Many men experience an increase in the frequency at which they have to urinate as they get older. This is exceedingly common among older men. However, if you are a man that is “always having to go”, don’t just dismiss it as aging. There are many causes of frequent urination and the symptom needs to be checked out by a physician.
Frequent urination defined
Always having to go or feeling the need to urinate more often than is usual is called frequent urination. This differs from urgent urination which is an urgent, compelling need to urinate. This can be accompanied with bladder discomfort.
If the need to urinate occurs at night, it is termed nocturia. Normally, a person can sleep for between 6 and 8 hours without the need to urinate.
When experienced simultaneously, a frequent, urgent need to go to the bathroom is a classic symptom of an infection in the urinary tract. Typically, the infection will cause an inflammation of the bladder which, in turn, reduces the bladder’s capacity to hold urine. In this case, even a small amount of urine can be uncomfortable.
These symptoms can also be caused by:
A condition called interstitial cystitis, which is a chronic, constant inflammation of the bladder. This is more common in women than men, but bears checking out.
Diuretics as well as other medicines.
Dysfunction of the bladder.
Cancer of the bladder.
All of these are known to cause frequent urination, but there is one extremely common cause that is overlooked by many men. That is an enlarged prostate and affects more men than you probably know.
The prostate gland is a walnut sized gland that secretes seminal fluid (the fluid that carries the sperm cells). The gland itself surrounds the urethra, which carries urine out through the penis. As the prostate grows larger, it may exert pressure on the urethra and cause problems with frequent urination.
Causes of enlarged prostate
The prostate wraps around the urethra between the rectum and the pubic bone. Early in the development of an enlarged prostate, the muscle of the bladder contracts more powerfully than usual and pressurizes urine through the urethra. The bladder muscle responds by gaining thickness and sensitivity. This causes the need to urinate often.
The larger the prostate grows, the tighter is squeezed. The bladder then cannot compensate for the problem and empties entirely.
Symptoms of an enlarged prostate
Actually, an enlarged prostate is accompanied by no symptoms at all. There a re a few things to watch for, like:
A weak stream of urine or a stop/start during urination.
Finding it difficult to start urinating.
Dribbling of urine after urination.
Feeling like you are not done.
Leakage of urine (incontinence).
Frequent urination or an urgent need to go, especially during the night time.
If you have experienced any of the above, go to a doctor and get checked out immediately. An enlarged prostate only gets worse over time if it is overlooked. It could also lead to other more serious conditions.
By Allen Gelbl
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