A man can add prostate gland enlargement to death and taxes as one of life's inevitabilities. His prostate gland starts bulking up at about age fifty, and once it starts increasing in size, it never stops. By age seventy-five, almost all -- 90 percent -- of men will have big prostate glands due to a condition known as benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH). If you are dashing off to the men's room more often than usual, have to strain to urinate, or are embarrassed by occasional episodes of incontinence, BPH may be the culprit. Medical treatments (pills, both prescription and herbal) are now available to ease urination and decrease prostate gland size. When pills stop working and you continue to have problems with urination, prostate surgery can provide relief. This chapter focuses on BPH. Chapter 24 deals with prostate cancer. In this chapter, you will find discussions on:
1. Where the prostate gland is and what it does 2. Benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) 3. Controlling symptoms caused by BPH 4. Which medication is best to control symptoms of BPH 5. Prostate surgery for BPH 6. The cost of treating BPH
The prostate gland rests in the lower abdomen, nestled between a man's bladder and his rectum. (See Figure 23.1.) Liquid secretions from the prostate gland mix with sperm released from the testicles and contribute to semen. Additional fluid is provided by the seminal vesicles, smaller glands huddled near the prostate. The prostatic and seminal vesicle aqueous secretions provide a convenient and efficient waterway for sperm to be transported out of the testicle and deposited in the vagina at the climax of sexual intercourse.