As a man gets older, one of the most common conditions that usually develop is a prostate gland enlargement also known as benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) or prostatic hypertrophy.
Did you know: Benign prostatic hypertrophy is considered part of the normal aging process in men. By 60 years of age, 50% of men demonstrate histopathologic BPH, and that rate increases to 90% by 85 years of age.
This condition can cause aggravating urinary symptoms and if left untreated, can block the flow of urine through the bladder. Blocked urine flow can cause issues such as urinary tract, bladder, or kidney problems.
The prostate gland is about the size of a walnut and closes around the neck of a man’s bladder and urethra- the tube in charge of carrying urine from the bladder. It sits right under the bladder. The main duty of the prostate gland is to produce most of the fluid in semen- fluid that transports sperm out of the penis during ejaculation. The urethra passes through the center of the prostate so when the prostate enlarges, it begins to obstruct urine flow.
All men have continuous prostate growth throughout their lifetime. For most men, that growth enlarges the prostate enough to greatly obstruct urine flow or to cause urinary symptoms. Many doctors don’t know exactly what causes the prostate to enlarge. Some research concludes that it may be due to changes in the balanced of sex hormones as a man ages
There are a few adequate treatments for prostate gland enlargement. Before deciding the best course of treatment, you and your doctor will evaluate your symptoms, the size of your prostate, and any other health problems that you may have. The area that you live in may also determine what treatments are available to you. Treatment for benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) includes surgery, lifestyle changes, and medications. There are some alternative medicines that can be used although not much research is done on their effectiveness.
Prostate gland enlargement is different in severity between men and tends to continuously worsen over time. Prostate gland enlargement symptoms consist of:
- Weak urine flow
- Having trouble urinating
- Ceasing and starting while urinating
- Leaking after urination
- Constant urge to urinate at night
- Forcing to urinate
- Urinary tract infection (UTI)
- Development of stones in the bladder
- Lessened kidney function
Your prostate size doesn’t mean urinary symptoms will be worse. Some men with a hardly enlarged prostate have harsh symptoms while on the other hand, some men with bona fide enlarged prostates have only minimum urinary symptoms. Symptoms that become bothersome or noticeable enough to seek medical attention are only experienced by half the men with prostate gland enlargement. Sometimes, the symptom will eventually stabilize and improve over time.
Medications such as Alpha blockers, 5 alpha reductase inhibitors, and Cialis are the most common treatment for moderate symptoms of prostate enlargement. Surgery may also be recommended by your doctor if these medications are not adequate or if your symptoms become severe. There are many different types of surgeries for an enlarged prostate. They all are effective at reducing the size of the prostate gland and opening up the urethra by treating the enlarged prostate tissue that obstructs the flow of urine. Factors that determines the type of surgery that is best for you includes the size of the prostate, the severity of symptoms, and the type of treatments that is available in your area.
Off course just like any other surgeries, there will be side effects. The side effects include semen streaming backward into the bladder instead of out through the penis during ejaculation, incontinence, and erectile dysfunction. Be sure to mention the type of risks you will be facing when you are considering your treatment options.