Written by Dr.Albana Greca Sejdini, Md, MMedSc

Can an enlarged prostate cause constipation?

Yes, an enlarged prostate may cause constipation. Usually this happens when prostate has reached large dimensions and urinary, gastrointestinal and other symptoms become more evident. Prostate gland surrounds your urethra and is part of the reproductive system.

What is an enlarged prostate?

Enlarged prostate is the same as prostate hyperplasia which is a change in cell functioning that makes the gland grows its mass. It is proved that prostate increases the dimensions in proportion with age.

Age over 40 is considered a risk factor but the exact cause is not clear yet. In older ages the testosterone levels decrease and this is believed to cause hyperplasia of prostate.

What is constipation?

Constipation is a defecation disorder where you defecate fewer than normal. If you have less than three bowl movements a week it is considered as constipation. Constipation can turn to be chronic. Occasional constipation may not need to see a doctor but if the problem persists you must go for check up.

How does the enlarged prostate cause constipation?

An enlarged prostate gives urinary tract troubles because it imbalances the urethral sphincter function. A very enlarged prostate can be considered as an external tumor growing near your colon and compressing it.

This makes that part of the colon near prostate get narrowed. Stool will get blocked and reside more leading to constipation because the more the feces stay in the colon the more they dehydrate and become more harder and difficult to carry out.

Also colon is very sensitive to hormonal changes. If prostate enlargement has caused obvious hormonal imbalance that the colon will be first affected.


Treatment of constipation is best done by some diet changes. High fiber diet and large fluids intake may help.However, avoid taking fluids at least 4 hours before going to bed.

Some high fiber foods include:

  1. - Fruits: prunes, oranges, etc.

  2. - Vegetables: popcorns, spinach, lettuce, beans, etc

  3. - Grains: rice, oatmeal, etc

Also train yourself not to suppress the urge to have a bowel movement. Go to toilet each time you feel the need to.
Lactulose and polyetilene glycol can help soften the stool and easing bowel movement. Regular exercise and active life is important.


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