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Harvard Commentaries
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Harvard Commentaries
Reviewed by the Faculty of Harvard Medical School


Men's Health Ask The Expert, Bladder/Urinary Ask The Expert, Ask The Expert Men's Health Ask The Expert, Bladder/Urinary Ask The Expert, Ask The Expert
 

I am a 62-year-old male. For the past two years, I get up to urinate about three times a night. My doctor says my prostate gland is not enlarged? What could be wrong?


February 08, 2013

A:

To start with, it could actually be your prostate. The prostate can grow towards the front part of the gland. But the back part of the gland can feel normal. This is the part the doctor can feel during a digital rectal exam.

Even if only the front of the gland is slightly enlarged, it can put pressure on the tube (urethra) that carries urine out from the bladder. If this happens, you will have a more frequent urge to urinate.

Other reasons for the need to urinate at night:

  • Taking a water pill (diuretic), especially if you take later in the day.
  • Drinking alcohol or caffeine later in the day. Both act like a diuretic.
  • Simply drinking too much water or other fluid.

  • Medical conditions such as diabetes, certain types of kidney diseases, a high blood calcium level or heart failure.

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