Our team of urologists is here to provide treatment for all male urologic conditions, such as bladder infections, erectile dysfunction, cancer, and many others.

Enlarged Prostate

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.

Enlarged Prostate Symptoms & Diagnosis

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:

  • Hesitancy and straining upon beginning a urine stream
  • Painful urination
  • Feeling that the bladder is not empty after urination
  • Weak urine flow
  • Frequent urination
  • Trickling after urination
  • Abrupt, overwhelming urge to urinate

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.

BPH Treatment

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:

  • Transurethral Resection of the Prostate (TURP) – This is the most common surgery used in the treatment of BPH. During this procedure, the portion of the prostate blocking urine flow is removed through an instrument inserted up the urethra. After the surgery, the patient will need to stay in the hospital for one to two days for recovery. Some side effects that can result from this procedure are bleeding and retrograde ejaculation.
  • GreenLight Laser Therapy – The urologist will use a laser to remove the excess prostate tissue, which results in a bigger passage for urine to flow through. This outpatient procedure produces rapid relief with fewer side effects as compared to TURP, although some blood in the urine and irritation of the bladder and/or urethra may occur.

Prostatitis

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.

Prostatitis Symptoms & Prostatitis Treatment

Men can experience a variety of prostatitis conditions with different sets of symptoms:

  • Acute bacterial prostatitis – This is the least common kind of prostatitis, but it comes with severe symptoms. This is caused by a bacterial infection, which causes prostate inflammation. If left untreated, acute bacterial prostatitis can lead to abscesses in the prostate, bladder infections, low blood pressure, totally blocked urine flow, or even a fatal outcome. Acute bacterial prostatitis treatment involves intravenous antibiotics, fluids, and pain relievers in the hospital.
  • Chronic bacterial prostatitis – This form of prostatitis can exist for years before a patient experiences symptoms. Chronic bacterial prostatitis results from recurring urinary tract infections that go into the prostate gland. Symptoms are less severe than ones related to acute bacterial prostatitis and can vary in intensity. This is treated by antibiotics for four to 12 weeks and some pain medication.
  • Chronic nonbacterial prostatitis – Also known as chronic pelvic pain syndrome, this is the most common form of prostatitis. Symptoms include genital and urinary pain for three out of the past six months, blood in urine or semen, and difficult urination. With this condition, bacteria is not seen in the patient’s urine, but indications of inflammation are present. Chronic nonbacterial prostatitis is treated with antibiotics and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS) to bring the prostate back to normal size.

Specialized Urologists at AUUA

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.