The prostate gland is below the bladder and surrounds the urethra, which is the tube that carries urine from the kidneys to be expelled from the body. The purpose of the prostate is to regulate the flow of urine and create a glandular secretion that makes up part of the seminal fluid during ejaculation. Over time the prostate grows and may become too large to permit normal urinary and sexual function, especially in men over the age of 40. Several methods are available to help decrease prostate size.
- Skill level:
- Moderately Easy
Treat the enlarged prostate by changing your diet and avoiding irritants. Avoid antihistamines, caffeine, alcohol, cold weather, and prolonged sitting. Reduce the fat content of your diet and get regular exercise. Drink as little fluid as possible before bed to help curb the need for frequent trips to the bathroom at night. Consider adding a saw palmetto herbal supplement, which has seen widespread use in Europe as a treatment for enlarged prostate, to your daily vitamin routine.
Talk with your doctor about drugs that help to reduce swelling of the prostate. Proscar and Avodart have both been shown to help reduce swelling, with Proscar shown to reduce the risk of prostate cancer by as much as 25%. Medications called alpha blockers--commonly used to treat high blood pressure--have been shown to relax the muscle fibres in the prostate and increase urinary flow.
Soak in a warm bath or hot tub for 20 minutes as frequently as two or three times per day. The warm water will penetrate the gland and reduce swelling of the prostate.
Ejaculate frequently. Frequent ejaculation through masturbation or sexual activity helps to remove prostatic fluid and will shrink the prostate.
Undergo prostate surgery. The most common form of prostate surgery is called trans urethral resection (TURP). During surgery, the surgeon will shave down the lining of the prostate gland with a cautery (hot wire), reopening the urethra channel. The procedure uses a fibre optic microscope and takes approximately one hour. The total recovery period from TURP surgery is 4 to 6 weeks.
Treat your prostate with microwaves. Less-severe cases of prostate swelling can be treated with microwaves, a procedure that shrinks the prostate and destroys some of the inner tissue. The microwave treatment can be performed in a doctor's office and is an alternative to surgery for some patients.
Talk to your doctor about having a prostatic stent installed. A prostatic stent is a small spring that is inserted into the penis and holds the prostate apart, allowing for the easy flow of urine. A prostatic stent is commonly used in men who cannot undergo general anesthetic.
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