You can do a lot to take care of yourself and provide your body with the nutrients it requires. Even yet, as you get older, your body changes in ways you don't always have control over. One of these modifications is that the prostate grows larger in most men.
It's a normal part of aging, but it can eventually progress to a condition known as BPH, or benign prostatic hyperplasia.
Your prostate covers a portion of your urethra, the tube that drains urine and sperm from your penis. When you have BPH, your prostate grows larger than usual, compressing the urethra. This can cause your pee stream to be weak, waking you up frequently at night to use the restroom.
It may also cause other uncomfortable urinary symptoms.
BPH is not prostate cancer and does not increase your risk of developing it.
It's a prevalent issue, particularly in older men, and there are numerous treatments available, ranging from lifestyle modifications to medicine to surgery. Your urologist can advise you on the best course of action based on your age, health, and how the problem affects you.
What Is the Cause of BPH?
Doctors aren't sure why this is happening. Some speculate that it may be due to typical hormonal changes as you age, although this is not proven.
Your prostate actually doubles in size during puberty. It begins to grow again later in life, around the age of 25. Most guys experience this progression throughout their lifetimes. It causes BPH in some people.
As the prostate grows in size, it begins to compress the urethra. This results in symptoms that alter urine flow, such as:
- When you're done, start dribbling.
- Having difficulty getting started
- A sluggish stream, or you pee in fits and starts
When your urethra is constricted, your bladder needs to work harder to push urine out. The bladder muscles weaken over aging, making it more difficult to empty. This can result in:
- Feeling as if you still need to pee after having recently gone
- Having to go to the restroom eight or more times per day
- Incontinence (the inability to regulate when you pee)
- Suddenly, there is an urgent need to pee.
- You get up multiple times during the night to pee.
- Urinary tract infections, bleeding, bladder injury, and bladder stones are all possibilities.
It rarely causes additional conditions, but it can, and a few of them are severe. BPH, for example, can cause kidney damage or, in the worst-case scenario, prevent you from peeing at all.
A bigger prostate does not imply that you will experience more or worse symptoms. It is unique to each individual. In reality, some men with massive prostates have little, if any, problems.
Tests and Diagnosis
Your Urology hospital will initially discuss your personal and family medical history with you. You could also complete a survey, answering questions about your symptoms and how they affect you on a daily basis.
Your doctor will then perform a physical examination. A digital rectal exam may be included. They will put on a glove and gently push one finger into your rectum to assess the size and form of your prostate.
Fundamental tests:Your doctor may begin with one or more of the following:
- Blood testing to rule out renal disease
- Urine testing to look for infections or other issues that may be causing your symptoms.
- PSA blood test (prostate-specific antigen). High PSA values may indicate an enlarged prostate. It can also be ordered by a doctor as a prostate cancer screening.
Advanced examinations: Your doctor may request additional tests based on the results of those tests to rule out other problems or to examine what's going on more clearly. These could include:
- Different forms of ultrasound are used to assess the health of your prostate.
- A bladder ultrasound is used to determine how well you empty your bladder.
- A biopsy will be performed to rule out cancer.
- A urine flow test to determine the strength of your stream and how much pee you produce.
- Urodynamics testing to assess bladder function.
- Cystourethroscopy - a procedure that uses a camera to see inside the prostate, urethra, and bladder.
Your Urologist will approach your case differently depending on your age, health, prostate size, and how BPH affects you. If your symptoms aren't too bothersome, you can postpone therapy and see how things go.
Changes in your lifestyle: You might want to start with things you can control. You can, for example,
- Perform pelvic floor muscle strengthening exercises.
- Reduce your fluid intake, especially before going out or going to bed.
- Reduce your intake of caffeine and alcohol.
- Medicine: The Urology hospital may recommend medication for mild to moderate BPH. Some drugs relieve symptoms by relaxing the muscles in your prostate and bladder. Others aid in prostate shrinkage. Some guys require a combination of medications to achieve the best outcomes.
If lifestyle changes and drugs are ineffective, your doctor has several options for removing part or all of your prostate. Many of these are referred to as "minimally invasive," which means they are less invasive than traditional surgery. They employ probes or scopes and do not necessitate big wounds in your body.
Examples include TUMT, Rezm, and laser therapy to remove a portion of the prostate gland. Other procedures include:
Transurethral resection of the prostate, or TURP, is a surgical procedure in which the doctor uses a scope to cut away parts of the prostate gland using a wire loop.
Transurethral incision of the prostate, or TUIP, is a procedure that involves making a few small cuts in the prostate to relieve the gland's strain on the urethra.
The UroLift system is a permanent device that lifts and holds enlarged prostate tissue out of the way so that it no longer clogs the urethra.
In some situations, your doctor may recommend open surgery or a robotic technique to remove your prostate.
Are there any complications?
There may be side effects or consequences with any BPH surgery, such as bleeding, narrowing of the urine tube (also known as urethral stricture), urinary incontinence or leakage, erectile dysfunction, and retrograde ejaculation.
BPH does not cause prostate cancer or increase your risk of developing it.