IN SHORT: A Facebook post claims that a simple exercise can shrink an enlarged prostate. Africa Check found no evidence to support this claim.
A video posted on Facebook claims that thousands of men have managed to “naturally” reduce the size of their enlarged prostate by performing a “10 seconds swing”.
According to the video, slowly raising your hips from this position, or “the swing”, could reverse symptoms such as night time urination, incomplete bladder emptying or weak urine flow.
The prostate is a gland located between the penis and the bladder. An enlarged prostate is also known as benign prostatic hyperplasia.
But can this simple exercise shrink an enlarged prostate “almost immediately”? We checked.
What is prostate enlargement?
According to healthcare website, WebMD, enlarged prostate is a condition that usually affects men over 50. Doctors believe it is often caused by hormone changes, such as an increase in dihydrotestosterone, a hormone that plays a role in prostate growth.
Common symptoms of enlarged prostate include the constant urge to pee, pain when peeing and inability to fully empty the bladder.
There is no cure for enlarged prostate, says US-based medical centre Cleveland Clinic. But the condition can be treated with some medication that relaxes the prostate muscles, surgery and minimally invasive techniques. Lifestyle changes, such as avoiding alcohol and liquids before bed, can also help ease the symptoms.
No evidence to support the claim
We noted a few red flags in the video posted on Facebook. First, the man speaking does not identify himself and does not state what qualifies him to give this advice. Not being able to verify the source of a claim on social media is often an indication that the advice is untrustworthy.
The man claims that “Harvard researchers” have discovered that prostate enlargement is a condition that can be “completely reversed”. We found a 2022 article written by Matthew Solan, the executive editor of Harvard Men’s Health Watch, on how to treat an enlarged prostate. It makes no mention of the glute bridge exercise or how the condition can be “completely reversed”.
We spoke to Johnson Udodi, a registrar at Nigeria’s National Hospital Abuja, about the treatment method mentioned in the video and whether it works.
“I have no information that this ‘swing’ method will reverse this condition,” he said. He highlighted that a connection had been established between increased physical activity and reducing the risk of enlarged prostate, but said that was not enough to reverse the symptoms.
Ademola Popoola, a consultant urologist and senior lecturer at the University of Ilorin, told Africa Check that he was unsure of the efficacy of the “10 seconds swing”.
“Exercise definitely cannot cure prostate cancer or reduce already established enlargement.”
Both experts agree that it is best to seek medical care if you experience one or more of the symptoms of an enlarged prostate.
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