Benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), or prostate enlargement, is a common condition affecting older men. As the prostate increases in size, it may cause the urethra to be narrowed and block urine flow.
- Difficulty starting urination
- Frequent urge to urinate, especially at night
- Unable to completely empty the bladder
- Weak urine stream
See a doctor if you are having urinary problems, even if the symptoms do not affect your quality of life. This is because it is still important to determine other underlying conditions that may cause the problem. If left untreated, BPH may result in urinary tract obstruction, kidney failure or bladder stones.
Diagnosing Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia
To diagnose an enlarged prostate, your doctor may ask you about your symptoms, and perform a physical examination that may include:
- Rectal examination to check the size of your prostate and for nodules
- Urine test to rule out infections that can cause similar symptoms
- Blood test to check for kidney problems and signs of cancer
- Uroflow test to measure the flow of your urine
Treatment for BPH
The type of treatment you require depends on several factors, such as the size of your prostate, your age, and the amount of discomfort you are experiencing.
For mild cases, your doctor may prescribe medication. These medications either relax the prostate and provide relief for your symptoms, or shrink your prostate and prevent your condition from worsening.
For severe cases, your doctor may recommend surgery as a treatment option. It is minimally invasive, and no incision is required.
Transurethral resection of prostate (TURP)
Your doctor inserts a lighted scope into your urethra and removes your prostate gland. A urinary catheter is inserted into your urethra after the procedure to promote healing.