Barely larger than a chestnut, the prostate gland is a genital gland that surrounds the urethra and is just below the bladder. One of his roles is to secrete the nutrients and fluidifying sperm. Its weight evolves during the growth and reaches between 15 and 20 grams when the man is an adult. Its volume will evolve on its side when its owner will age.
Normal volume of the prostate
The normal volume of the prostate does not exceed 30 to 35 cm3 in adults and measures an average of 3 centimeters in length and 4 centimeters in width for a thickness of about 3 centimeters.
What is it?
Also called prostatic adenoma, prostatic hypertrophy is an abnormal increase in the size of the prostate. As you get older almost all men will have problems with benign hypertrophy (BPH), some will feel no discomfort, while for others it will be a very debilitating disease.
Difficult to identify, the causes of hypertrophy can sometimes come from hereditary predisposition but also from an increased sensitivity of the prostate to certain hormones.
The volume gain of the prostate causes compression of the urethra and pressure on the bladder. As a result, there are various easily identifiable symptoms, such as an urge to urinate, which is very frequent at night as well as during the day, a urine jet that is difficult to start, weak, or even intermittent, with the impression that it cannot completely empty the bladder. Urination can be painful and urine can contain blood.
Finally, on the sexual level, discomfort can be felt because hypertrophy causes a drop in the vigor of ejaculation.
People at risk
The people likely to be affected by the hypertrophy of the prostate are Caucasian men and Africans (very rare among Asians) over 50 years and especially those having had grandparents with this disease.
There are risk factors that are suspected but not yet scientifically recognized. Lack of physical activity, obesity, smoking, BPH cure and diabetes may increase the risk of prostate hypertrophy.
To prevent worsening of the disease, men with benign hypertrophy may take on new habits that are easy to put into place. First, good physical activity will decrease urine retention. Then, it will be necessary to set a regular rhythm to go to urinate (approximately every 4 hours) and not to do it in urgency. In a situation of urination, complete emptying of the bladder is advised. The sitting position can sometimes help to empty it to the maximum.
The use of alpha-blocking medications will facilitate the emptying of the bladder by releasing their muscle fibers as well as those of the prostate. Combined with these drugs, prostatic hyperplasia treatment that reduces the production of dihydrotestosterone may be prescribed. After 3 to 6 months of combined therapy, the prostate can see its volume decrease by 20 to 30% and the symptoms fade.
Some of the drugs include:
- Avodart from the laboratory, for the treatment of adenoma;
- Finasteride, a generic that reduces the conversion of testosterone in the body;
- Proscar tablets from the Merck Sharp and Dohme laboratory for the treatment of benign hyperplasia.
Sometimes medications are unsatisfactory and no improvement or complications occur. In this case, the use of surgery should be considered.
Known as transurethral resection of the prostate, TURP is the most common operation. It consists of introducing an endoscopic instrument from the urethra to the bladder to heal the hyperplastic parts. Another operation done under regional anesthesia is to place thin tubes in the urethra to ensure a good opening to the conduit. In case of slight hypertrophy of small incisions in the neck of the bladder may improve urination. Finally, when the prostate has taken too much volume or that damaging complication to the kidneys occurs, open surgery with general anesthesia will be performed by incising the lower abdomen to remove some of the prostate glands.