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How Your Prostate Changes With Age

Prostate Changes Throughout The Years

As the human body ages, there are changes to the male reproductive system. Unlike women who experience sudden change infertility, men experience reproductive changes over time. Growing older can affect such things as urinary function and output. Although there is no way to prevent prostate changes from occurring, early and proper treatment for other health conditions can help detect any abnormal growth changes that can interfere with the enjoyment of life.

The prostate is a small gland found in the male reproductive system responsible for the production of semen. By the time a man is in his 20's, his prostate is the size of a walnut. In his 40's, the prostate has grown to the size of an apricot. 20 years later at 60 years of age, the prostate grows to the size of a lemon. As the prostate continues to enlarge over time it pushes against the bladder and urethra. This pressure can cause urinary function difficulties associated with prostatitis. Prostatitis is the swelling of the prostate that can lead to a bacterial infection. Pressure placed on the urethra due to inflammation can be associated with many symptoms that include:

Burning or stinging when passing urine
Pain in the groin
Trouble passing urine
Small urine output, despite feeling a strong urge to go
Flu-like symptoms
Sexual dysfunction
Low sex drive

With the prostate gradually increasing in size over time, many men experience sexual dysfunction. Erectile dysfunction is a condition that results in an inability to achieve and maintain an erection. This condition can last for years or a lifetime. Although erectile dysfunction can be caused by other underlying medical conditions such as diabetes, it is often a result of an enlarged prostate. With pain and pressure put on the groin because of prostatitis, men can experience ejaculatory problems due to an inflamed prostate putting pressure against the urethra. Benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) is another condition in which the prostate is enlarged due to the growth of abnormal cells.

BPH shares many symptoms with prostatitis like trouble urinating, but it can lead to more serious complications. If abnormal cells have grown to where it restricts the bladder from fully emptying, urine can backflow causing bladder and kidney infections. Over time if BPH is not treated properly the flow of urine can be blocked completely leading to kidney failure. In some cases of prostate growth, abnormal cells can be cancerous.

As a man ages the likelihood of developing prostate cancer increases. Men in their 40's have a 1 in 10,000 chance of being diagnosed with cancer. By the time a man is in his 60's, the likelihood of being diagnosed increases to 1 in 15 men according to Cancer Treatment Centers of America.

While the symptoms of prostate cancer can develop slowly, a man's risk of being diagnosed increases with age. Abnormal cellular growth often increases inflammation of the prostate, causing a variety of symptoms from urinary problems to erectile dysfunction. Although symptoms can worsen with age causing bacterial infections and inflammation due to prostatitis and benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), conditions with the prostate are treatable, but not preventable.

About the Author: Mark Delano is the Managing Editor and handles all day to day operations for He is a personal fitness trainer, nutritionist and avid mountain biker who also enjoys exploring the trails of Arizona. Besides his everyday duties at HealthyMale, Mark is also a guest columnist for several blogs related to men's health.

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