The prostate

and pee problems

Let's yarn about men's business

Cover picture

The prostate and pee problems

Because this is a shame topic, some men don’t like to talk about these problems.

Men need to do more yarning about these problems to keep healthy.


What is the prostate?

The prostate is a part of the body that is about the size of a walnut.

It is just below the bladder (pee bag). This is the bag that holds pee (piss or urine).

The prostate makes some of the fluid that protects the sperm.


Things that can go wrong with the prostate

  • An infection (germ) in the prostate.
  • Large prostate: the prostate gets bigger as a man gets older. As it grows, it squeezes the pee tube tighter. This makes it hard for men to pee. This is not cancer.
  • Prostate cancer: this causes a change in the prostate. The cancer can spread to other parts of the body.
Large prostate

Large prostate problems (this is not cancer)

As a man gets older the prostate grows and the pee tube gets blocked. It can cause these problems:

  • hard to start a pee
  • pee comes out slowly, like a dribble
  • you have to go for a pee in a big hurry
  • you need to pee more often
  • you get up two or more times at night to pee
  • you leak before going to have a pee or after a pee
  • the bladder feels full but you can’t pee any more
  • you feel burning or pain when doing a pee, or
  • you see blood in the pee.
Problem peeing with large prostate

If the pee tube is blocked and we don’t fix it:

  • It can cause the pee to flow back up to the kidneys. The kidneys don’t work properly and it can make you very sick. The kidney problem could be so bad that you need dialysis.
  • An operation may be needed to fix up the prostate problem so the pee can come out again.
  • Sometimes a tube (catheter) is put into the bladder to drain the pee out.
No problem peeing

Ways to stop pee leaking from the bladder

  • Get rid of the last dribbles: Because the pee tube is bent, pee can be left after having a pee. Put two fingers firmly in front of your bum-hole (back passage) and push them upwards and forwards. Two or three forward pushes will straighten out the tube and drain out the last bit of pee.

    Some men find that sitting on a toilet helps to drain all the pee out.
Get rid of last dribbles
  • Bladder training is teaching the bladder to hold more pee. Your health worker, doctor, nurse, or physiotherapist can show you how to do this.
  • Pelvic floor muscle exercises can help. Strong muscles help hold in the pee. Talk to your health worker, nurse, physiotherapist or doctor about how to do these exercises.

Keeping dry

There are special pads and underpants that men can wear to stop their trousers from getting wet. Talk to your health worker, nurse, physiotherapist or doctor to find out what you can do to keep dry.

No problem peeing

Prostate cancer tests

  • The doctor can feel inside the back passage with his finger to see if there is prostate problem.
  • A blood test can help check if there is cancer in the prostate

Treatment for prostate cancer

It’s important to talk to a doctor, nurse or health worker to help decide which treatment is best.

Cancer is often cured if treatment is started early, before the problem gets very bad. Treatments can be:

  • tablets
  • an operation to cut out the cancer in the prostate (surgery)
  • strong medicines to stop or to slow the growing cancer (chemotherapy), or
  • radiation, like x-rays, to kill the cancer (radiotherapy).

Talk to your health worker, nurse, physiotherapist or doctor

Who can help?

  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health service
  • Health workers
  • Nurses
  • Physiotherapists
  • Doctors
  • National Continence Helpline Freecall™ 1800 33 00 66
Talk about your problem
Image Image Image

This series of brochures has been developed by the Continence Foundation of Australia and funded under
the Australian Government’s National Continence Management Strategy.

Indigenous artwork created by Georgina Altona and Warwick Keen.
Other illustrations by JAT Illustrational and Fusebox Design.

© 2010

All information in this publication is correct as at August 2012