The prostate is a doughnut-shaped cluster of glands that lies at the bottom of the bladder, about halfway between the rectum and the base of the penis. It encircles the urethra, the tube that carries urine from the bladder out through the penis. This walnut-sized gland produces some of the fluid that transports sperm during ejaculation.
The three most common prostate problems for older men are: infections (prostatitis), prostate enlargement (benign prostatic hypertrophy), and prostate cancer.
Prostatitis (Prostate Infection)
There are two types of prostate infection—chronic and acute. Chronic prostatitis frequently accompanies a urinary tract infection and shares those symptoms:
- Pain and burning on urination and ejaculation
- A strong and frequent urge to urinate while passing only small amounts of urine
- Blood in the urine (occasionally)
Acute prostatitis comes on suddenly with the additional symptoms of fever, chills, and back or abdominal pain.
Prostate infections will usually respond well to home care and antibiotic therapy. In some cases, the infection will recur every few weeks. Long-term treatment with antibiotics may be necessary.
- Avoid alcohol, coffee, tea, and spicy foods.
- Drink more fluids, both water and fruit juices. Extra fluids help flush the urinary tract clean. Try to drink three quarts a day.
- Keep stress under control. A high level of stress is closely associated with these infections.
- Drink as much water as you can tolerate.
- Hot baths helps soothe pain and reduce stress.
- Eliminate all alcohol, coffee, tea, and spicy foods from your diet.
When to Call a Health Professional
- If urinary symptoms are combined with fever, chills, vomiting, or pain in the back or abdomen.
- If symptoms continue for seven days despite home care.
- If there is blood in the urine.
- If you have urinary or ejaculatory pain and a discharge from your penis.
Filed Under: Health Information
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