Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia
The prostate is a small gland situated just below the bladder. Its main job is to make fluid called seminal fluid, which helps sperm by giving them nutrients and a way to move. As men get older, the prostate can face certain health problems, so it’s crucial to know about them and take care of men’s health.
Out of all the glands in a man’s body, the prostate is the one most commonly affected, making it the most common type of cancer men experience (prostate cancer) year after year.
Apart from prostate cancer, the prostate can also have other issues. One significant one is called BPH, which stands for benign prostatic hyperplasia. “Benign” means it’s not life-threatening, and “hyperplasia” means it becomes bigger because its cells grow rapidly.
In this article, we’ll talk about what BPH is, how it impacts men’s health, and the usual and best methods to treat this condition. So, let’s get started and learn more about BPH!
What is Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia?
Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia, also known as BPH, is a non-cancerous condition where the prostate gland grows bigger than normal. Even though it’s not cancer, it can lead to various uncomfortable symptoms and side effects.
BPH mostly affects men who are 50 years old or older. Some evidence suggests that there could be a link with genetics, meaning men whose male family members have BPH are more likely to get it too.
One common symptom of BPH is trouble urinating. The enlarged prostate puts pressure on the urethra and bladder, making it hard for urine to flow properly. These symptoms can be quite bothersome and uncomfortable.
The good news is that BPH can be treated, and the symptoms can be greatly improved. Regular checkups with your doctor will help diagnose it early and start treatment promptly. So, if you experience BPH symptoms, make sure to talk to your doctor.
Signs You Might Have BPH
If you have BPH, you might notice some common symptoms related to urination. These can be difficulty starting to pee (urinary hesitancy), feeling like you urgently need to pee, and sometimes being unable to pee at all (urinary retention). BPH can also lead to other problems like urinary tract infections, prostatitis, and kidney issues.
Recognizing Signs of BPH
The signs and symptoms of BPH can be different depending on how serious it is, but they could get worse if not treated on time.
Here are the most common symptoms of benign prostatic hyperplasia:
• Feeling like you urgently need to pee
• Having trouble starting to pee
• Not being able to pee completely
• Needing to pee more often
• Feeling pain when you pee
• Leaking urine after you pee
• Seeing blood in your urine
These symptoms may be related to BPH, but they could also be caused by other issues with the kidneys or bladder. It’s essential to talk to your doctor or health professional to make sure you get the right treatment.
Serious BPH Complication
In severe cases of BPH, there can be a complication called bladder outlet obstruction. This means you can’t pee at all, and it causes a lot of pain because your bladder gets very full. To treat this, a catheter is used to drain the bladder.
Effective Treatments for BPH
Since BPH isn’t cancer, treatments like chemotherapy and radiation aren’t needed. Usually, oral medication can help improve the symptoms. But if the prostate is significantly enlarged, more invasive methods might be necessary.
Here are the common and effective ways to treat BPH:
• Making lifestyle changes, like cutting back on alcohol and caffeine and doing pelvic exercises
• Taking prescription medication, such as alpha inhibitors like Flomax
• Using antibiotics for infections
• Undergoing surgery, like TURP (transurethral resection of the prostate)
• Having a prostatic stent inserted
Dealing with BPH: Treatment Options
The severity of BPH determines the kind of treatment needed. When BPH is more severe, a surgery called TURP may be necessary. During a TURP procedure, a special scope is put in the urethra to remove parts of the enlarged prostate and make it smaller.
For milder cases of BPH, simple changes in lifestyle or taking prescription medications can help.
Even though benign prostatic hyperplasia can be challenging, it’s not as dangerous as prostate cancer, and having BPH doesn’t increase the risk of getting prostate cancer. Many times, it can be treated without invasive procedures, and if any surgery is needed, it’s not as intense as the ones for prostate cancer.
If you experience any of the symptoms mentioned earlier, it’s crucial to see your doctor right away. They will diagnose your condition correctly and decide on the best treatment for you promptly.
Lastly, don’t take your prostate health lightly. Make sure you take proactive steps and have regular checkups with your doctor to stay healthy.
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