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Prostate problems

Anything that causes swelling or enlargement to the prostate can affect a man’s ability to pass urine because the urethra goes through the gland – one of the most common signs that there may be a problem with the prostate.

The prostate is a gland found only in men. It sits in the groin, behind the base of the penis inside the body. The main function of the prostate is to produce one of the major fluids that make up semen.

The urethra, the tube which carries urine from the bladder to the penis, also runs through the prostate. The prostate connects to the urethra so that the fluid it makes can be mixed with the fluid from the testes and ejaculated.

The common symptoms of prostate disease are:

  • difficulty in passing urine, for example difficulty getting started or dribbling
  • frequent urination
  • waking at night to urinate.
  • pain or burning when passing urine
  • pain when ejaculating.

If you have any of the symptoms, it’s important to see your doctor.

There are three main conditions that can affect your prostate. They are:

  • prostate enlargement
  • prostatitis (inflammation of the prostate gland)
  • prostate cancer.

Prostate enlargement and prostate cancer usually only affects men over the age of 50 and about half of men over this age will have some prostate enlargement. Prostatitis can affect men of any age. It is important for men, no matter what their age, to discuss prostate health with their doctor, and it can be talked about no matter what the reason for your visit to the doctor is.

Find out about prostate problem treatments.

Not sure what to do next?

If you are still concerned about your prostate problems, why not use healthdirect’s online Symptom Checker to get advice on when to seek medical attention.

The Symptom Checker guides you to the next appropriate healthcare steps, whether it’s self care, talking to a health professional, going to a hospital or calling triple zero (000).

Last reviewed: July 2015

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