What is Prostate Enlargement (Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia)?
A prostate is a small walnut-like gland located under the bladder in a male pelvic area. It produces the sperm during ejaculation. An enlarged prostate, or Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH), occurs when the prostate becomes bigger than the average size. It occurs in almost every male as they grow older. It does not pose a threat, and it is not a cause of cancer in men. However, an enlarged prostate can cause some severe complications, although they do not occur often.
- Urinary retention- You might find yourself unable to urinate, and that would require a tube to be fitted inside your bladder so that the urine can pass. Some men might need surgery so that they can be relieved from urinary retention.
- Bladder stones– These are usually caused as a result of not being able to empty your bladder fully. They can cause your bladder to become irritated, and blood might come in your urine, etc.
- Bladder damage– The bladder becomes extremely weak if it doesn’t empty up entirely over time.
- Kidney Damage– Pressure from the bladder can transfer to the kidney and damage it.
Causes and Symptoms
Certain factors contribute to prostate enlargement such as aging and testosterone levels. If men live long enough, then they are very much likely to develop an enlarged prostate. Family history plays a part in this as well. If you have any relatives with prostate problems, you are likely to have inherited some. If you are a diabetic or heart patient, then that also increases the risk of BPH.
The symptoms actually vary from each person to another, including the size of the gland but they have the potential to become worse over time. Some common symptoms that exist in men are:
- The need to urinate more often.
- Nocturia, or frequently urinating at night.
- Having a hard time urinating.
- If you are incapable of completely emptying your bladder.
Moreover, there are less common symptoms as well:
- Blood in the urine.
- Infection in the urinary tract that occurs due to the inability to empty the bladder.
There are various treatments available to treat prostate enlargement, and they vary from medications to minimally invasive procedures and surgery. All of it entirely depends on how severe your symptoms are and what your andrologist suggests. Your age, size of the prostate, and any pre-existing health conditions also play a massive role in deciding which kind of treatment you need. If your symptoms are troubling you, it is best to skip over the medicine and go for the surgery or the minimally invasive procedures.
The treatment options include:
- Laser surgery– involves fitting a scope through the tip of the penis and into the urethra. A laser is then passed through the scope onto the prostate tissue and removes it through melting or cutting.
- Open Simple Prostatectomy– used to remove a part of the prostate which blocks the urine flow.
To better understand prostate enlargement, you can read our blog about Prostate Enlargement: Diagnosis And Cure or consult with our resident expert, Dr. Shawket Alkhayal, today.