Benign Prostatic Hypertrophy

What is Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH)?

Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH) is a condition wherein the prostate gland enlarges, leading to difficulty in urinating. It is a fairly common condition among men over the age of 50. The prostate gland is a small organ located near the bladder and is responsible for producing the semen during ejaculation.

What are the Symptoms of BPH?

The most common symptom of BPH is difficulty in starting or stopping the urine stream. Other symptoms include a weak urine stream, frequent urination (especially at night), feeling that the bladder is still full after urinating, and difficulty in holding back the urine. In more severe cases, men may experience complete urinary retention, leading to the need for catheterization.

How is BPH Diagnosed?

BPH is diagnosed through a combination of a physical exam, medical history, and a number of tests such as a prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test, digital rectal exam (DRE), urinalysis, and ultrasonography. Depending on the severity of the condition, additional tests such as urodynamic tests, cystoscopy, or bladder biopsy may also be used to diagnose BPH.

What are the Treatments for BPH?

  • Medication:Alpha-blockers (such as terazosin or doxazosin) relax the muscles in the prostate, relieving the symptoms of BPH.
  • Surgery: Transurethral resection of the prostate (TURP) is the most common surgery for BPH. During this procedure, an instrument is passed up the urethra to remove the excess prostate tissue.
  • Lifestyle changes: These include reducing alcohol consumption, quitting smoking, managing stress and avoiding caffeine.
  • Natural remedies: Dietary supplements can be used to reduce the symptoms associated with BPH.

What are the Possible Complications of BPH?

BPH can cause a number of complications, including urinary tract infections, bladder stones, and bladder damage. In severe cases, it can lead to bladder or kidney damage, which can be life-threatening. It is important to seek medical help if the symptoms of BPH start to interfere with daily life.