I get this question all the time: do I really need my prostate? The prostate is important for reproduction, so I guess if you’re done having kids you technically don’t need it. The problem is you can’t just remove it without a whole host of sexual and urinary side effects, so the best thing to do is to keep it as healthy as possible and stay in front of any potential problems. Here are a few of the things that can “go wrong” with the prostate:
Enlarged Prostate (BPH): The prostate is a walnut-sized gland located between the bladder and the penis. It surrounds the urine tube (the urethra). Kind of like a donut around the donut hole. As we get older and that “donut” gets bigger (this is normal and expected for all men over the age of forty), the “hole” gets smaller and we can develop a weaker flow and/or more frequent urination, including waking up at night to pee (nocturia). This is so easy to treat. Click on this link to learn more.
Prostatitis: Some men will suffer a bout of prostatitis at some time in their life. This is a benign but very frustrating condition that is difficult to cure. It is difficult because no one really knows what causes it. There are a number of options that can provide a degree of relief of the pain, frequency, and discomfort urinating associated with prostatitis.
Prostate Cancer: This is the most common cancer in men in the US and the second leading cause of death from cancer. More than 200,000 men are diagnosed each year. 1 in 7 men will develop prostate cancer and 1 in 38 will die from it. Prostate cancer is a fatal disease, but it is generally very slow-growing giving us lots of treatment options, including observation (active surveillance). Early diagnosis is the key.
I am a Urologist in Phoenix, AZ, and I specialize in Men’s Health, including vasectomy, enlarged prostate and the Urolift procedure, low testosterone, erectile dysfunction, and Peyronie’s Disease. Thanks for reading!