Enlarged Prostate Symptoms

Prostate Size

The male's prostate gland is located just below the bladder. It surrounds the urethra, which is the tube through which urine flows out of the bladder. The prostate gland's function is to make a portion of the seminal fluid that carries the sperm during ejaculation.

In a healthy adult, the prostate weighs in at 20 to 25 grams or 2/3 to 3/4 of an ounce. Shaped like a walnut, the prostate size measures 4 X 2 X 3 centimeters or 1.6 X 1.0 X 1.2 inches.

The prostate size remains very small until the onset of puberty. The gland will be the size of a walnut by age 20. The prostate gland continues to grow slowly where at the age 40 it maybe the size of an apricot and by the age 60 it maybe the size of a lemon. As the prostate size increases, it can create a condition called Benign Prostatic Hypertrophy or BPH.  Some men around 40 begin to experience symptoms of enlarged prostate or BPH and a very large per cent of men over 60 years of age experience BPH symptoms.

As the prostate size increases it may reach a point where it begins to squeeze the urethra, interfering with the flow of urine and giving rise to a number of BPH symptoms such as: 

  • Difficulty beginning a urine stream or making just a dribble  
  • The urge to pass urine frequently, especially during the night  
  • The feeling that the bladder has not been fully emptied  
  • Sudden or strong urges to urinate  
  • A decrease in the force of the urine stream  
  • Frequently stopping and starting several times while urinating  
  • Difficulty or straining to urinate  

As many as 50% of men by the age of 60 will experience BPH symptoms as a result of an increase in prostate size, and 90% of men will report BPH symptoms by age 85.