extreme body weakness characterize it. Waste products will accumulate in the body if the kidney does not function well. This may cause a total kidney shutdown if left unchecked.
- Urinary tract diseases: Urinary tract disease may occur from complications. There may be extreme pain trying to pass urine, back pain, vomiting, and fever. Also, blood may be present in urine. It is usually self-diagnosable.
- Urine retention: One may lose the ability to urinate at all. This requires urgent medical attention.
Other prostate conditions include:
- Prostatitis: This is also a common prostate condition similar to Benign prostatic hyperplasia as there is enlargement and swelling involved sometimes. It is caused by the bacterial inflammation of the prostate gland.
This can disappear independently without diagnosis and treatment or be treated quickly with a proper course of antibiotic drugs.
- Prostate cancer: Prostate cancer is the presence of cancerous cells in the prostate gland.
According to the American Cancer Society, prostate cancer is the most common form of cancer in males after skin cancer. It affects around 1 in 9 males during their lifetime.
On average, people receive a prostate cancer diagnosis at age 66. The American Cancer Society state that people can choose whether to get a prostate cancer screening based on their age and risk factors, but that they should be aware of the potential risks of testing beforehand. (3).
The prostate gland is a small gland in the male reproductive system. It would help if you cared for your prostate to avoid conditions that may disturb your comfort and affect your daily life.