Checking your prostate
If you have any discomfort or problems with your prostate, you can have it examined.
A doctor or nurse will then insert a finger a few centimetres into your anus and check the size and consistency of your prostate, and whether it is tender or if it has any lumps. If it is necessary to examine the prostate further, a blood test can be done. This is known as a PSA test.
If the prostate is inflamed, known as prostatitis, the prostate may be swollen, softer in consistency and painful. The pain may radiate down towards the inside of the thighs and out towards the scrotum and penis. It may also be painful to sit.
Sometimes it can be difficult to urinate, or you may need to urinate more frequently. Ejaculation may also be painful and you may feel pain in the area between the scrotum and anus.
Prostatitis is usually treated with antibiotics. You can alleviate and prevent prostate trouble by keeping your genitals warm, by having regular ejaculations and by stimulating the prostate by means of prostate massage. It is also good to try to avoid constipation so that faeces do not apply pressure to the prostate.
With age, the prostate gland may become enlarged. Prostate enlargement is common and is not the same thing as cancer.
When the prostate becomes enlarged, it compresses the urethra, making it more difficult for urine to pass. It is common for the urine stream to become weaker or for it to be difficult to empty the bladder completely. You may also have to urinate more often and get up several times in the night to go to the toilet.
Not all men with an enlarged prostate need treatment, but if you have problems, there are medicines that can help. If you have serious trouble, the prostate gland can be reduced, for instance, by surgery.
Last updated: 3/24/2015