Seven tips for dealing with an enlarged prostate

An enlarged prostate isn’t usually serious, but it can be uncomfortable to live with.

The prostate is a walnut-sized gland that sits at the base of a man’s bladder. It can get bigger as you age and as it does, it can press on your bladder and urethra. An enlarged prostate is most common in men over 50 and is linked to being overweight, having diabetes or having a close relative with it.

Symptoms of an enlarged prostate include:

  •  A weak urine flow
  • Feeling like you haven’t completely emptied your bladder after urinating
  • Needing to get up in the night to urinate
  • Needing to urinate more frequently or urgently
  • Not managing to get to the toilet in time when you need to urinate
  • The flow of urine not starting straight away

While it’s usually harmless, it can keep you up at night and have an impact on your day to day life. 

Here are seven tips to help you manage the condition.

1. Stay hydrated

Drinking lots of water might seem counterintuitive if you’re trying to manage a condition that makes you urinate more, but it can help. When you’re dehydrated, your urine is more concentrated. This can irritate the lining of your bladder and make it feel like you always need to urinate.

Drinking enough water will help look after your bladder so it can hold more for longer. The NHS advises drinking six to eight glasses of fluids every day.

2. Stay warm

Low temperatures can make your symptoms worse and make you feel like you need to urinate more often. In winter, make sure you wear warm clothes and avoid sitting on cold surfaces for a long time, such as outdoor benches.

3. Avoid stress

Stress can worsen your symptoms. It can affect your ability to urinate or it can make you need to go to the toilet more often. Some men find they get into a cycle of worrying about their symptoms, which in turn makes the symptoms worse.

Try to find things that help you calm down if you start to feel stressed, such as breathing exercises, getting some fresh air or listening to calming music.

4. Don’t sit for too long

If you sit down for long periods of the day, you may find it makes your symptoms worse, as you're putting pressure on your prostate.

If you work at a desk, you could try a height-adjustable desk that allows you to stand while working. If that isn’t possible, make sure you take regular breaks and get up and walk around.

5. Don’t drink too much in the evening

An enlarged prostate can make you urinate more. If you, therefore, drink too close to bedtime you might find that your sleep is disrupted because you need to get up to go to the toilet.

Avoid drinking in the two hours before you go to bed unless you feel thirsty. Caffeine and alcohol are diuretics (substances that increase urine production), so you should definitely avoid them near bedtime.

6. Make sure your bladder is empty

When you go to the toilet, urinate as much as you can, wait for two minutes and then try to go a second time. This is an effective technique for emptying your bladder more thoroughly and should mean you need to visit the bathroom less frequently. It's called double-voiding.

7. Stay active and eat healthily

Eating well and exercising will help you maintain a healthy weight, which will help reduce the symptoms of an enlarged prostate. It will also reduce your chances of developing a host of serious conditions, such as heart disease, diabetes and cancer.

A healthy diet is primarily made up of fruit and vegetables, whole grain carbohydrates and healthy protein, such as fish, eggs and beans. Some fat is important too, but it should come from healthy sources, such as olive oil, nuts and avocados. You should also try to minimise how much sugar and salt you eat.

We hope you've found this article useful, however, it cannot be a substitute for a consultation with a specialist

If you're concerned about symptoms you're experiencing or require further information on the subject, talk to a GP or see an expert consultant at your local Spire hospital.

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Author Information

Cahoot Care Marketing

Niched in the care sector, Cahoot Care Marketing offers a full range of marketing services for care businesses including: SEO, social media, websites and video marketing, specialising in copywriting and content marketing.

Over the last five years Cahoot Care Marketing has built an experienced team of writers and editors, with broad and deep expertise on a range of care topics. They provide a responsive, efficient and comprehensive service, ensuring content is on brand and in line with relevant medical guidelines.

Their writers and editors include care sector workers, healthcare copywriting specialists and NHS trainers, who thoroughly research all topics using reputable sources including the NHS, NICE, relevant Royal Colleges and medical associations.

The Spire Content Hub project was managed by:

Lux Fatimathas, Editor and Project Manager

Lux has a BSc(Hons) in Neuroscience from UCL, a PhD in Cellular and Molecular Biology from the UCL Institute of Ophthalmology and experience as a postdoctoral researcher in developmental biology. She has a clear and extensive understanding of the biological and medical sciences. Having worked in scientific publishing for BioMed Central and as a writer for the UK’s Medical Research Council and the National University of Singapore, she is able to clearly communicate complex concepts.

Catriona Shaw, Lead Editor

Catriona has an English degree from the University of Southampton and more than 12 years’ experience copy editing across a range of complex topics. She works with a diverse team of writers to create clear and compelling copy to educate and inform.

Alfie Jones, Director — Cahoot Care Marketing

Alfie has a creative writing degree from UCF and initially worked as a carer before supporting his family’s care training business with copywriting and general marketing. He has worked in content marketing and the care sector for over 10 years and overseen a diverse range of care content projects, building a strong team of specialist writers and marketing creatives after founding Cahoot in 2016.