Prostate Enlargement Symptoms

The prostate gland is part of the reproductive system in males and is responsible for producing fluid that assists in the movement of sperm during ejaculation. An enlarged prostate is often called benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) or benign prostatic hypertrophy. Prostate enlargement is common as men age and symptoms associated with the gland enlarging are urinary related due to the gland surrounding the urethra.

Problems With Urination

The urethra is the tube that passes urine out of the body. The prostate gland surrounds the urethra, and when it enlarges, it presses on this tube causing problems with urination. The symptoms that indicate an enlarged prostate include a weak urine stream, difficulties in starting a stream of urine, unsteady stream of urine such as starting and stopping frequently, dribbling after urinating and an increase in the frequency and urgency to urinate.

Urinary Tract Problems

An enlarged prostate may contribute to urinary tract problems and infections reports the Mayo Clinic. The prostate gland enlarging and pressing down on the urethra can block the flow of urine causing an incomplete emptying of the bladder. The urine may even flow back towards the kidneys causing an infection and other problems there. The symptoms of a urinary tract infection include pain with urination and blood in the urine (hematuria). There are some symptoms of a urinary tract infection that can also be associated with the normal enlargement process of the prostate and includes incontinence, having to urinate more than twice at night and frequency with urination. Bladder stones may form and kidney function may be impaired as a result of urinary retention from an enlarged prostate.

When to Report Symptoms

The Mayo Clinic recommends seeing a doctor if any urinary problems or changes are noted with urination.The symptoms may not be too bothersome and may not need treated, but the doctor will check the symptoms and determine if they are caused by an enlarged prostate or another condition. However, the inability to pass any urine at all requires immediate medical attention. The severity of the symptoms vary among every man and is not actually related to the enlarged size of the prostate gland. For example, the Mayo Clinic reports that some men who have more of an enlarged prostate don’t necessarily experience anymore negative symptoms than do men with a smaller enlargement of the gland.

About this Author

Elizabeth Hamilton has been employed as a licensed practical nurse for more than a decade in various medical settings. She has written articles appearing on LIVESTRONG and eHow.com. Her vast knowledge and passion for medicine are incorporated into the articles she writes.