BPH, otherwise known as benign prostatic hyperplasia, is an enlarged prostate gland. When the prostate gland becomes enlarged it can create problems with urinating due to the enlargement narrowing or blocking the urethra, making it difficult to urinate. BPH is very common in men as they get older. The cause of BPH can be blamed on changes in hormone balance and cell growth, as well as genetics.
Symptoms of BPH can include having trouble starting and stopping urinating, a frequent feeling of needing to go, pain when urinating, and not feeling like you have emptied your bladder. The most common symptom is an enlarged prostate. Again, due to the prostate being enlarged with the potential to block your urethra, it could lead to other complications such as urinary tract infections, kidney stones, or blood in your urine. On the other hand, you also may have no signs of symptoms.
In order to properly diagnose BPH, your doctor may conduct several tests ranging from a physical exam to taking a urine sample or performing a rectal exam. Treatment options can be as simple as at home treatments. This could include avoiding caffeine and alcohol, steering clear of medicines that make going to the restroom difficult, and emptying your bladder as best as you can. If at home treatments do not prove to be an effective method of treating your BPH, your doctor may prescribe medication or suggest surgery to relieve your symptoms if they persist. Surgery options could include transurethral incision of the prostate, laser therapy, microwave therapy, or needle ablation.
Be sure to check with your doctor if you are experiencing any of these symptoms or others since prostate cancer and BPH have similar symptoms. While BPH does not cause prostate cancer, since the symptoms are similar it is certainly important to be seen by your doctor.