Urinary Problems and the Prostate

Waterwork problems affect a large proportion of older men, but they do not need to affect your quality of life.

It is estimated that over 40% of men aged 60 years will suffer from bothersome urinary symptoms. The risk increases steadily with age. In most cases this is caused by benign enlargement of the prostate gland (Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH)), but symptoms can also be independently related to the effects of ageing of the bladder.

As the prostate grows larger it can obstruct the normal flow of urine. When the flow is obstructed the bladder muscles have to work harder to force the urine out. In turn this will cause the bladder wall to become thicker and more overactive (irritable).  It also makes it more difficult for the bladder to empty completely.

The severity of urinary symptoms does not exactly correspond to the degree of prostate enlargement and some men will experience no significant symptoms. However you may experience one or more of the following symptoms:

  • A slow stream with difficulty initiating flow
  • A sensation of not completely emptying your bladder
  • Frequent urination
  • Stopping and starting during urination
  • Having to rush to the toilet and being unable to hold on (Urgency)
  • Needing to strain to start urinating
  • Getting up many times at night to pass water (Nocturia)

Figure 1 You can get a better idea how severe one's symptoms are by completing a simple form such as the International Prostate Symptom Score (IPSS).

In many cases patients can be treated by looking at some simple lifestyle changes, sometimes in association with medication, in more severe cases patients may require surgery. 

We understand that urinary symptoms can cause a great deal of stress and bother, and we are able to offer prompt thorough investigations to enable the appropriate reassurance, advice and treatments which may improve quality of life.

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