How is a digital prostate exam done?

The prostate gland occupies an important place in the male body. She is responsible for the reproductive function of a man, highlighting a special secret that is part of the seminal fluid. Also, the prostate is able to influence the genitourinary system of men, the affected organ can cause urinary retention and acute pain.

A strong half of humanity suffers from inflammation of this organ is not rare. Prostatitis is the most common disease associated with this organ, more often affects men over the age of 35 years. Such a research method as palpation of the prostate is able to quickly and accurately establish the presence of the disease.

Palpation is the most important diagnostic method

The main method for examining this organ is a digital examination of the prostate gland. This method allows you to assess the state of the internal organ, before the results of the tests are obtained, and draw preliminary conclusions about the disease.

The examination is carried out by a urologist, by inserting a finger into the anus and probing the organ. It is not difficult for a qualified doctor to establish the presence of a pathology.

Examination methods

To examine this organ, the doctor will offer the following methods. Most often, doctors take a blood test, urine, prostate secretion, perform an ultrasound of the pelvic organs, and also conduct a digital examination. The algorithm for the treatment of inflammatory processes is selected taking into account the age, weight and lifestyle of a man.

How is a digital prostate exam performed?

If a man turns to a specialist for the first time, then palpation of the prostate can be carried out immediately, at the doctor’s appointment. The patient can choose the most painless body position for himself. Inspection is usually carried out in three positions:

  1. Knee – elbow position.
  2. Lying on your side, legs tucked up to your chest.
  3. standing.

Upon completion of the examination, the doctor can determine how damaged the organ is, and also determine whether there is sensitivity. Palpation through the rectum can tell about the presence of neoplasms in the body, such as cysts or tumors.

If the doctor detects them, then a small amount of tissue is taken and sent for histology to rule out malignancy of the polyps. The size and structure of organ tissues can also be determined using this method. Most men are skeptical about this type of diagnosis, linking it with their moral principles.

Confused by the stronger sex, usually the fact that the doctor will have to insert a finger into the anus. Unfortunately, there is no other method of examination, the anatomy of the male body is arranged in such a way that it is possible to feel the organ only by inserting a finger into the large intestine.

Morphological features

The final formation of the prostate occurs when men reach the age of 23 years. For the next 10-20 years of life, the iron functions properly and rarely undergoes inflammatory processes. Nevertheless, in medical practice, it is stated that more and more young people get prostatitis.

With age, the body begins to increase in size, this process is called the term “prostate adenoma”. The gland is located between the rectum and the pubis, covering the bladder and the region of the urethra. The body usually has an elongated shape.

Some scientists believe that prostate growth is a normal and natural process for the aging body. The prostate itself is a glandular muscle tissue in its structure; the main male hormones necessary for the normal functioning of the body are concentrated in it.

If there is an increase in tissues, then the lumen of the urethra narrows, making it difficult to urinate, often patients may experience discomfort when emptying the bladder.

Technique for palpation of the prostate

The examination is carried out by a specialist with a higher medical education. Before the procedure, you must empty the bladder.

Inspection steps:

  1. Before the procedure, the doctor puts on disposable gloves and lubricates the anus and finger with a special antiseptic lubricant in order to minimize discomfort.
  2. Palpation occurs in three main positions, with which you can get a complete picture of the situation.

During the procedure, the doctor feels the rectum for growths and cysts.

The rectal method of examining the prostate makes it possible to suspect such a serious disease as cancer; for this, the tissues of the affected organ are sent for a biopsy, where they are carefully studied. With the help of a biopsy, it is also possible to establish at what stage the malignant process is.

Men are concerned about the method of the procedure, so many of them are interested in exactly how this process occurs and how to properly palpate the prostate. The procedure can be described as follows:

  1. The doctor’s index finger is inserted into the anus.
  2. Next, the doctor performs a special massage, pressing on the organ from the edge to the middle. To produce a secret from the prostate, the doctor can gently press on the glands, after which the fluid enters the urethra, from where it can be removed for examination.
  3. The final stage is prostate massage.

However, to make an accurate diagnosis, it is necessary to pass certain tests. Which ones, the attending physician will tell. In addition to standard tests, a deep blood test for the presence of prostate antigen, abbreviated as SAP, is prescribed. An increase in the allowable readings by several times should alert. The analysis of the patient’s seminal fluid is of particular informational content.

