What Are the Symptoms of a Prostate Gland Problem?

Doctor using digital tablet to talk to senior man
Getty Images/Ariel Skelley

The primary symptom of prostate enlargement, whether it is benign or malignant, is difficulty urinating. It may be difficult to initiate urination, or urination may occur as a series of stops and starts. For some, it is difficult to completely empty the bladder, a condition known as urinary retention.

If urination stops completely, or urinary retention is severe, kidney damage can result. Bladder stones can also form, also caused by urinary retention. For some men, blood may be present in the urine. If blood is present, it is important to see a doctor, as there are multiple causes for blood in the urine and it may not be caused by the prostate.

Dribbling at the end of urination is not uncommon, and the need to strain to increase the flow of urine may also be present. Some men note that the urine comes out in a weaker stream than they may have noted previously, or experience burning when they are able to urinate. Pain with ejaculation may also noted with prostatic enlargement.

While there are many symptoms associated with enlargement of the prostate, some men do not experience any problems or may report very minor issues. A lack of urinary symptoms does not mean that the prostate is of normal size.

Talk to Your Doctor

It is important to report difficulty urinating to your physician and to report to the doctor’s office or emergency room if urination is not possible or too minimal to relieve bladder pressure. A physician's exam is far more accurate in detecting prostate issues than waiting for symptoms, which may or may not be present. Only further testing can determine if the prostate issue is non-cancerous, such as Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH) or caused by prostate cancer.

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