Prostate massage is an effective procedure to relieve the symptoms of an enlarged prostate (BPH, or benign prostatic hyperplasia) and is one treatment your doctor may suggest is getting if you have a prostate disorder. This may sound like an unusual recommendation if you’ve only heard of a prostate massage being associated with sexual pleasure, but the truth is, prostate massage is also an effective therapeutic method to help manage an enlarged prostate.
What is an Enlarged Prostate?
It helps to understand what an enlarged prostate is so you can better appreciate why prostate massage can be an effective therapy. An enlarged prostate is a condition in which a man’s prostate gland, which is normally about the size of a walnut, begins to grow. Enlargement occurs because there is an increase in the number of cells growing in the prostate, or because there is a decline in the number of cells that die. The exact reasons these changes occur are not entirely clear, but hormones (e.g., testosterone, dihydrotestosterone [DHT], estrogen) play a key role.
It is common for a man’s prostate to start enlarging after age 40, and for many men the increase in prostate size results in urinary tract symptoms over time, yet for others symptoms are mild or nonexistent. It is also true that the size of a man’s prostate does not necessarily determine whether he will have symptoms or how severe they will be. The determining factor is usually how much the enlarged prostate presses on the urethra, which is the tube that transports urine from the bladder out through the penis.
The more the prostate exerts pressure on the urethra, the more severe a man’s urinary tract symptoms can be. Those symptoms can include painful urination, urinary frequency, urinary urgency, dribbling, difficulty starting urination, and the need to urinate often during the night (nocturia).
What is Prostate Massage?
Prostate massage (also known as prostate milking) has a long history of use as a way to enhance a man’s sexual abilities. Traditionally, men who engaged in lots of sexual activity, such as those who had harems or many wives, hired a doctor or monk to give them an occasional prostate massage so they could maintain their sexual prowess.
But prostate massage also has a medicinal use, and for some men prostate massage is an effective natural treatment for BPH symptoms. No man with an enlarged prostate should attempt prostate massage without first consulting their healthcare provider, however, in case there is any reason it may not be safe, as it may not be if a man’s prostate is greatly enlarged.
How does prostate massage work? Use of prostate massage can improve urinary flow, improve blood flow to the prostate (which increases oxygen and nutrients to the prostate), and help the prostate return to a more normal size. To accomplish this, there are two main ways to do a prostate massage, manually or with a prostate massager device.
A manual prostate massage can be done externally or internally by a doctor or other health professional, a man’s partner, or the man himself. An external prostate massage is performed using finger pressure on the perineum, which is the area that lies between the scrotum and the anus. The use of gentle pressure against the slight depression in the length of the perineum massages the prostate.
An internal manual prostate massage involves inserting a lubricated, gloved finger into the anus. The person performing the massage carefully feels for the prostate gland (which feels like a small round ball) and applies pressure to various areas of the gland, then releases the pressure. When pressure is applied to the central area of the prostate, this triggers the release of prostatic fluid to the urethra and eventually to the end of the penis.
Another way to do a prostate massage is to use a special device that is designed to massage the prostate. Special prostate massage devices can be used in the privacy of your own home–there’s no need to go to a clinic or to your doctor’s office for treatment. However, you still need to consult your doctor to get a firm diagnosis of your condition and to get clearance that prostate massage is right for you.
Choosing a Prostate Massage Device
If you want to use a prostate massage device, look for products specifically for that purpose and not sex toys being marketed for medicinal purposes. Prostate massage devices are made to be inserted into the anus and to massage the prostate, usually by applying some type of vibration. Several specially designed prostate massage devices are on the market, so be sure to read about each one before deciding which one best suits your needs.
An example of one product is the Sonic Prostate Massager. Once the lubricated end of the massager is inserted into the anus, the device uses mild sonic wave technology which reportedly is formed in a way that prevents injury to the prostate. (After all, the prostate is a fragile gland!) The sonic waves work to relax the prostate, stimulate muscles in the area, reduce inflammation in the pelvic area, and stimulate metabolic processes, all of which can help restore nerve health and provide symptom relief. There are also non-sonic wave vibrating prostate massagers on the market.
Although most prostate massage devices require men to insert a portion of the instrument into the anus, there is also at least one product that works externally to massage the prostate by stimulating the sphincter muscle.
Before selecting any prostate massage device, you should ask your healthcare provider for advice about which type will be more effective for you. Also look for products that offer a money-back guarantee in case you find the massager does not help you. Don’t expect to experience immediate results from prostate massage: even with daily massage, it can take several weeks to a month or more for symptom improvement.