The prostate gland causes symptoms in at lease one-half of the male population

TURP is the method of choice

The prostate The prostate is a small chestnut-sized gland weighing less than an ounce (about 20 grams). Lying just below the bladder, it wraps itself around the urethra much like a doughnut so that any swelling or enlargement has a direct consequence on the urinary system.

It is enclosed in a thin fibrous capsule and made up of several partly muscular and partly glandular zones with ducts opening into the prostatic urethra.

It secretes a thin, opalescent, slightly alkaline fluid that combines with sperm and fluid from the seminal vesicles to make up the ejaculate or semen. At the time of ejaculation, prostate muscles squeeze the gland and propel this fluid into the prostatic uretha to help nourish and transport the sperm.

Prostate Disease is not inevitable; however, it is well known that the prostate gland grows larger as a man ages and causes symptoms in at lease one-half of the male population. Approximately one in 10 men require a surgical solution.

It is a misconception that an active sex life is the cause of prostate disease - truth is, sex may be just the right prescription for preventing some prostate conditions. It is also untrue that all prostate disease develops into prostate cancer.

When prostate cancer occurs, the good news is that early diagnosis and treatment and a knowledge of ways to handle any post-treatment sexual difficulties will allow most men to continue to enjoy the pleasure of sexual intercourse for as long as they live.

Benign prostatic hypertrophy (BPH) is the most common of prostate abnormalities affects 80 percent of American men in their eighties and nearly half of all men aged 60 years and older. BPH is a progressive condition and can cause obstruction of the urethra with interference in urine flow. Frequently, surgical removal of the portion of the gland encroaching on (strangling) the urethra is necessary.

Surgical resection or transurethral prostatectomy (TURP) is the method of choice when BPH is associated with chronic infection, urinary retention or when associated with obstruction that threatens to damage the kidneys.

It is the most commons surgery for relieving obstruction and is relatively free of life-threatening complications. The procedure removes only the part of the prostate that is causing obstruction. It leaves no scarring and requires three to six days in the hospital.

After a TURP, ejaculation is different. During the TURP, the bladder neck is widened to remove the blockage and remains permanently open allowing ejaculate to flow backward into the bladder rather than being expelled from the penis. The ejaculate then leaves the body during urination.

For many men, this process, known as retrograde ejaculation, does not change the sensation of orgasm; however, some men and their partners do experience a difference. Non-surgical methods of treatment are also available. Alpha blockers may be used to relax the muscles of the prostate and allow the urethra to open us so urine can pass through. An androgen suppressor, finasteride, is also being used with a fair rate of success in some patients. It prevents the male sex hormone, testosterone, from stimulating growth of the prostate.