Dominic Littlewood and David Matheson urge men to check prostate
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Your urine can surprisingly tell you a lot about your health. In men, if your stream of urine is weak this could point towards issues with your prostate. If you’re having trouble peeing, it’s important to get to the root of the cause to figure out how to treat the problem. Here are five possible reasons for a weak urine stream and how to solve them.
Problems with starting or keeping a steady and strong stream of urine can affect men and women of all ages.
For women, this normally signals bladder prolapse but for men, the most common cause of this issue is Benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) or another problem with the prostate.
It’s worth noting that patients with diseases that affect the nervous system, such as Parkinson’s or Multiple Sclerosis (MS) may also be at risk for bladder issues that affect urination.
Here are the five possible prostate issues linked to a weak urine stream and what to do to fix them.
Benign prostatic hyperplasia
Benign prostatic hyperplasia means the bladder is not emptying properly.
The Urology Foundation explained: “With BPH this is usually because the enlarged prostate is blocking the urethra, which is the tube that carries urine out of the penis.
“Weak bladder muscles can cause the bladder to not empty properly when they can’t contract enough to empty out urine.”
According to Harvard Medical School, BPH progresses slowly and there’s plenty you can do to remedy the condition.
The advice reads: “Most men can decide for themselves if and when they would like to consider medication or surgery.
“Men with mild to moderate symptoms often find that the changes in fluid intake, medication use, and bladder habits listed below can noticeably relieve BPH’s bothersome effects.”
Prostate enlargement is a very common condition associated with ageing, and it could be to blame for your weak urine flow.
More than one in three of all men over 50 will have some symptoms of prostate enlargement, according to the NHS.
The site reads: “It’s not known why the prostate gets bigger as you get older, but it is not caused by cancer and does not increase your risk of developing prostate cancer.
“An enlarged prostate can put pressure on the urethra, which can affect how you urinate.”
Signs of an enlarged prostate can include difficulty starting or stopping urinating, a weak flow of urine, straining when peeing, feeling like you’re not able to fully empty your bladder, prolonged dribbling after you’ve finished peeing, needing to pee more frequently or more suddenly and waking up frequently during the night to pee.
See your GP if you notice any problems with, or changes to, your usual pattern of urination.
The NHS recommends cutting down how much fluid you drink before bed and your doctor may prescribe medicine to reduce the size of your prostate and relax the muscles of your bladder.
In severe cases that do not get better with medicine, the inner part of the prostate can be surgically removed.
Prostatitis is where the prostate gland becomes inflamed (swollen) and is sometimes caused by a bacterial infection, although more often no infection can be found and it’s not clear why it happened.
Prostatitis can develop in men of all ages, but it’s generally more common in men aged over 50 (unlike prostate enlargement).
Symptoms of prostatitis can include pain in the perineum, pelvis, genitals, lower back and buttocks, pain when urinating, a frequent need to pee, problems starting to pee and pain when ejaculating.
If you have these symptoms, see your GP to get a diagnosis and see if you can get alpha-blockers, antibiotics or anything else to treat prostatitis.
Most men will recover within a few weeks or months, although some will continue to have symptoms for longer.
In the UK, prostate cancer is the most common type of cancer in men.
More than 52,300 people are diagnosed every year – that’s about 140 every day.
The cause of prostate cancer isn’t 100 percent known, but it mainly affects men over 65, although men over 50 are also at risk.
Early prostate cancer does not usually cause any symptoms, but as it grows and puts pressure on your urethra you might notice symptoms in your urine.
This includes needing to pee more frequently (often during the night), needing to rush to the toilet, difficulty in starting to pee (hesitancy), straining or taking a long time while peeing, weak flow, feeling that your bladder has not fully emptied and blood in urine or blood in semen.
Even though these symptoms are much more likely to be down to prostate enlargement, you should see your GP if you have these symptoms so you can rule out cancer.
If it is prostate cancer, your outlook is generally good because this type of cancer progresses slowly.
The NHS site points out: “Many men die with prostate cancer rather than as a result of having it, and so prostate cancer, therefore, does not always need to be treated immediately.
“Sometimes, it may initially just be monitored and only treated if it gets worse.”
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