According to your Urologist Des Moines Dr. Fawad Zafar, as many as one in three men have symptoms related to their prostate gland at some time in their lives. So men…how much do you really know about your prostate?

Chances are, you may not think about it until you experience a problem with it. To help you stay on top of your prostate health, your urologist Des Moines is sharing some of the most important things you need to know about your prostate.

Where is it?
Your prostate gland is located at the base of your bladder, and it surrounds part of your urethra, which is the tube that you pass urine and semen through.

What does it do?
Your prostate gland’s main function is to produce the liquid part of semen, making it important for reproduction. It also produces prostate specific antigen, which is a protein that helps change your semen into liquid. The way in which your prostate gland works and grows is dependent on the male sex hormone, testosterone.

What changes should men watch for?
Because your prostate surrounds your urethra, if you have a problem with it it’s likely to affect the way you pass urine by:

  • Making it difficult to pass urine;
  • Weakening the flow of urine;
  • Creating a feeling that your bladder has not completely emptied;
  • Producing a sudden urge or frequent need to pass urine.

Your urologist Des Moines finds that the most common cause of these symptoms is an enlarged prostate, which typically obstructs the flow of urine. Other causes of prostate difficulties include prostatitis and prostate cancer. If a patient’s symptoms are severe, your urologist Des Moines may suggest perform an operation to remove part of your prostate gland.

Prostatitis is an infection of a man’s prostate gland. Symptoms can include pain and discomfort in the genital area, an urgent or frequent need to pass urine and/or a fever that develops suddenly. Your urologist Des Moines may offer you some antibiotics to help clear up any bacterial infection or alpha-blockers, to help relax the muscles around your prostate gland.

Prostate cancer is a lump caused by cells in your prostate gland growing in an uncontrolled way. Symptoms typically include difficulty urinating, lower back pain and blood in the urine. Treatment will depend on whether the cancer has spread and the risk of side effects.

Although there’s no one thing that can reduce a man’s risk of prostate problems, sticking to a healthy diet and regular exercise may help. And if you haven’t already – stop smoking. And don’t put off seeing your urologist Des Moines if you’re worried about your health.