BENIGN PROSTATIC HYPERPLASIA
Having Problems Urinating?
What is Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia?
Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia or BPH is an enlarged prostate gland. Symptoms include low-grade fever and problems urinating.
The prostate gland is part of the male reproductive system that is located in front of the rectum and just below the bladder. It is the size of a walnut and has two lobes enclosed by tissue.
One significant role of the prostate gland is to squeeze semen fluid and sperm into the urethra during sexual climax.
As a man ages, the prostate gland becomes enlarged, and doctors commonly call this benign prostatic hyperplasia. In 2000, 4.5 million males visited the doctor for BPH.
At age 25, the prostate gland in men usually begins its second phase of growth. While the prostate gland continues growing for the remainder of a male’s life, the problems of an enlarged prostate gland usually don’t develop till later on, after the age of 40. Ninety percent of men have symptoms of BPH in their 70’s.
As the prostate enlarges, the bladder begins to contract more with smaller amounts of urine in the bladder, which leads to frequent urination. The bladder eventually weakens and loses its ability to empty completely, so there is a remainder of urine that remains.
Why BPH Occurs
It is still unknown as to why BPH occurs, except for the consistency that it develops along with aging. Researchers can attribute aging and the testes to BPH.
Symptoms of Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia
- Interrupted or weak urinary stream
- More frequent urination at night
Unlike what we would assume, the size of the prostate does not always have a direct relation to how bad the symptoms will be. A man can have a very large prostate and experience little to none of the symptoms.
Diagnosis & Tests
If you suspect you may have BPH, you should see a doctor for a routine check-up. More specifically, you may want to see a urologist specializes in the urinary tract and the male reproductive system.
Digital Rectal Examination
During this test, a doctor gloves his hand and inserts a finger into the rectum to check the size of the prostate; this will give him an idea of how large it is and the condition it’s in.
Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA) Blood Test
PSA is a protein produced by prostate cells and is prevalent in blood if a person has prostate cancer. Doctors can check this level during a blood test to rule out cancer if you have urinary symptoms.
Rectal Ultrasound & Prostate Biopsy
If a doctor suspect’s prostate cancer, he may recommend a rectal ultrasound. During this procedure, a probe is inserted into the rectum and will deliver sound waves toward the prostate to provide an image of the prostate gland onto the display screen. This helps determine if the gland is enlarged or abnormal looking. Furthermore, if the gland is abnormal looking, the doctor can guide a needle to it to perform a biopsy of a suspected tumor. The collected tissue can be examined for a prostate tumor.
As many as one-third of men with mildly enlarged prostate have symptoms go away; therefore, research still argues that perhaps treatment does not need to begin early on for the first signs of an enlarged prostate.
Antibiotics such as Cipro will be used to clear up infections that can often come with an enlarged prostate. Then, prescription drugs may be used to prevent or hinder further growth of an enlarged prostate. Some of these medications include Hytrin, Cardura, Flomax, and Proscar.
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