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Men's Health - The Importance of a Healthy Prostate

The prostate is one of the most important parts of the male body; it controls erections, sperm production and plays a major part in the urinary system. Serious health problems with the prostate can be life-threatening so it's really important that men understand how their prostate works and do everything they can to keep it healthy and recognise symptoms of any major prostate illnesses.

Prostate Enlargement

The prostate becomes larger as men get older as a result of changing hormone levels in the body, but for the majority this doesn't cause any problems and isn't something to worry about. However for some men this can cause urinary problems as the enlarged prostate can press against the bladder and urethra, resulting in a frequent need to urinate, difficulty in starting urinating or difficulty in fully emptying the bladder. This is called benign prostatic hyperplasia, often referred to as BPH.

Prostate massage therapy is said to help reduce prostate enlargement by clearing the gland of congested fluid and increasing healthy blood flow. Many men find the prospect daunting as they simply don't how to prostate massage without causing more harm than good.

The most important thing to remember is to be gentle and don't overdo it, as you could risk making the prostate sore. 

Prostatitis & Prostate Pain

Another major prostate illness is prostatitis; the swelling or infection of the prostate causing severe pain in the genital area. Prostatitis symptoms include difficulty urinating and ejaculating, so it can have a huge impact on your everyday life as well as your sex life. For this reason it's really important that you visit your doctor if you think you have prostatitis.

Acute prostatitis is usually caused by a bacterial infection as a result of bacteria passing from the urinary tract into the prostate. Usually with this kind of prostatitis symptoms start very suddenly, and since it can do swift and serious damage to the prostate and surrounding area it is classed as a medical emergency. A course of antibiotics is the most common solution to this.

Chronic prostatitis is when symptoms slowly become apparent over a few months, and vary in their severity from day to day. This is the most common form of prostatitis, but it can be difficult to treat as doctors are not always certain what causes it.

Simply sitting down can be difficult with chronic prostatitis as it puts uncomfortable pressure on the area between the scrotum and the anus, where the prostate is located. On-going pain and discomfort in the prostate and genital area can severely affect a man's happiness and well-being, particularly when doctors can't find a remedy. A great pain reliever for this is the Pressure Relief Cushion which is specially designed to relieve pressure from soft tissue when sitting. It's suitable for any kind of chair and easy to travel with so that chronic sufferers can find relief wherever they go.

The Prostate Cradle is another great way of relieving prostate pain and discomfort; this device gives a gentle, therapeutic massage externally as the user slowly rocks back and forth upon it. This is a lot less invasive than internal massage but can be just as effective at soothing pain and discomfort.

Prostate Cancer

Prostate cancer is the most common form of cancer in men and a serious health concern, particularly if there is a family history of the disease. The treatments of prostate cancer, such as radiotherapy or chemotherapy, have severe side effects, as does prostectomy, complete removal of the prostate. Catching the illness early will make treatment less severe, so if you think you have the genes for prostate cancer you should chat to your GP about your options.

If you're worried that something might be wrong with your prostate you can take a simple home test that identifies if you have Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA). Doctors often undertake PSA tests on patients that they consider to be high risk of developing prostate cancer. High levels of PSA occur in the blood when the prostate is enlarged or cancerous, so taking this test could highlight a potential problem with the prostate before any major symptoms occur, making a huge difference to the successfulness of treatment.

Don't neglect your prostate; get to know your body and don't ignore any worrying symptoms as you could be ignoring something that has a big impact on your long term health.