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SEX DOCTOR: PROBLEMS OF THE PROSTATE; ISSUE OF THE WEEK.

Byline: Dr Catherine Hood

HAVING an enlarged prostate gland isn't necessarily a threat to your health but it can seriously restrict your life.

Benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) affects 50 per cent of men by the age of 60. But there is help at hand for those who suffer the side-effects.

The prostate gland is about the size of a walnut and is situated at the base of the bladder in men. As a man gets older the gland gets larger. There's no way to prevent this and it's not known why some men get symptoms while other don't.

WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS?

WHEN the prostate gets bigger it can obstruct the normal flow of urine from the bladder. You might have to go to the toilet more often, especially at night.

It may be difficult to start to pee and when you do, the flow isn't as strong as it used to be. Finally when you think you've emptied your bladder you find you have a little bit left over.

If the gland gets really big then it can stop you peeing altogether which is very painful.

If you think you have a problem then see your doctor who will examine you and may send you for a scan.

TREATMENT

AN enlarged prostate can be treated by tablets that relax the prostate muscle or others that stop the growth of the gland.

Some herbal remedies, like rye grass pollen or saw palmetto may help too, although their usefulness hasn't been proven.

SURGERY

IF your symptoms are very bad then surgery may be the best option. This usually involves cutting away some of the prostate gland so that urine can flow more easily from the bladder.

Newer techniques use lasers or microwave technology and have fewer side-effects.
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Sunday Mirror (London, England)
Date:Jan 13, 2008
Words:296
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