Prostate Self Examination

Before you begin to independently palpate the prostate gland, it is necessary to empty the bladder and intestines. It is better to wear sterile disposable gloves. Before starting the procedure, be sure to lubricate the index finger and anus, this will help facilitate the insertion process.

The prostate gland is adjacent to the rectum and can be easily found by moving the finger deep, about 5-7 cm, inside on one of the walls of the intestine there is a small elastic ball, oblong in shape, which will be the desired organ.

Throbbing and sharp pain may indicate the presence of a disease called prostatitis. If, during self-palpation of the gland, a man experiences symptoms associated with pain and discomfort, it is necessary to seek advice from a urologist.

Pros and cons of rectal examination

In the age of high technology and constantly developing medicine, rectal examination of the state of the prostate gland remains the basic method for detecting pathologies of this organ.

The attractiveness of a digital examination is that the doctor may suspect an inflammatory process already at the first visit to the patient. The positive features of rectal examination include:

  1. It takes 10 to 15 minutes to detect pathology.
  2. According to the structure of the gland tissue and its elasticity, the doctor can draw the first conclusions and send them for the appropriate tests. Based on laboratory tests and physical examination, the probability of making an accurate diagnosis is 100%
  3. The secret of the gland can only be obtained with the help of a doctor with rectal palpation. This liquid is very informative for assessing the condition of the organ.

If we talk about the negative features of this study, then you should pay attention to such factors as:

  1. The method of the procedure. From a moral point of view, for many men, performing a rectal examination becomes a whole test, some do not dare to undergo it.
  2. The patient may experience discomfort and pain during the procedure.
  3. When a cyst or neoplasm is detected, it is impossible for the doctor to immediately understand whether this formation is pathological. To clarify, you will have to resort to special studies, which significantly increases the time for making a correct diagnosis.

Patient sensations on palpation

It is difficult for men to decide on this method of examination, due to their moral principles. However, do not give in to panic, and put off visiting a urologist on the back burner. The inflammatory process can worsen if appropriate measures are not taken in time, so you should take this procedure for granted, especially since there is a medical secret and the doctor has no right to disclose the methods of treating his patient.

If there is no inflammation in the prostate, then the patient does not experience other sensations, except for a slight discomfort. When during the procedure the patient feels acute pain, this symptom indicates the presence of the disease.

What can the doctor determine during palpation

During the examination, the urologist can identify the following pathological conditions:

  1. An increase in size indicates the presence of a disease such as prostate adenoma. A distinctive feature of prostate adenoma is that the organ tissue itself does not change and does not lose its elasticity. Pain on palpation is not noted.
  2. If the patient complains of acute pain and discomfort, the doctor may suspect a disease such as prostatitis.
  3. If the tissue of the organ becomes dense and heterogeneous, and the patient reacts sharply to pain, then the doctor can make a preliminary diagnosis – cancer. For clarification, special studies will be required.

The method is included in the list of mandatory medical examinations for men over 35 years old, the information content of this method is high, so doctors still use it in their practice.

The opinion of urologists about rectal palpation of the prostate

Doctors – urologists are positive about this method of research, because the first signs of pathology can be determined already at the first visit of the patient, which means that making a diagnosis will not require much time and effort, which will significantly speed up the recovery process of your ward.

The main goal of any doctor is to restore the patient to his health or to alleviate discomfort. Unfortunately, urologists often face misunderstanding and prejudice on the part of their patients and spend precious time not on treatment, but on persuading men to perform a rectal examination.

With palpation, the urologist can easily determine whether there is any disease or not. A healthy prostate should normally be the size of a walnut, free from lumps and neoplasms.

The groove passing in the middle of the gland should be clearly palpable, there should be no pain. Based on the data obtained, the doctor can diagnose the presence of a particular disease.


It is worth noting the fact that the prostate examination method is informative, but only at the first stage of the examination. To establish a more accurate diagnosis, you will need to pass a lot of tests.

In no case should they be neglected, seeking help from a urologist would be the most reasonable way out if a man is worried about pain in the pelvic organs.

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