The prostate is a walnut shaped gland located at the base of the bladder and in front of the rectum. It surrounds the urethra (the tube through which urine passes out of the body). A healthy prostate is important for normal bladder and sexual function.
Prostatitis is inflammation or infection of the prostate. Symptoms may include bladder or sexual dysfunction, chronic constipation, or pain in the rectal and supra pubic areas (above the pubic bone).
Bladder dysfunction may include the following problems with urination:
- Change in frequency
- Increased urgency
- Pain or burning sensation
- Difficulty initiating flow
- Retention or incomplete emptying
- Weak flow
Sexual dysfunction may include pain during and after ejaculation or with intercourse in general. The inability to obtain or maintain an erection may also occur.
Pelvic pain may be experienced in the low back, hip, groin, rectum, scrotum, testicles, penis, tailbone, or the supra pubic area.
Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia
Benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) is a non-cancerous enlargement of the prostate that often results in urinary symptoms such as hesitancy, weak stream, straining, incomplete emptying and dribbling. The prevalence of BPH increases with age. In some cases, the inability to release urine can become acute and require surgery.
After surgery to remove the prostate, urinary continence depends on the strength and integrity of the external urethral sphincter. This is a muscle that contracts to shut off the flow of urine and prevent leakage. Following prostate removal, a man may also experience erectile dysfunction.