The prostate — a part of the male reproductive system located deep inside the groin — is often the cause of annoying and potentially life-threatening conditions. The signs and symptoms of these conditions can resemble other medical problems, which is why you must consult a doctor for a diagnosis.
The symptoms of prostate conditions usually fall into two categories: pain associated with ejaculation or urination or localized in the hips, rectal area, or lower back and impaired urinary function. If you have prostate problems, you may experience many common or strange symptoms.
1. Frequent Urge To Urinate, Even At Night
Prostate conditions can inflame the gland causing it to exert pressure on the bladder. The extra pressure irritates the bladder wall, causing contractions regardless of volume. The contractions cause more frequent urination, and the irritation and frequency of bathroom breaks can weaken the bladder wall, resulting in an inability to empty, which creates an even stronger sensation of needing the restroom.
Unfortunately, the urges do not stop when you are asleep. The brain constantly receives signals from every organ and biological system of the body. An inflamed prostate can lead to the bladder condition nocturia, which may cause adult bedwetting.
2. Painful or Burning Sensation During Ejaculation or Urination
An infection or inflammation in the prostate can also affect urination and ejaculation. The increased pressure attributed to the prostate can cause pain in the bladder and urethra, which worsens when urinating or ejaculating. The pressure can also cause discomfort during sexual function.
3. Blood in Semen or Urine
The presence of blood in urine or semen is a cause for alarm. The problem typically stems from an infection or prostate injury, which can mean problems within the reproductive or urinary systems. Sometimes, the presence of blood can indicate certain cancers.
If you notice blood in urine or semen, contact and schedule an appointment with your primary care physician immediately. A quick diagnosis can often improve treatment options and outcomes.
4. Inability To Urinate, Weak Urine Flow, or Dribbling
An inflamed or enlarged prostate can make urination difficult. The swelling of the prostate puts significant pressure on the urethra, causing the passage to narrow. Sometimes, the swelling is so severe it actually leads to blockages, meaning a patient cannot urinate.
Even if a patient can urinate, abnormal pressure can restrict urine output. Prostate problems often cause weak streams and can lead to only dribbling urine output.
5. Frequent Stiffness or Pain in Lower Back, Pelvic or Rectal Area, Hips, or Upper Thighs
Stiffness or pain in the areas around the prostate, including the pelvic region, lower back, hips, upper thighs, and rectal area, typically indicates a prostate infection or condition. Most patients experience localized pain around the penis and scrotum, but it may spread to the perineum. When pain and stiffness include the lower back and other surrounding regions, it can be a sign of cancer.
Symptoms of prostate conditions do not in and of themselves form a diagnosis. You cannot assume that you have prostate cancer because you experience pain in the pelvis and lower back. Signs of prostate issues can also represent signs of various other conditions. For a definitive diagnosis, you need to schedule an appointment with your doctor.