How does an enlarged prostate interfere with urination?

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Dr. Frank A. Spinelli, MD
Internal Medicine
The prostate is a walnut shaped gland that sits below the bladder in men. The urethra carries urine from the bladder, passing through the prostate, to the penis. As men age, their prostates enlarge. This is referred to as benign prostatic hyperplasia or BPH. Other causes of an enlarged prostate include inflammation, or prostatitis, caused by an infection or trauma. Cancer of the prostate is the second leading cause of death in American men and can present with symptoms consistent with an enlarged prostate. When the prostate becomes enlarged, it may compress the urethra causing problems with urination. Symptoms include: a frequent need to urinate, difficulty initiating or stopping urination, incontinence or dribbling. Enlarged prostates can also impede the flow of urine so that urine is retained for longer peroids of time in the bladder, which could lead to an infection. If you think you have an enlarged prostate ask yourself: Do I stand at the urinal for a while before I'm able to urinate? Do I feel like I haven't completely evacuated my bladder even after I've urinated? Do I wake up several times a night to urinate? And, finally do I experience burning during urination or ejaculation?
Dr. Mehmet Oz, MD
Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease)
In men, the prostate surrounds the urethra. Urine passes out of the bladder through the urethra to exit from the penis. If the prostate is enlarged, it can constrict the urethra and make it difficult for urine to pass through. Watch Dr. Oz talk about enlarged prostate and urination.



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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.