As you age, your prostate gets larger. If you’re like many men, you may have a condition called benign prostatic hyperplasia, also known as BPH or an enlarged prostate, that causes a range of urinary symptoms. At Urology Health Center in Fremont, Nebraska, you don’t have to accept BPH as just a part of getting older. The team treats BPH with medication and the UroLift® System. To learn more, schedule an appointment at Urology Health Center online or by phone today.
Benign prostatic hyperplasia is a medical term for an enlarged prostate. Your doctor diagnoses BPH if your prostate is large enough to cause problems with urination.
BPH isn’t cancerous or a risk factor for prostate cancer. It’s actually the result of normal prostate growth that comes with age. Still, it causes symptoms you may find uncomfortable and embarrassing, primarily affecting urination, and it can cause bladder, urinary tract, and kidney complications if you don’t treat it.
Your prostate is a gland that’s located between your bladder and penis, and it produces some of the fluid that makes up semen. Your prostate nearly doubles in size when you go through puberty, and then in your mid-20s, it starts to grow again but very gradually.
Eventually, your prostate may grow large enough that it puts pressure on your urethra or bladder, causing difficulty with urination. Generally, this happens no earlier than age 50.
BPH primarily affects urination. In the early stages, when your prostate puts pressure on your urethra, the symptoms may include:
As your prostate continues to grow, your bladder has to work harder to empty. This can result in your bladder muscles becoming thicker and less flexible. When this happens, your symptoms may include:
Keep in mind that BPH doesn’t depend on the exact size of your prostate, but the symptoms you have as a result of pressure on your urethra and bladder. Everyone’s anatomy is different, so there’s no standard prostate size that causes severe symptoms in all men, or even noticeable symptoms.
To treat BPH, your doctor may prescribe medication. Some BPH medication relaxes the muscles in your prostate and bladder, so urinating is easier. Other BPH medications prevent your prostate from growing more or even slowly shrink it.
If your symptoms don’t respond to medication, you have side effects, or you’d rather not have to take medication long term, Urology Health Center offers the UroLift System. This procedure is minimally invasive and involves placing implants that keep your prostate from pressing on your bladder. The UroLift treatment provides permanent relief of symptoms.
In addition to the UroLift, your doctor at Urology Health Center may also recommend transurethral resection of the prostate (TURP) to improve your urinary symptoms. You may be considered a good candidate for TURP if you have moderate to severe BPH that doesn’t respond well to medication.
BPH is a common part of getting older for many men, but you’re not stuck with the symptoms it can cause. To get treatment, call Urology Health Center or schedule an appointment online today.