Benign prostatic hyperplasia, or an enlarged prostate, is a condition quite common in men as they reach their 50s. A third of men are likely to have it by then and the chances of getting it increase with age. It affects 30 million men worldwide, and 14 million men in the US. It can cause problems for urine flow or in the kidney, urinary tract and bladder. It is treatable, but it’s important to know the signs.
If you’re in the Fort Lauderdale, Pompano Beach, or Greater South Florida areas and have prostate problems, you’re in luck. Drs. Craig Herman, Steven Kester and the experienced staff at Urology Center of Florida have decades of expertise with treating prostate issues and many other conditions.
What does the prostate do?
The prostate is a gland located between the penis and the bladder that performs several important functions. It helps to produce seminal fluid, hormone production and regulating urine flow. Because of the prostate’s location, changes to its size can affect urinary function.
What are the signs of an enlarged prostate?
Though normally around the size of a walnut, it’s common for men to experience an enlarged prostate as they grow older. This change is often referred to as benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), “benign” because it’s non-cancerous.
Due to the gland’s location, an enlarged prostate can cause several urinary symptoms by putting pressure on urethra and the bladder. This can lead to symptoms like:
The pressure and enlarged prostate can put on the bladder can lead to very little urine moving through the body, leading to the bladder holding more urine.
The pressure may also have the opposite effect and create a constant sense of urgency to relieve the bladder, whether you’re able to or not.
The pressure on the urethra from this condition can lead to issues with dribbling urine, constant stopping and starting to urinate, or difficulty starting altogether.
The prostate gland pushing on other organs can mean that whatever is coming out may also be painful. This can also affect ejaculation.
Another possible result of these issues is a constant waking up from sleep with the urge to urinate known as nocturia. Waking up once or twice is not unusual, but more than that on a regular basis is something to look into.
Symptoms can worsen causing complications like abdominal pain, bloody urine, fever, chills, and body aches. Any of these are reasons to seek medical attention quickly if they are related to an enlarged prostate.
How can it be treated?
Treatment will depend on the amount of discomfort, overall health, age, and the size of the prostate. Medications are available to moderate symptoms, such as alpha blockers (to relax bladder muscles), 5-alpha reductase inhibitors (affect hormonal changes), or Tadalafil (Cialis). Combination therapy is also sometimes used for alpha blockers and the inhibitors. There are also different types of minimally invasive surgeries available if other methods are effective.
An enlarged prostate is a frustrating condition, but it can be treated. If you have symptoms and need treatment, make an appointment with Drs. Herman, Kester and Urology Center of Florida today to get help.