What is benign prostatic hyperplasia?
Benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) is a medical term for an enlarged prostate gland. The prostate gland is only found in men and part of the reproductive system. 70% of the fluid a man ejaculates is produced by the prostate gland. This is a common condition in older men and can cause very uncomfortable urinary symptoms. Bladder or kidney issues can also result from untreated BPH. The size of the prostate doesn’t necessarily determine the severity of symptoms. You could have a very enlarged prostate and only experience minor urinary symptoms.
What are the symptoms of BPH?
The symptoms of benign prostatic hyperplasia will vary, but as time passes, they can increase in severity. The most common signs and symptoms include:
- An inability to completely empty the bladder
- Urgent, frequent urination
- Difficulty starting to urinate
- Increased, frequent urination at night
- A weak urine stream, or one that stops and starts
- Dribbling at the end of urination
People with severe BPH can also suffer from urinary tract infections (UTIs), blood in their urine and an inability to urinate.
What are the causes of BPH?
Most men experience continued prostate growth throughout their lives since prostate growth results from length of exposure to the male hormone testosterone. The prostate gland is located beneath the bladder and penis. The urethra, which is the tube that transports urine from the bladder, passes through the center of the prostate. When the prostate grows with age, it can begin to significantly block the flow of urine or cause urinary symptoms. The risk factors include age (1/3 of men experience symptoms by age 60), diabetes, heart disease, obesity and a lack of exercise.
Schedule treatments in the South Bay
If left untreated, BPH can cause kidney damage, bladder damage, bladder stones, UTIs and the inability to urinate. Most men with an enlarged prostate won’t develop these complications, but bothersome urinary symptoms, or needing to use a tube to urinate, are common. At South Bay Urology in Torrance, California, we provide both medical and procedural options (UroLift, Rezūm, Prolieve, TURP and robotic surgery) to treat BPH. To find which treatment option can help you, request an appointment online or give us a call at (310) 542-0199.