Benign Prostate Hyperplasia (BPH)
Benign Prostate Hyperplasia (BPH) is a medical term to describe a non-cancerous condition where the prostate is enlarged. Prostate enlargement is a condition that invariably affects every man when they progress with age.
When prostate enlarges, it can compress the urethra, which is a tube passage that drains the bladde, causing urinary symptoms. Some men with the condition may not experience any symptoms. The urinary symptoms are common in men over the age of 50.
Symptoms of Benign Prostate Hyperplasia
- Difficulty during urination
- A weaker urine flow
- A urine flow that stops and starts
- Increased urge to pee
- More frequent urination
- Having to wake up frequently to urinate
- Urinary incontinence
Urinary symptoms can affect a persons’ quality of life, daily function and sleep. In chronic cases of incomplete release and retention of urine in the bladder, one has a higher risk of urine infection, urine stones or even kidney infections.
If you experience any of the above symptoms, you should consult your doctor.
What do I expect when I consult my doctor for Benign Prostate Hyperplasia?
Your doctor will perform a physical examination to examine your abdomen, genital area, and your rectum. Your doctor may conduct a blood test to check your kidney function and blood tests tumor markers known as prostate-specific antigen (PSA) to rule out prostate cancer. You may also need to do a urine test.
What are the treatment options available for Benign Prostate Hyperplasia?
- Cut down on fizzy drinks, reduce consumption of alcohol, caffeinated drinks (tea, coffee, coca-cola), artificial sweeteners
- Healthy diet with high fiber and fruits to avoid constipation
- Reduce fluid consumption in the evening, especially 2 hours before you go to bed
- Remember to clear your bladder before long journeys
- Double voiding (after peeing, wait a few moments, then try passing for the second time to empty your bladder properly)
- Review your medications with your doctor. Some medications can make your urinary symptoms worse.
- Consider bladder training exercise
- Alpha blockers – relax muscles in the prostate gland and bladder neck, making urination easier.
- 5-alpha reductase inhibitors – reduces the size of the prostate gland, reversing the outflow urinary obstruction caused by an enlarged prostate
- Phosphodiesterase-5 (PDE5) inhibitors –
increases nitric oxide production in smooth muscle, allowing erection of the penis and relaxation of both bladder and prostate, treating both erectile dysfunction and obstruction by prostate enlargement
- Anticholinergics – relaxes the bladder and aids a bladder that is overactive
Catheters are tubes that are inserted through your penis into the bladder in order to help drain out urine. This is useful for those who have trouble urinating in an acute setting.
When lifestyle changes and oral medications are ineffective, you may need to consult a urologist on surgical and other more invasive options:
- Transurethral resection of the prostate (TURP) – this is a surgical procedure where a certain part of the prostate gland is removed via an instrument known as resectoscope that will be inserted through your penis from your urethra.
- Open prostatectomy – a surgical procedure of removing the prostate gland by a surgical incision over the abdomen.
- Cystoplasty – this is a surgical procedure of increasing the size of the bladder by adding intestinal tissue onto the bladder wall in order to help bladder muscle to contract.
- Prostatic urethral lift implants – this is a surgical insertion of implant to lift the enlarged prostate away to avoid blocking the urethra, allowing urine to flow.
- Prostate artery embolization – this works by injecting medicine to clot blood vessel that supplies the prostate glade to shrink the prostate.
- Sacral nerve root stimulation – Electrical signals are used to control the urine and bladder function. This is delivered via electrical devices that are embedded under the skin.
- Water ablation – water and heat are used to destroy prostate tissue, leading to shrinkage of prostate.