What is Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia?
BPH as the name suggests is a non-cancerous prostate condition that causes enlargement. It is more
common than you may think all men have it to some extent. The disease may or may not present with
symptoms but half of all men over the age of 50 may experience some urinary symptoms.
What are the symptoms of BPH?
When the lumen of the urethra narrows, it may cause the following symptoms to appear:
- Difficulty starting urination
- Starting and stopping of the urine stream
- Feeble urine stream
- Dribbling at the end of urination
- Several nightly visits to the toilet
- The feelings of incomplete urination
These symptoms can interfere with your sleep and your quality of life in general. Your kidneys and bladder can be damaged by chronic prostate obstruction that causes urine to be retained in the bladder. This can result in kidney stones and urinary tract infections as well.
What can I expect at the clinic?
Your doctor will ask you about your symptoms and do a prostate examination. The doctor may take blood samples, urine samples, and may order an ultrasound to look at kidney function and Prostate-Specific Antigen (PSA) levels in your blood.
What are the treatment options for BPH?
The doctor may suggest that you make some lifestyle changes. These may include not drinking too much water at night, urinate before bed, decrease consumption of caffeine and alcohol, and try to empty your bladder completely with each urination.
Interestingly, you may be advised to avoid some of the medications such as cough syrups as it may cause acute urine retention.
The medications that are used to treat BPH are as follows:
-This type of medication relaxes the muscles of the prostate and bladder, allowing urine to flow easier through the urethra.
-The side effects that may be experienced include giddiness, headaches, and low blood pressure.
5 alpha reductase inhibitors (5 ARIs)
-These medications block the formation of 5DHT, a hormone that causes prostate growth.
-Long-term, consistent use can shrink your prostate consequently relieving symptoms.
-5 ARIs may cause side effects like ejaculatory dysfunction, erectile dysfunction, and decreased libido.
-These medications are commonly used to treat erectile dysfunction. It works by increasing nitric oxide concentration in smooth muscle. It also facilitates erection of the bladder neck and penis; prostatic relaxation and bladder evacuation.
-You may experience side effects such as palpitations, headaches, muscular pain, and flushing.
If your symptoms worsen or you notice no improvement with your medications, your doctor will refer you to a Urologist for a procedure called transurethral resection of the prostate. (TURP). This surgery removes the part of the prostate encroaching into the urethra. No incisions are made, it is done through the penis.
Please remember that you should not have to live with the unpleasant symptoms mentioned above. BPH can be easily managed and treatment can improve the quality of your life considerably.
If you are experiencing any of the symptoms listed above or you have questions that need to be answered about BPH, feel free to reach out to us.
Our clinic can be reached via email or phone or you can visit us. Make an appointment today.