Prostate enlargement, prostatitis and cancer can all affect the gland. Despite the prostate playing a key part in a man's sex life, not all males understand the gland or the conditions that can affect it - namely the likes of enlargement, bacterial infections and even cancer.
Yet given that prostate problems affect many men as they get older, it is important to ensure that you have at least a basic grasp of the issues that may occur with the gland. Indeed, this will ensure you're in a position to recognise any potentially sinister symptoms and seek expert help before they are given the chance to develop.
One thing it's worth remembering is that there is a link between the ageing process and conditions that can affect the prostate. While there is no definitive knowledge as to why this occurs, men are more likely to suffer with prostate problems once they are over the age of 50. However, it is not unheard of for younger men to have issues with the gland, so no matter how old you are it's sensible to keep an eye on your prostate health.
Here we're going to take a quick look at three conditions that can impact your prostate, and explain the symptoms that may suggest you have a problem.
As the name suggests, this occurs when the prostate begins to swell. The reasons why this may occur are unclear, although as mentioned above it is more common in men who are aged 50 or older.
Due to the prostate's position in the body - just below the bladder - if it becomes enlarged it can press on the urethra, which in turn can result in a man struggling to pass urine. It can also cause men to wake up frequently during the night needing to use the toilet.
This is an inflammation of the gland that can result in pelvic and testicular pain, as well as making it uncomfortable for a man to pass urine or ejaculate during sexual intercourse.
In some cases the condition can be a result of a bacterial infection, although this isn't always the cause and in many instances there is no definitive reason as to why a man starts to suffer from prostatitis.
It is thought that the problem affects 15 per cent of men at some point in their lives, and is more common in those between the ages of 30 and 50.
Cancer of the prostate is the most common cancer that affects men in the UK, with an estimated 40,000 cases diagnosed every year.
Unlike more aggressive cancers, the disease which affects the prostate tends to develop slowly and - as a result - doesn't always require immediate treatment.
However, in some instances the cancerous cells can start to multiply quickly, and when this happens urgent action is required to either kill the cancer or prolong the life of a sufferer.
Symptoms of prostate cancer include feeling like your prostate has not fully emptied after urinating or suddenly needing to rush to the toilet.