Benign prostatic hyperplasia, or BPH, is a condition that can result from prostate growth. Frequently referred to as an enlarged prostate, this is a common urinary symptom in men that occurs later in life.
Understanding BPH/Enlarged Prostate
The exact cause of BPH is unknown; however, it is associated with aging and potentially attributed to hormonal changes. Understanding BPH includes recognizing the role and location of the prostate in the male body.
- The prostate is a gland located beneath the bladder that helps with the production of fluid in semen used to carry sperm from the testicles.
- The prostate surrounds the urethra, which is the tube that carries urine out from the bladder.
- As men age, it is common for some growth of the prostate to occur.
- As the prostate grows, it can obstruct the flow of urine and lead to urinary symptoms.
- The enlarged prostate exerts pressure on the urethra which weakens the urine stream or causes urine to stop and start.
While the term “enlarged prostate” is commonly used, prostate size alone does not determine the degree of obstruction to urine flow. Some men with smaller prostates may have a prostate structure which leads to obstruction. It is important to note that an enlarged prostate is not cancer nor does it increase your chances of prostate cancer.
Symptoms of BPH/Enlarged Prostate
Typical symptoms of urinary obstruction from BPH/Enlarged Prostate include:
- Incomplete Emptying of Bladder
- Need to Urinate Frequently
- Urgency to Get to the Bathroom Quickly
- Weak or Reduced Urinary Flow
- Waking from Sleep to Urinate
- Difficulty Starting Your Urinary Flow
These symptoms can occur as the result of other issues, so it is important to be aware of them and to seek medical attention for treatment to determine the root cause.
When to See Your Doctor about BPH/Enlarged Prostate
It is recommended to discuss the above symptoms with your doctor, especially if they occur regularly and begin to disrupt your daily life. Saint Vincent Medical Group is available to consult with patients in a respectful, trusting environment should any of these symptoms be of concern. Although uncommon, an enlarged prostate can result in bladder stones, infection, and decreased kidney function.
Treatment Options for BPH/Enlarged Prostate
Once we have assessed your symptoms and conducted tests to determine that the cause is BPH, there are three approaches to treatment:
- Lifestyle changes such as consuming less liquid before bed and limiting alcohol and caffeine.
- Medication that can either shrink the prostate or relax the prostate muscle.
- Surgical procedures to remove part or all your prostate. These may include UroLift®, TherMatrx®, minimally invasive procedures such as transurethral resection of the prostate or transurethral vaporization of the prostate, or open prostate removal.
Schedule Your Appointment
Turn to the compassionate medical team at Saint Vincent Medical Group to discuss and treat your BPH/Enlarged Prostate symptoms. Contact us to schedule a consultation.