According to the National Kidney and Urologic Diseases Information Clearinghouse, the most common prostate problem affecting men under age 50 is prostatitis—an inflammation of the prostate gland. For men over 50, the most common problem is an enlarged prostate gland—a condition also referred to as benign prostatic hyperplasia. As men age, they are also at increased risk of developing prostate cancer. Symptoms of these problems are similar, so it is important to see a doctor for appropriate testing and diagnosis.
Change in Urinary Habits
Problems with the prostate gland can cause noticeable changes in a man’s normal urinary habits. For example, men with an enlarged prostate gland or prostatitis may develop a frequent and urgent need to urinate. They may also have to urinate more often during the night. According to MayoClinic.com, some men may also notice having to strain to urinate, having problems starting or continuing urination without stopping, or dribbling when finished with urination. Straining can cause superficial blood vessels to rupture in the urethra, leading to hematuria, or blood in the urine, according to Merck.com. Because enlarged prostates sometimes obstruct the urethra and therefore the flow of urine, they can lead some men to develop a weak urine stream and experience a feeling of not being able to fully empty the bladder. Prostate cancer may also cause these urinary symptoms, according to the Prostate Cancer Foundation, so men experiencing these symptoms should see a doctor to evaluate the underlying cause.
According to MayoClinic.com, common symptoms of prostatitis include pain in the testicles, penis and perineum—the area between the penis and rectum. Some types of prostatitis such as chronic nonbacterial prostatitis—otherwise known as chronic pelvic pain syndrome—can cause pain in the abdomen, lower back, pelvic region, scrotum, tip of the penis and urethra, according to MedlinePlus. Both prostatitis and prostate cancer are associated with symptoms of pain during ejaculation, while prostate cancer may additionally cause bone pain, pain during bowel movements and pain in the upper thighs or groin, hips and lower back, according to the Prostate Cancer Foundation.
Men with prostatitis caused by a bacterial infection—for example, acute bacterial prostatitis—may develop symptoms of body-wide infection that come on suddenly. These symptoms may include a general malaise, chills, fever, nausea and vomiting, according to MayoClinic.com. Prostate cancer may also cause symptoms of fatigue and can lead to loss of appetite and unintentional weight loss, according to MedlinePlus.