The best expert tips for prostate symptoms: Here's what you should watch out forThe prostate is an organ that can cause trouble, especially for men – and even at a young age. Our expert tells you what to look out for.
You feel listless, feverish, have pain when urinating and ejaculating? Why you should see a urologist in such cases. Getty Images
Most of the time you don't even think about it – until it causes problems once: The prostate sits well hidden in the body. The gland is only about the size of a chestnut and is located below the bladder. discomforts it usually causes only when it increases in age. But the organ can also become noticeable in young men, for example through prostatitis.
"This can cause very different complaints," says private lecturer Dr. Tobias Jager. He is a urologist and andrologist and board member of the German Society for Man and Health. Often sufferers of prostatitis feel a sensation of prere near the anus, sometimes also pain in the lower back or lower abdomen. There are often problems with urination, which manifest themselves as a burning sensation, for example. Pain during ejaculation also occurs. (
For prostate problems: palpation takes only a few seconds
If bacteria are the cause of prostate problems, those affected often have a fever and feel very weak overall. A urologist can reliably diagnose prostatitis. To do this, he palpates the gland from the rectum. In most cases the prostate is swollen, sometimes it also hurts when palpated. Often an ultrasound is also used. "Unfortunately, many family doctors do not recognize the disease," says Jager. Because the symptoms are rather unspecific, prostatitis is sometimes confused with the flu.
In Germany, every man over the age of 45 is entitled to a preventive medical checkup. The doctor palpates the genitals. The lymph nodes in the groin from. The prostate itself can only be reached for screening from the rectum. Palpation examination takes only a few seconds. As a rule, it is not painful, but causes a slight feeling of prere. "Many men are afraid of the examination or it makes them uncomfortable," says Jager. "For us, however, it is routine – and every man who came to us once later said that it wasn't so bad after all."(
Prostate: what's behind the so-called PSA value?
With the prevention the so-called PSA value gives reason for discussion. This is the prostate-specific antigen. This is a protein that is formed in the prostate gland. In the case of a tumor, i.e. prostate carcinoma, this value is often elevated. However, not every elevation means that a tumor has formed: There are many causes that can drive the value up – anything that irritates the prostate, for example, ejaculation or even a ride to the doctor by bike on a fixed saddle. (
Because an increase does not clearly indicate cancer, it is controversial whether the value should be determined or not. The statutory health insurance companies do not pay for the determination, the PSA value is a so-called IGeL service. There is a charge of around 25 euros for this, and there may be an additional cost for taking blood samples.
Not every tumor is detected during a palpation examination
"I am a clear supporter of the PSA value," says Jager. Not every value means you have a tumor – but conversely, if you have prostate cancer, the value is almost always elevated. "This is currently the only way to detect carcinoma early," says Jager. Not every tumor can be palpated, but this depends on where in the prostate it is located. Therefore, it is not always detected early during the regular examination. An existing and known tumor can also be monitored via the PSA value: If it grows, the PSA value usually also increases.
"You don't have to operate on every tumor right away; you can often watch it develop first," says Jager. However, it should be closely monitored. The tricky thing about prostate cancer is that it doesn't actually show symptoms until it's already very advanced. Then, for example, those affected feel pain when urinating or have blood in their urine, and later also bone pain. "I think the PSA value is an important tool for early detection to increase the chances of survival," says Jager. (
The prostate gland often enlarges with age
With age, the prostate gland enlarges in many men. In most cases it is benign. However, the changes can cause men to have problems urinating or suffer from frequent urination because the enlarged prostate presses on the bladder. As a rule, this only affects men over the age of 50, in young men such enlargement is very rare.
"If the symptoms are not that severe, you can try herbal remedies," says Jager. In advertisements classically often preparations from pumpkin seeds are advertised. "However, I have unfortunately not had the experience with my patients that they help well," says Jager. He recommends instead preparations containing saw palmetto extract. (Please do not believe these absurd health promises)!)
Blood in the ejaculate can have a completely harmless cause
Even if the prostate often causes problems only in old age – a phenomenon occurs even in young men from time to time: Blood in semen. "Often, men are then very panicked and go to the emergency room because they discover blood in the ejaculate," says the expert. The medical term for this is hematospermia. If the ejaculate is bloody, it is of course quite a shock at first. (
"In most cases, however, it is completely harmless," says Jager. The prostate is crisscrossed by many vessels. It happens that one of these small vessels bursts during ejaculation or even during sports. Then the blood gets into the ejaculate with ejaculation. "This is comparable to a burst vein in the eye," says the expert. However, if you frequently discover blood in your ejaculate, you should definitely have it medically clarified.