Enlargement of the Prostate.
The prostate goes through two main growth periods when a man ages. The first occurs at the beginning of puberty when the prostate doubles its size.
The second phase of growth begins around age 25 and continues through most of a man’s life. As you get older, your prostate may increase in size. Benign prostatic hyperplasia often occurs with the second phase of growth.
As the prostate enlarges, it can press down on the urethra. The wall of the bladder becomes thicker. Eventually, the bladder may weaken and lose the ability to empty, leaving some urine in the bladder.
The narrowing of the urethra and urinary retention – the inability to empty the bladder – cause many problems associated with benign prostatic hyperplasia.
BPH is benign. This means that it is not cancer. It does not cause or lead to cancer. But BPH and prostate cancer can occur at the same time.
BPH is common in men who age. About half of all men between the ages of 51 and 60 have BPH. Up to 90% of men over 80 have BPH.
The prostate is part of the male reproductive system. It is the size of a walnut and weighs about an ounce.
The prostate is below the bladder and in front of the rectum. The prostate goes all the way around a tube called the urethra. The urethra carries urine from the bladder through the penis.
The main job of the prostate is to make fluid for the semen. During ejaculation, the sperm produced in the testicles moves towards the urethra. At the same time, the liquid from the prostate and the seminal vesicles also moves towards the urethra. This mixture of semen goes through the urethra and leaves the penis.
What are the symptoms of BPH?
With Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia, the prostate becomes larger. When it enlarges, it can irritate or block the bladder. A common symptom is the need to urinate frequently. This can be every one or two hours, especially at night.
Other symptoms include:
- Feel that the bladder is full, even after urinating.
- The sensation of urination “can not wait.”
- Weak flow of urine.
- Urine drip
- The need to stop and start urinating several times.
- Problems are urinating.
- The need to push or stretch to urinate.
- In severe cases, you may not be able to urinate at all; this is an emergency. It must be treated immediately.
How can BPH affect your life?
In most men, Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia worsens as they get older. It can cause bladder damage and infection. It can cause blood in the urine. It can even cause kidney damage. Men with BPH should receive treatment.
What causes Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia?
The reason for benign prostatic hyperplasia is still not well understood; however, it occurs mainly in older men. This condition does not appear in men whose testicles were removed before the development of puberty.
This is why researchers think that the factors involved in aging and testicles cause benign prostatic hyperplasia.
Men produce testosterone, the male hormone, and only a tiny amount of estrogen, a female hormone.
As men age, the amount of active testosterone in their blood is reduced, which leaves a more significant proportion of estrogen.
Scientific studies have suggested that benign prostatic hyperplasia can occur because the higher proportion of estrogen within the prostate increases the activity of substances that promote the growth of prostate cells.
There is also a theory centered on dihydrotestosterone (DHT), the male hormone that plays a role in the processes inherent in the prostate.
Some studies indicate that even with a decrease in testosterone levels in the blood, older gentlemen continue to produce and accumulate high ranges of DHT in the prostate.
DHT in amounts can cause the prostate cells to keep growing. Many scholars have observed that those who do not produce DHT do not develop this condition.
Risk factors include aging and a family history of BPH. Other risk factors are obesity, lack of physical activity, and erectile dysfunction.
There are many treatments. You and your health care provider will decide which treatment is proper for you. Mild cases may not need any treatment.
In some cases, minimally invasive procedures that do not require anesthesia are good options. And sometimes, a combination of medical treatments works better.
The main treatments are:
- Active surveillance.
- Medical therapies
- Minimally invasive surgeries.
What happens after the treatment?
For most men, symptoms improve after treatment. After some treatments, infection, bleeding, incontinence, and erectile dysfunction may occur.
In some cases, scar tissue may form. There may be complications after surgery. Some men need additional or new treatment.
What are the long-term side effects of the treatment?
Side effects vary depending on the type of treatment you choose. Most side effects are temporary. It may take a while for the sexual function to come back ultimately.
Most experts agree that if you were able to have an erection shortly before surgery, you would probably be able to after surgery.
Most men find little or no difference in orgasm. They can have retrograde ejaculation. This is when the semen enters the bladder instead of being sent out of the penis.
For most men, the side effects diminish over time. But there may be long-term side effects for some men in some treatments.
How can the recurrence of Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia be prevented?
Once you have been treated, taking medications continuously can prevent BPH symptoms from coming back or getting worse. In some men, a different treatment may be necessary.