Counsellor & Psychotherapist
Masters of Counselling & Psychotherapy UofA
Member of the ACA College of Supervisors
Level 3 Member Australian Counselling Association
The poor old prostate often doesn't get a guernsey. Maybe it is just a reflection of how women and men process personal challenges because there seems to be so much more discussion about women's issues than mens.
Having said that, if you went up to a man and asked 'how is your prostate?' the response would more than likely be an embarrassed cough and an equally embarrassing silence.
Maybe that is why I feel the need to advocate for the prostate. The often unsung hero of the male anatomy which is appreciated when functioning well and delivering on the expectations. Then ignored and mocked when it is past its prime.
The fact is sooner or later the prostate is going to make its presence felt for all the wrong reasons. This usually happens for men over sixty and for some men as early as their fifties.
The most common problems are enlargement of the prostate, infection, or the biggest of the trifecta - cancer. Enlargement of the prostate is so common that many doctors consider it to be a natural part of the male aging process.
The prostate has had a lot of responsibility during its life cycle as it produces the portion of the seminal fluid which in turn carries the sperm. You can see now why I think it deserves more than a cursory mention as well as some attention.
Shaped like a walnut this gland is situated just below the bladder. It is put into commission as a boy nears puberty and continues to grow during a man's life. The continuing enlargement goes unnoticed and usually won't cause any symptoms until after the age of forty and more than likely well into the sixties.
The symptoms of an enlarged prostate are caused by the prostate pressing on the urethra. The bladder doesn't respond well to this as it is weakened and difficulties in urination occur.
The signs that the prostate is feeling less than chipper is the one I just mentioned - problem urination. Urination may be frequent especially during the night. There may be the sensation of needing to urinate but difficulty in getting it started. There may be problems in properly emptying the bladder and an uncomfortable burning sensation when you are urinating. Uncontrolled dribbling after urination may also be a problem.There may be pain located behind the scrotum and ejaculation becomes painful rather than pleasurable.
The one thing you do not want to do is to ignore these symptoms. Unfortunately due to the nature of most men that is the one thing they are most likely to do. Our 'hunter gatherers' really need support and education regarding the need to be open about the difficulties they are encountering with their prostrates.
Early intervention will circumvent these difficulties leading to other complications such as bladder and kidney infections.
So, gentleman how can you look after this precious piece of anatomy?
Courtesy of ShelleyMurphy
Healthy diet: your mum was right when she kept banging on about you eating your vegies. Eat five to seven servings of fruit and vegetables a day.
Reduce your consumption of fried foods and enjoy fresh fish in your diet. This will reduce the free radicals in your body and promote the environment you need for a healthy prostate.
Herbs and vitamin supplements: seek the advice of a professional and start taking them. They do absolutely no good at all sitting in your bathroom cabinet.
Keep your weight down and keep active. If you don't move it, you will lose it.
After the age of forty go to the doctor for a regular prostate check. Now your body is a fine piece of machinery and needs maintenance just like all of your other boy toys. This is not the time to be shy, your life may depend upon it.