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How To Prep For a Prostate Exam

An initial exam for an enlarged prostate usually consists of a patient history, a digital rectal exam, a neurological exam, and a urine test. Here's what you need to do to prepare for the exam.


  • Step 1: Ask your doctor whether other tests will be required to confirm your diagnosis and if so, what preparations will be required. Give yourself credit for being proactive about your health.
  • FACT: Although symptoms may be similar, having an enlarged prostate doesn't reduce or increase the risk of prostate cancer.
  • Step 2: Expect a urine test. The test can rule out infection and other conditions as the source of your urinary problems. There is no special advance preparation required before the test.
  • Step 3: Expect a brief neurological exam. This test helps identify other possible causes of your urinary problems. The test requires no advance preparation.
  • Step 4: Expect to have a digital rectal exam. The test requires no advance preparation.
  • TIP: During the test, you will be told to relax and to take a deep breath as the doctor inserts a gloved finger into your rectum.
  • Step 5: Make a list of all health problems that you have and of the medications you are taking for them. Also note whether there is a history of prostate problems in your family.

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