The prostate is a walnut-sized gland located between the bladder and the penis. A part of the male reproductive system, it produces a component of the fluid present in semen. It is not uncommon for individuals to experience urinary symptoms as this gland grows larger as we age — this is called benign prostate enlargement or benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH). The condition tends to affect men over the age of 50. As troubling as the symptoms are, several medications effectively treat BPH.
As the prostate gland grows bigger, it can pinch the urethra, which runs through its center. When this happens, the flow of urine becomes slower and less forceful. Also, the bladder walls grow thicker as men age. In some cases, benign prostate enlargement can lead to urinary tract, bladder, or kidney problems.
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