Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia: Symptoms, Diagnosis, and Treatment
Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia is an enlarged prostate. You should know that the prostate grows basically in two cycles during the whole phase of man’s life. The first cycle of growth starts when puberty hits you, and at that stage, the prostate becomes twice the size of what it used to be before puberty. The second growth cycle of prostate starts around the age of 26, and it keeps on growing for the rest of your life. In most of the cases, Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia occurs at the second growth cycle of the prostate.
The prostate is a small gland, and it is part of the male’s reproductive system. The prostate makes fluid, which combines with sperm to create semen. Urine flows from the bladder through a part of the urethra surrounded by the prostate, and then it leaves the body. In the case of BPH, the cells in the prostate multiply and the gland becomes enlarged. Most of the BPH patients are in their 40’s, but there are exceptions as well.
The first symptom of BPH is the urge to urinate frequently. Because of the enlarged form of the prostate, it starts putting pressure on the bladder, and this makes it difficult for a man to hold urine for even an average period. This results in going to the bathroom more than the regular days.
If BPH is not treated soon, then, its symptoms can get worse. But you should know that the size of the prostate has nothing to do with the severity of the symptoms as a person with much bigger prostate can have fewer symptoms in comparison to a person with smaller prostate who can have more severe symptoms. If BPH is not treated, then it can lead to a bladder infection, bladder stone, and even inability to urinate as well. Additional symptoms include pain during ejaculation and even while urinating.
During the diagnosis, doctors ask some standard questions which are related to the symptoms and along with this, the following tests are conducted:-
- Urine Test– By testing your urine, doctors will get to know about any type of infection and other urine related conditions that can be due to BPH.
- PSA blood test- Prostate-specific antigens are produced in your prostate, and it’s level increases in case of an enlarged prostate. But the increased level of PSA can also be because of prostate cancer, infection, and surgery.
- Blood test- By testing your blood, doctors can know about the condition of your kidney.
Along with this, the following are some of the additional tests which your doctor might recommend to you:-
Urinary flow test- In this test, you will be asked to urinate in a receptacle which will be attached to a machine. This particular machine is designed to measure the strength and amount of your urine flow. This test might be conducted regularly to know whether your condition is getting better or worse.
Postvoid residual volume test- Through this test, doctors can know whether you can empty your bladder entirely or not. This test is mostly conducted by using ultrasound or by inserting a catheter in your bladder.
The type of treatment depends on how severe your symptoms are. There are many cases where there is no need for surgery. If you have mild symptoms, then the doctor might suggest some changes in your daily life and habits. But if the case requires treatment, then it can be done either through medication or by surgery.
In most of the cases, doctors use medicines for treating BPH. Drugs like alpha-blockers are used in cases of BPH for relaxing muscle tissues in the urethra. Along with this, these drugs also relaxes the neck of the bladder for improving the flow of urine. Some of the most common side-effects of alpha-blocker drugs are increased blood pressure and dizziness.
If medication fails in reducing the symptoms, then your doctor might suggest you go for surgery. There are different types of surgical processes available for treating BPH, and the best one is chosen for you according to your condition and choice.