Normal part of aging
Just like gray hair, BPH is a natural result of getting older. But the trouble is, it is characterized by nightly trips to the bathroom which may become too frequent and eventually disrupt daytime routine. In some cases, an enlarged prostate may make it difficult for you to sit through a plane flight or meeting without getting up. So it can be a really annoying problem.
How does BPH occur?
As men grow older, the prostate gland becomes bigger with cells multiplying gradually and creating an enlargement that exerts pressure on the urethra. Since urine flows from the bladder through the urethra in men, an enlarged prostate blocks urine flow. With increased pressure on the urethra, the bladder is compelled to contract more forcefully to push urine through the body. With time, the bladder muscles become thicker, stronger and overly sensitive, beginning to contract even when only a small amount of urine is inside and triggering the need to pass urine frequently.
Eventually, bladder muscles fail to overcome the effect of a narrowed urethra and cannot empty all the urine. That means some urine is left inside the bladder every time after urination. When the bladder is continuously not emptied completely, there is an increased risk of urinary tract infections. Incomplete emptying also can lead to serious problems over time, including incontinence, blood in urine, bladder stones and acute urinary retention (the inability to urinate). In rare cases, incomplete emptying of the bladder may cause bladder damage or even kidney damage.
Symptoms of BPH include:
- Frequent urination
- Urgent urination
- Nocturia (frequent urination at night)
- Trouble starting urination
- Weak urine stream
- Urine stream that stops and starts
- Straining to urinate
- Inability to empty bladder completely
- Returning to the bathroom to urinate a few minutes after urinating
- Dribbling at the end of urination
In rare cases, signs of BPH also may include:
- Blood in urine
- Inability to urinate
- Urinary tract infection
A sudden and complete loss of ability to urinate is a medical emergency so you should see a urologist immediately. But you also should see a doctor whenever you are experiencing urinary symptoms, even if they are not really bothersome. Such visits to the doctor will ensure that the underlying causes of your condition are identified or ruled out. Remember that undiagnosed and untreated urinary problems may cause complete obstruction of the urinary tract, bladder and kidney damage and other serious problems.
At Advanced Urology Institute, we offer several safe and effective treatments for urinary problems. For instance, if you have BPH, we may:
- Offer a long course of antibacterial medication to treat bacterial prostatitis.
- Provide medication to improve your urine flow and relieve symptoms.
- Perform surgical procedures such as:
- (a) Transurethral resection of your prostate (TURP).
- (b) Transurethral incision of your prostate (TUIP).
- (c) PVP (green light laser resection) or HoLEP (holmium laser resection) of prostate.
- (d) Open prostatectomy for very large prostates.
- (e) Urolift (transurethral insertion of clips to separate prostate lobes).
- (f) Aqua-ablation (removal of prostate tissue with water jets).
- (g) Rezum therapy (removal of prostate tissue with steam).
So you don’t have to suffer embarrassing urinary symptoms when you have BPH. At AUI, we can fix your condition and enable you to live your life with freedom and confidence. For more information on our treatment options for BPH and other urinary problems, visit the Advanced Urology Institute website.