When it comes to your health as a man, one of the things you might not think about much of the time is your prostate health. However, there are many conditions that can affect the prostate, including one known as benign prostatic hyperplasia (also referred to as BPH). Many men do not know much about BPH or the symptoms that it can cause. Learn some of the important facts about this prostate condition as well as the treatment options available if you do suffer from it. Then, you can be better prepared to take care of your health moving forward.
What Is BPH?
BPH is a condition in which the prostate becomes enlarged. Generally, this issue is attributed to age. It is rare that a man under the age of 40 will have issues with an enlarged prostate.
There are also other factors that might increase your chances of getting BPH besides age. If you have a relative like a father, grandfather, or uncle that has prostate issues of any kind, your chances of developing BPH increase.
What Are the Symptoms of BPH?
The first and main signs of BPH are generally urinary issues. Men with BPH may have difficulty urinating (a weak stream). They might also have an increased urge to urinate as well as excessive urination during the night. There are also many men that experience the sensation of not being able to fully empty the bladder or having dribbling or leakage of urine.
Many of these urinary issues can be attributed to other conditions such as a urinary tract infection. However, UTIs are not particularly common in men. The best way to find out what is causing your urinary symptoms is to contact a doctor and schedule an appointment to be seen.
How Is BPH Diagnosed?
Generally, a doctor will diagnose BPH with a combination of asking questions about your symptoms and issues and a physical examination. They will perform a rectal exam to check the prostate, checking on both its size and shape. If the prostate is enlarged, they may run other tests to rule out other causes of its enlargement. This could include a PSA blood test to check for prostate-specific antigen (PSA) levels as elevated levels could indicate prostate cancer.
How Is BPH Treated?
BPH can be treated in various ways. Generally, doctors will want to start with the least invasive and disruptive treatment method which is to have you take a daily medication. The medications prescribed help to relax the bladder in some cases. Others target the prostate, trying to shrink it.
If medications alone are not enough to sufficiently alleviate your symptoms, surgery to remove a portion or all of your prostate are also options. However, doctors like to save this as a last resort.
Now that you know more about benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), you can be sure to contact your doctor at the first signs of BPH symptoms.