There’s a small organ in the male body that performs a function vital to fertility. Although it’s only approximately the size of a walnut, both its function and location can cause health issues if not properly cared for. Although prostate cancer is probably the most talked about health concern for that particular gland, it’s not the only thing that needs to be observed and discussed when it comes to proper prostate health.
Where Is The Prostate And What Is Its Function?
The prostate is a small gland found at the base of the penis, just below the bladder, and in front of the rectum. It is responsible for producing a fluid that makes up a vital part of semen in male ejaculation. It is also located near the upper part of the urethra, which is the tube that brings urine from the bladder out of the body. Due to its primary function, as well as where it’s located, if it becomes inflamed or infected, it can wreak havoc on different vital bodily functions.
What Can Go Wrong With My Prostate?
There are three major health concerns that we look at when it comes to maintaining proper prostate health: prostate cancer, prostatitis, and benign prostatic hyperplasia.
The first, prostate cancer, is probably the most widely known and talked about issues when it comes to prostate health. Prostate cancer starts to become a concern for most men in their 40s and 50s, although these ages can be adjusted based on known risk factors. These risk factors can include a family history of the disease or other cancers, being of African descent, or living at higher altitude levels. Depending on where you fall within these risk factors, we may recommend early screening procedures. There are two main screening procedures offered for prostate cancer, both of which should be discussed with your doctor to determine which is the best fit for you. The two options include a digital rectal exam (DRE), or a blood draw to test a prostate-specific antigen called PSA.
The other two conditions, prostatitis, and benign prostatic hyperplasia, are mostly due to infections in, and enlargement of, the prostate and can cause problems urinating, pelvic pain, painful urination, and painful ejaculation.
How Can I Keep My Prostate Healthy?
Just like any body part or important organ, there are no failsafe ways to protect the prostate, although there are some precautions you can take that will lend themselves to better prostate health. You should focus on maintaining a healthy and balanced diet, full of fruits and veggies, whole grains, healthy fats, and small portions, all while doing your best to limit sugars, processed meats, and salt. Maintaining a good physical routine is crucial to all aspects of your health, not just your prostate, so you should focus on a routine that includes strength training and cardiovascular exercise, which will also keep you at an ideal weight, giving your body and health an overall advantage. If you’re approaching your 40s or 50s, have had trouble urinating or ejaculating, or have a family history of the disease, book an appointment to visit the team at Mississippi Urology Clinic so we can help you evaluate your options for prostate health screening to ensure you are in good shape.