Facts About Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH)

Benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) is the medical term used to describe a prostate enlarged beyond its expected or normal size. In non-medical terms, BPH is an enlarged prostate. The prostate, in the ordinary development of a male body, is expected to increase in size. For example, the prostate grows up to double its size during the teenage years. But BPH occurs when the prostate enlarges to a point that it starts to affect the normal function of other organs in the urinary system. It is also worth noting that BPH is not cancerous.

Risk Factors for Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia

AUI Fort Myers OfficeThere is no precise understanding of the causes of BPH. However, it is accepted that the main risk factor for BPH is advanced age. The condition is so common that it is reported that about 50 percent of all men over the age of 50 are likely to have it. Of that 50 percent, however, only about 10 percent are likely to need medical intervention. The prevalence of BPH among older males may be related to an increase in the production of estrogen and the proportionate decrease in testosterone as men grow older. Estrogen promotes the growth of prostatic cells which ultimately leads to an enlarged prostate. Other risk factors include a family history of BPH, heart and circulatory diseases and obesity.

Effects of Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia

The location of the prostate is such that the urethra passes through its middle and the bladder surrounds it. An enlarged prostate presses against the urethra and forms an obstruction to the smooth flow of urine as it comes from the bladder and flows through the urethra. For this reason, BPH is known to contribute to many urinary tract problems in men. These problems are manifested in one or more of the following symptoms:

  1. Sudden urge to urinate;
  2. Frequent need to urinate;
  3. Blood in the urine;
  4. Urine retention
  5. Weak or interrupted urine stream; and
  6. Inability to pass urine.

The symptoms may be mild and can be managed by watchful waiting. However, men experiencing a complete inability to urinate, painful and frequent need to urinate, blood in the urine or pain and great discomfort in the urinary tract area are advised to seek medical attention immediately.

Since the causes of BPH are not very well understood, it is not easy to prevent but it can be managed by frequent monitoring. It is recommended that men nearing 50 should establish and maintain a relationship with a good urologist. The Advanced Urology Institute is a good place to start for people new to this subject. They offer the necessary information and a staff of trained and experienced urologists to help you.

For more information about BPH and how to diagnose and treat it, visit the “Advanced Urology Institute” website.

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