This section is from the book "The Transmission Of Life. Counsels On The Nature And Hygiene Of The Masculine Function", by George H. Napheys. Also available from Amazon: The Transmission of Life.
In a previous chapter we called attention to the nervous disorders originating in the male generative system, their causes, and the prospects and means of cure. To these, therefore, we need not recur. But there are certain local troubles to which the male sex is liable as years advance which have not yet been more than alluded to by us; one of these is an affection known as enlargement of the pros-tate gland. This gland, situated immediately in front of the neck of the bladder, when it increases in size cause much inconvenience and suffering.
The causes of this enlargement are, according to Prof. Gross, always those "which act in a slow and permanent manner. Whatever, therefore, has a tendency to keep up habitual engorgement in the organ may be considered as being capable of producing the affection. Augmented action necessarily occasions an augmented afflux of blood and a corresponding increase of nutrition. Diminished action has a reverse effect. Amongst the more frequently enumerated causes of the malady are excessive venery, stricture of the urethra, disease of the bladder, horseback exercise, gonorrhoea, and the employment of stimulating diuretics; but, in general, the influence of these causes is apparent rather than real. They are, no doubt, all capable of inducing the disease; but, on the other hand, it is equally certain that they are often accused "when they are entirely innocent. Some of the very worst cases of hypertrophy of the prostate occur in old men who have led the chastest of lives, who have not ridden on horseback for forty or fifty years, and who have never had the slightest disease of any kind of the urethra."
The symptoms which first attract attention are mainly those which are connected with the voiding of water - irritation, a frequent desire, difficulty in passing it, and slight pain. The lower bowel "never feels empty, even after the most thorough purgation." These symptoms gradually increase and bring others in their train. When noticed at the age of fifty or over, they should lead the individual to seek at once medical counsel in order that aid may be extended him at the outset of the trouble. He should, also, scrupulously avoid all irritating and stimulating foods and drinks, and never take any griping purgatives. Salts, citrate of magnesia, and cream of tartar are innocent and beneficial laxatives to employ. All these causes which we have just enumerated as liable to excite the disease must be avoided. - hence horseback exercise and sexual intercourse are eminently improper. Rest in a recumbent position is of very great service. Of course, this should not be carried to the extent of the avoidance of all gentle exercise in the open air during pleasant weather.
few men in advanced life escape altogether some trouble with the bladder and contiguous organs. It is important, therefore, for every individual to avoid everything which experience has taught him will excite even temporary discomfort of these parts. That moderation in the gratification of all desires, which is so conducive to health in early and middle life, becomes imperative now, when there is no surplus ritality to be drawn upon to repair the ravages of imprudence.