BPH is an enlarged prostate gland and is a normal condition of male aging. Since the prostate gland surrounds your urethra when the prostate becomes enlarged, it can block the urethra or apply pressure, making it difficult and even painful to urinate. BPH symptoms are uncomfortable and, left untreated can cause urinary tract complications.
As a normal part of the aging process for men, BPH is caused by shifts in hormone balance and changes in cell growth. Most men over 75 have symptoms of BPH whether they realize it or not.
Since BPH revolves around the enlarging of the prostate gland and the prostate is located near the urethra, symptoms are isolated to urination habits such as:
On occasion, BPH can block the urine stream entirely, making it impossible to urinate. This, in turn, can lead to bladder infections, bladder stones, pain during ejaculation, and even kidney damage.
BPH is primarily detected during an annual physical exam that includes a urine sample and a rectal exam to check the prostate. If your prostate is enlarged, your Urology of Greater Atlanta urologist administers a symptoms test, recording all symptoms associated with BPH.
Other diagnostic tests may also be ordered, such as:
Since BPH and prostate cancer share similar symptoms, it’s important to rule out one or the other to avoid a misdiagnosis.
If BPH is a constant source of trouble or inhibits your daily lifestyle choices, discuss treatment options with your urologist.
Oral medications are available to treat specific symptoms, but once you stop taking the medication, your symptoms will return. For long-term relief, there's a new ground-breaking procedure called Urolift®. UroLift is a tiny device inserted via minimally-invasive surgery to lift the enlarged prostate tissue so it no longer blocks the urethra.