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Why Has My Urine Stream Changed?

October 13, 1999
Tom: I'm fifty years old. A couple of years ago, my urine stream changed. I had my PSA tested, but that checked out fine.

Not to get graphic about it, but the urine doesn't go as far as it used to, and I leak after I urinate and my underwear gets wet.

Dr. Dean: Whoa, Tom. Hang on, you just got graphic.



Visit the Men's Health Center

The PSA test is a test for prostate cancer. You are having symptoms of prostate enlargement, a benign condition called BPH - benign prostatic hypertrophy - which happens sooner or later to almost every man beginning at around your age.
You need to get that checked, not with a PSA (prostate specific antigen), but with the test you don't want, the one where the doctor reaches in there to feel the size of your prostate.

Other possible causes of constriction of your urine flow are an inflammation or scar tissue in the urethra, which is the main tube between your bladder and the outside world.

BPH is a puzzler; we don't know exactly why it happens. For the first time in history, we have found an animal model of BPH. It turns out that chimpanzees get this same disease as they age. So we will now look very carefully at their diet and environment.

I want you to see your doctor for an exam and treatment. We can treat BPH in its early stages with medication. The herb saw palmetto seems to provide some relief too. It is as effective as some of the medications, but it might not be any safer.

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