An enlarged prostate, also known as benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) or benign prostatic hypertrophy (BPH), is a medical condition that nearly all men encounter as they age. About 50 percent of all men over 75 experience enlarged prostate symptoms. Although it is not typically a serious problem, it can be an annoyance to anyone experiencing it.
The prostate is a gland that is around the urethra, which removes urine from the bladder and out the body. As its size increases, it can block the urethra and lead to urination issues. This enlargement can be caused by fluctuations of a man’s hormone balance and cell growth.
There are times when men will not experience symptoms from BPH. When symptoms do arise, they can vary from mild to extreme. Most symptoms related to an enlarged prostate involve bladder emptying or bladder storage:
The size of the prostate does not correlate to the severity of a patient’s symptoms. Signs of BPH may become aggravated with cold weather or stress. Some cold medicines and prescriptions may heighten BPH symptoms.
To diagnose BPH, a urologist will ask a series of questions regarding symptoms and health history. They may also perform a series of tests, such as a urinalysis, blood test, and a digital rectal exam. These tests will help the urologist determine whether the symptoms are caused by BPH or other conditions like a urinary tract infection or prostate cancer.
Home treatments that involve a patient’s urination patterns may help alleviate the constant need to go. They may involve “double voiding” (urinate, relax, then urinate again), imagining running water to trigger urination, increasing fluid intake, and avoiding caffeine and alcohol. Medications such as alpha-blockers and 5-alpha reductase inhibitors may be prescribed to the patient by a urologist.
If home remedies and medication do not alleviate symptoms, there are some surgical alternatives available for patients:
The prostate can also become enlarged due to a condition called prostatitis, which is the inflammation or infection of the prostate. Unlike BPH, prostatitis occurs in younger and middle-aged men. Prostatitis is not as common as BPH, and only 5-10% of men experience this prostate issue.
Men can experience a variety of prostatitis conditions with different sets of symptoms:
Enlarged prostate conditions can vary from patient to patient, and the urologists at Academic Urology and Urogynecology of Arizona have the compassion and experience needed to treat each individual case. Prostate conditions can be a sensitive topic, but our urologists put all patients at ease and give the best care to treat all diagnoses. Call us today to learn more information about our seven locations throughout Arizona.