Benign Prostate Hyperplasia (BPH)
The urologists at Urology Associates care for patients with benign prostatic hyperplasia, otherwise known as an enlarged prostate.
BPH is very common among men, especially over the age of 50. In fact, around 50% of men between the ages of 51-60 have BPH. It is estimated that 90% of men over the age of 80 have some sort of BPH. Thus, BPH is one of the most common conditions affecting men.
The prostate is a male organ located just beneath the bladder. It helps produce the seminal fluid that nurtures and helps transport sperm out of the body with ejaculation. The prostate also helps control urination. The urethra, a tube that transports urine from the bladder out through the penis, passes directly through the center of the prostate. A normal prostate is oval shaped and is about 4cm thick.
The prostate grows and is dependent on hormones, specifically dihydrotestosterone. Prostate growth is normal and expected during the male aging process. However, excessive prostate growth can cause urinary symptoms that may negatively impact a man’s quality of life.
Due to its anatomical location, an enlarged prostate can obstruct the urine as it leaves the bladder, causing urinary symptoms. Urinary symptoms can vary but often include:
- Frequent and urgent urination
- Decreased or weak flow of urinary stream
- Nocturia (frequent night time urination)
- Hesitancy/problems starting or maintaining urinary stream
- Painful urination/abdominal straining
- Feeling like you have not completely emptied your bladder after urination
How We Diagnose BPH:
- Urinalysis and urine culture, to rule out other conditions or infections.
- Urine cytology, a urine test to identify tumor markers if concerned about other cancers.
- Digital Rectal Exam (DRE) is often performed yearly to assess the prostate. A normal prostate should feel relatively smooth, with two lobes easily palpable with the finger. An enlarged prostate often feels uniformly enlarged, firm and even rubbery. DRE is also conducted to assess for prostate cancer in which nodules may be felt on the prostate.
- Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA) is a marker in the blood stream that provides insight on the prostate, specifically for cancer and growth. Elevated PSA levels could potentially indicate enlarged prostate.
Talking to Your Doctor about BPH:
BPH is a very common condition and is one of the leading reasons men visit a urologist. Whether you have just started experiencing symptoms or if you’ve tried various medications or even surgery, there are a range of treatment options available.
Before you visit the doctor’s office, you can take this BPH Symptom Quiz, designed by the American Urological Association, to determine the severity of your symptoms. We will discuss your symptoms together to decide which treatment option is best for you.
Schedule an appointment today to discuss your BPH symptoms with us. Please contact us at (262) 446-3593.
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