Symptoms of prostate problems and overactive bladder
Prostate problems and overactive bladder (OAB) are very different conditions. But for men, both can cause frequent and sudden urges to urinate.
While this can be annoying and embarrassing, it can be treated.
In addition to medical remedies, a variety of exercises can help reduce the number of times you feel the sudden urge to go to the bathroom.
More about prostate problems
The prostate is about the size of a walnut. It surrounds the urethra, which carries urine from the bladder.
As men age, their prostates often enlarge. This puts pressure on their urethras.
An enlarged prostate is also known as benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH). The condition can contribute to an urge to urinate frequently, or the feeling that you may still have to go after you’ve finished urinating.
Overactive bladder causes
OAB occurs when the muscles that control the bladder no longer work properly. This is what causes the feeling that you have to use the bathroom more often.
Drinking too much fluid — especially caffeinated beverages, alcohol, and citrus juice — can cause you to urinate frequently. Being obese can also put pressure on the bladder.
Sometimes, OAB can stem from serious neurological conditions, such as Parkinson’s disease or multiple sclerosis (MS).
Exercise can help
Muscles around the bladder can become weak as you age. This can also happen after prostate cancer treatment.
Various types of exercises can be helpful for men with prostate problems or OAB. Kegel exercises can strengthen and train your pelvic floor muscles to help control urination.
Exercises such as walking, jogging, swimming, and tennis are also beneficial. These and other aerobic exercises can help you maintain a healthy weight.
What are Kegel exercises?
Kegel exercises are designed to strengthen the muscles of your pelvic floor.
They’re often recommended for women, especially after childbirth. But diabetes, prostate surgery, and OAB can also weaken the muscles in your pelvic floor.
Kegel exercises can be done at almost any time. Plus, they don’t require special equipment.
But it may take some practice and concentration to get the exercises just right.
How to do Kegel exercises
First you must find the muscles of your pelvic floor. To do so, start urinating and after a few seconds, stop mid-stream.
Concentrate on the muscles that you just used. Those are your pelvic floor muscles.
Begin your Kegel exercises with an empty bladder. Lie on the floor with your knees bent and apart.
Tighten your pelvic floor muscles for three seconds and then relax them for three seconds. Repeat a few times.
Be sure to focus only on the pelvic floor muscles. Soon you’ll be able to do this while sitting or standing.
Regular exercise provides many health benefits. Heart and muscle health depend on frequent physical activity.
Exercise can help you lose extra pounds and achieve a healthy weight. Maintaining a healthy weight can help lower the risk of prostate problems, according to Rush University Medical Center.
Exercise also helps balance the body’s hormones, which affect the prostate. The Mayo Clinic recommends striving for a healthy weight to ease OAB symptoms.
If you need help
Kegel exercises can be difficult to master. Your doctor may be able to help you learn how to isolate the key muscles.
Lifestyle changes or medications may also be helpful. If you continue to experience symptoms, such as frequent urges to urinate, ask your doctor about other steps you can take.
These problems can be embarrassing. But your quality of life can improve if you make the effort to address all your symptoms.