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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 BPH. 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)?
Hyperplasia 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
7 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.
Also Read: Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH) patients
Risk Factors of BPH
Here are certain conditions which aggravate the occurrence of Enlarged Prostate (BPH) in men:
- Sedentary lifestyle
- Excessive consumption of alcohol
- High blood pressure/Hypertension
- 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
Benign Prostate Hyperplasia Treatments –
The options for treating Benign Prostate Hyperplasia are numerous and can include medication, minimally invasive therapy, and surgery.
#1 Medicine –
Medication is the most frequent treatment for mild to severe prostate enlargement symptoms. The choices are as follows:
- Alpha-blocker – An alpha-blocker relaxes the prostate and bladder neck muscles, which helps with urination.
- 5-alpha reductase inhibitors – These reduce the size of your prostate by stopping the hormonal changes that lead to prostate growth.
- Combination therapy – If either of these two medicines is not showing the desired results, then your doctor may advise taking an alpha-blocker and 5-alpha reductase inhibitor simultaneously.
#2 Surgery –
The prostate tissue blocking your urethra can be removed surgically using various techniques. These consist of the following:
- TURP Surgery for BPH – Doctors generally cut only a small portion of the prostate during TURP, which results in improved urine flow.
- TUIP for BPH Treatment – Men who are not physically qualified for TURP can opt for TUIP as it involves less blood loss.
- TUMT Treatment for BPH – TUMT is highly effective for men suffering from retrograde ejaculation and blood in the urine.
- TUNA Surgery for BPH – Doctors recommend TUNA for men experiencing difficulty with urination and whose prostates weigh 60g or less than that.
- Laser therapy – Men not physically fit for other prostate operations as they involve taking blood-thinning drugs can opt for laser therapy.
#3 Minimally Invasive Procedures –
Unlike surgery, the new BPH treatments require smaller cuts or sometimes no cuts at all. Most of these treatments allow you to return home on the same day as the procedure.
They are also less expensive, less likely to cause any side effects, and have a speedy recovery. Some of the minimally invasive are as follows:
- Prostatic Urethral Lift (PUL) – Doctors can recommend PUL to men concerned about how therapy affects their erectile dysfunction and ejaculatory issues.
- Embolization – During embolization, the doctor precisely cuts off the ongoing and outgoing blood flow from the prostate, which reduces the prostate’s size.
- Open or Robot-Assisted Prostatectomy – An open prostatectomy is generally performed if you have a big prostate, bladder injury, or other complex problems. Sometimes you might need a blood donation during this procedure and need to stay in the hospital for a few days.