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Benign Prostate Hyperplasia (BPH) – Things You Should Know

Benign Prostate Hyperplasia (BPH), also known as Prostate Enlargement is the most common cause of lower urinary tract problems in ageing male. Men in their 50s hardly experience any symptoms of benign prostate hyperplasia. The symptoms begin to surface as they enter in their 60s and 70s. However, almost 75-80% of men above 75 years of age experience urinary problems due to enlarged prostrate.  BPH is not an alarming health condition but it does interfere with the routine and day-to-day activities.

What is Prostate Gland?

Prostate gland is a small tube-like structure surrounding the urethra and located just below the bladder. It is part of the male reproductive system and takes urine from the bladder to be excreted out of the body through penis. Prostate gland produces a fluid which nourishes semen.

What is Benign Prostate Hyperplasia (BPH)?

Benign Prostate Hyperplasia BPHHyperplasia means abnormal overgrowth of the epithelial and stromal cells of the prostate. With the advancing age, the prostate gland enlarges and begins to put pressure on the urethra which is right below it, which causes urination problems.

Ageing in males leads to hormonal changes which triggers abnormal production of cells causing increase in the size of prostate gland. The exact reason for this enlargement is not yet known.

BPH is NOT a cancerous condition and it DOES NOT cause erectile dysfunction.  It is a complete nuisance because the patient is unable to sleep properly or carry out his daily activities because of the symptoms that surface.

Get more information about Prostate Changes in Men

Symptoms of BPH

  • Mild to severe discomfort and pain
  • Frequent urge to urinate especially at night when you’re sleeping
  • Unable to hold the urine pressure
  • Irritation or difficulty when starting to urinate
  • Dribbling even after urine stops
  • After passing urine, continuous sensation that the bladder is not completely empty
  • Sometimes, the bladder may completely block which makes it very difficult to urinate as well as may cause bladder infections or kidney damage
Risk Factors of BPH

Here are certain conditions which aggravate the occurrence of Benign Prostate Hyperplasia in men:

  • Obesity
  • Sedentary lifestyle
  • Excessive consumption of alcohol
  • High blood pressure/Hypertension
  • Diabetes
  • Smoking
  • Inflammation
  • Advancing age
  • High intake of polyunsaturated fats, beef products and fatty acids-rich diet
How is Benign Prostate Hyperplasia diagnosed?

An experienced urologist will understand your symptoms first. He would want to know the frequency and severity of the symptoms, and whether they affect the quality of your normal life. He will also discuss about your past health and will do a physical exam. To confirm BPH, doctor may ask you to go for a rectal examination or urine test (urinalysis). In certain cases, doctors may prescribe prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test to exclude the possibility of prostate cancer.

It is advisable that you stay alert and recognize the symptoms to seek timely medical treatment and care for Benign Prostate Hyperplasia treatment.

Also read about Prostate Cancer Screening