When You Can’t Stop…Going to the Bathroom

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When You Can't Stop Going to the Bathroom

An enlarged prostate – and the health issues that come with it – are a fact of life for aging males.

"As we get older, almost all men’s prostates begin to enlarge," said Carlos Prendes, MD, CHI Health primary care provider. “The symptoms are basically obstructive, so when you urinate, you don’t feel like you’re completely empty. Or when you go, you know that as soon as you relax, you’re going to have to go again.

"You’re also going to have to wake up at night to go to the bathroom – sometimes two, three or four times. Other things that can happen are that you’re going to have to give a little extra push to get the stream started or you have a weak stream."

Overactivity is another symptom.

"Because the prostate is enlarged, you’re not completely emptying your bladder so those stretch receptors are still being stimulated. You go to the bathroom, and then suddenly you need to go again," Prendes said. "Over time, the muscles can start to spasm on their own, causing bladder instability and a sudden need to go – almost bordering on incontinence – where you can’t hold it anymore."

Treatment options include medications and surgery. Factors to consider include age, overall health, prostate size and how greatly the symptoms impact your daily life.

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