The prostate gland is a male reproductive gland responsible for producing the fluid that transports the sperm during the act of ejaculation. This gland has a tendency to naturally grow larger with age, although certain medical conditions can also cause an enlarged prostate gland. Pain, infection, and urinary difficulties are common symptoms of prostate enlargement. Treatment for enlarged prostate can include medications, heat therapy, and surgery.
Doctors will often prescribe medications as a treatment for enlarged prostate. These medications work by causing the muscles at the neck of the bladder to relax, making it easier for the patient to urinate. One advantage to this method of treatment is that the patient can often notice positive results within a couple of days. It should be noted, however, that there have been side effects reported with this kind of treatment. Some of these side effects include impotence, low blood pressure, and dizziness.
Some patients prefer to try a more natural treatment for enlarged prostate. There have been studies suggesting that the use of saw palmetto may be beneficial for this condition. As is often the case with herbal treatments, it can take several weeks of use to start seeing an improvement in urinary symptoms. Research continues in an effort to determine appropriate dosage amounts for this type of treatment for enlarged prostate. The use of saw palmetto can interfere with some of the blood tests used to check prostate health, so doctors should be made aware of the fact the patient is consuming this herbal supplement.
Heat therapy is sometimes recommended as a treatment for enlarged prostate. This is a medical procedure that is generally performed on an outpatient basis. A local anesthetic is used, so the patient is awake during this procedure. Once the immediate area has been numbed, heat is delivered through a laser or other method into the urethra. This works to shrink the prostate gland, providing almost immediate relief. Recovery time after this procedure is typically only a few days.
Using surgery as a treatment for enlarged prostate is becoming less common due to the success rates of newer methods of treatment. However, in cases in which there are complications or the patient does not respond to other treatment options, surgery may be required. Some surgical procedures used as treatment for enlarged prostate include placing a stent, or balloon, to keep the gland dilated or, in more extreme cases, the prostate gland may be completely removed.