Benign prostatic hyperplasia, or BPH, is the non-cancerous enlargement of the prostate gland.
BPH can negatively impact the quality of a man’s life. Rather than suffer from symptoms like difficulty urinating, men can undergo treatment for this condition. Treatments range from the use of prescription medications like alpha blockers to surgery to reduce the size of an enlarged prostate.
If you suspect you might suffer from benign prostatic hyperplasia or BPH, you can seek prompt treatment for it by recognizing its symptoms and learning how doctors address it today.
What is Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia?
Benign prostatic hyperplasia is a condition that primarily affects men over the age of 60. The prostate gland is the size of a walnut and lies underneath the bladder. It surrounds the urethra and secretes fluid that nourishes sperm made in the man’s body.
When it is enlarged, it puts pressure on the urethra, resulting in a host of symptoms like: .
- Weak urine stream
- Difficulty starting the urine stream
- Frequent need to urinate
- Sudden urge to urinate
- Feeling like the bladder is not empty after urinating
- Urinary tract infections
- Blood in the urine
If you experience any of these symptoms, you should not ignore them. Rather, you should seek diagnosis and treatment from your doctor right away.
Causes of BPH
BPH is caused by a variety of factors, some of which may be beyond a man’s ability to control. The primary cause of BPH is aging. In fact, studies show that one-third of men aged 60 and older suffer from BPH. By the time men reach the age of 80, one-half of them will have BPH.
Other causes of BPH include:
- Heart disease
- Prior family history of BPH
If you have any of these risk factors combined with the symptoms of BPH, you are advised to seek immediate treatment from your doctor.
Treatments for BPH
When diagnosed early, BPH is a highly treatable condition that can be eased or reversed in some cases. The treatment for BPH is the use of medications. Medications like alpha blockers are used, for example, to relax the muscles in the bladder and prostate. Likewise, 5-alpha medications are often prescribed if doctors suspect hormonal changes in a patient’s body to be responsible for the growth of the prostate.
Aside from medications, doctors also may recommend that some men undergo surgery for BPH. Surgery may be needed if BPH does not respond to medication regimens. The surgery involves cutting the prostate gland to relieve the pressure on the urethra and bladder.
For patients who are not candidates for surgery, doctors may recommend they undergo radio wave treatments. These waves are used to reduce the size of the prostate. Once the enlargement of the prostate goes down, the patient should experience relief from most or all of his BPH symptoms.