What is benign prostatic hyperplasia?
Benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) is another name for enlargement of the prostate gland. BPH is common in men as they age, but it can health problems if it’s not treated.
What causes benign prostatic hyperplasia?
In most men, the prostate gland grows with age. Sometimes, this leads to enlargement at a level that causes urinary or kidney problems.
Top risk factors for benign prostatic hyperplasia include:
- Age: By age 60, a third of men experience some symptoms of prostate enlargement. By age 80, about half of men do.
- Family medical history: Men who have a father, grandfather or brother with an enlarged prostate are more likely to experience the condition as well.
- Diabetes and heart disease: People with diabetes, heart disease and those who use beta blocker medications may be at increased risk for enlarged prostate.
- Obesity: Being obese increases the risk of BPH.
What are the symptoms of benign prostatic hyperplasia?
Some cases of BPH are very mild, but for most people who experience the condition, symptoms get worse over time. Common BPH symptoms include:
- Frequent urination, including increased urgency and nighttime urination.
- Difficulty in starting urination.
- Weak urine stream or “dribbling”.
- Urine stream that starts and stops.
- Feeling that bladder isn’t completely empty after urination.
- Increase in urinary tract infections.
How is benign prostatic hyperplasia diagnosed and treated?
If you have BPH symptoms, you should talk to your doctor about it. Your doctor will usually first have you complete a questionnaire called the BPH Symptom Score Index and talk to you about your medical history.
In order to get a proper diagnosis, your doctor may perform a physical exam, including a digital rectal exam to feel the back wall of the prostate gland for lumps or enlargement. Urine tests, blood tests and imaging tests may also be done to get the best diagnosis.
There are several options to treat BPH. Very mild cases may not require treatment, while others may be managed with prescription medication, including with alpha blockers and 5-alpha reductase inhibitors. There are a range of surgical treatments used for BPH, some of which are more invasive than others. At Beach Wellness MD, we offer prostate artery embolization, which is an effective, minimally invasive treatment for BPH.