Prostate cancer symptoms

Benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) in men- symptoms & prevention

The most common cause for prostate enlargement in man is Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia or BPH. Prostate in men goes through two growth cycles. The first one occurs early in the puberty with prostate doubles in size. The second growth starts around age 25 and it continues for most of rest of a man’s lifetime and it leads to BPH.  

Having an enlarged prostate can cause some problems and sometimes a person may not able to handle it. When prostate enlarges it presses against urethra and the bladder wall becomes thick. Bladder eventually may become weak and lose the ability to empty urine fully. This narrowing of urethra and retention of urine in bladder results in problems associated with BPH.

BPH is benign and it does not lead to cancer. It is common in men aged between 51 and 60. Men over age 80 will also have BPH. Both BPH and prostate cancer can occur simultaneously.

Symptoms of BPH

  1. Frequent urination
  2. Interrupted and hesitant urine flow or weak urine stream
  3. Leaking and dribbling at the end of urination
  4. Feel of incomplete emptying
  5. Trouble starting urination
  6. Inability to empty the bladder completely.
  7. Waking up often at night for urination (known as nocturia)

What affect BPH can have on men?

BPH symptoms can get worst with age. It can lead to bladder infection and damage. This could result blood in the urine and also can damage kidney.

Reasons for BPH

There is no particular reasons attributed for BPH. Aging and testicles are possible reasons for BPH. Because as men age, the amount of testosterone in blood lowers and there will be high amount of estrogen hormone. In presence of higher estrogen prostate cells grow. Another possibility is build up of another male hormone with age called dihydrotestosterone (DHT) that could make prostate cells to grow further.

Studies have shown that, in men who does not have  testicles and does not produce DHT do not develop BPH symptoms.

Men who are aging and who has family history are at risk of developing BPH. In addition people who are overweight, obesity, inactive life style and erectile dysfunction increases risk of developing BPH.

Diagnosis of BPH:

If the symptoms are noticed then based on family history, medical examination and physical checkup doctors will be able to diagnose BPH.

Medical tests – cystoscopy, PSA blood test, ultrasound, urinalysis, uroflowmetry, urodynamic pressure – are some of the recommended tests. Post-void residual volume is the measurement of urine left in the bladder is also another recommended test for BPH diagnosis.

Prevention of BPH symptoms:

BPH can be controlled or prevented by healthy diet and losing weight. Reducing fat intake helps too.

  1. Reduce stress by exercise and relaxation techniques (like meditation). This reduces tension and frequency of urination.
  2. Empty bladder completely when you visit bathroom.
  3. Do not drink water or fluids before going to bed. Do not take fluids 2 hours before going to bed.
  4. Consult your doctor about your prescription medications. Sometimes medications may contribute to BPH. Adjusting dosage can help to reduce symptoms.

If the problem is severe doctors can suggest treatment. There are many types of medications available. Lifestyle changes like dieting and medications both will help. Surgical treatments are also effective. Minimally invasive surgeries are available and depends on following factors:

How big is the size of the prostate, how healthy a person is, symptoms are moderate to severe, have urinary tract obstruction, bladder stones, or blood in your urine, can’t empty the bladder completely, have bleeding from prostate, urination is interrupted and slow, medication is not effective and finally on personal choice

Invasive procedures are:

  • PLU -Prostatic Urethral Lift
  • Convective Water Vapor (steam) Ablation
  • TUMT -Transurethral Microwave Thermotherapy (TUMT)
  • Catheterization
  • Transurethral Water Vapor Thermal Therapy 

Talk to doctor today if you have BPH symptoms and seek proper advice from the expert. The problem might not be big, and symptoms might disappear by simple lifestyle changes and with help of medications. Before the symptoms gets worsen seek medical help.


Image credit: Photo by National Cancer Institute on Unsplash

Author: Sumana Rao | Posted on: November 19, 2020

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