Millions of men over age 50 likely have some benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) or enlargement of the prostate gland that may be related to the natural aging process.
If you’re over 50, you have a 50% chance of developing BPH. If you’re over 80, your odds of having BPH climb to 90%. Being common and “natural,” however, doesn’t mean you have to struggle with the urinary problems associated with BPH. Treatments exist that effectively manage BPH symptoms and decrease the physical, social, and even emotional effects it can have on your life.
The highly respected urologists at Urology Center of Florida in Pompano Beach are experts in diagnosing and treating issues that affect men’s urologic health, including BPH. These board-certified specialists are happy to provide insight regarding BPH and what you need to know about managing this condition.
The prostate gland is about the size and shape of a walnut and sits directly below the urinary bladder. It’s responsible for producing the fluid (semen) in which sperm are carried. The small tube (urethra) that carries urine from your bladder and out of the penis passes through the center of the prostate.
Normally, the prostate gland continues to grow slowly throughout a man’s lifetime. A layer of tough tissue surrounding the gland prevents it from growing outward. Rather, the glandular tissue expands inward and can eventually act as a clamp that restricts normal urine flow through the urethra. This causes the urinary symptoms related to BPH.
Symptoms can vary and typically start slowly and may worsen over time. You may experience:
Essentially, BPH turns the previously simple task of emptying your bladder into a chore that can keep you up at night and greatly increase your time in the bathroom throughout the day.
No. Although prostate enlargement is one of the possible signs of prostate cancer, BPH is a noncancerous condition that often responds well to treatment. That being said, your provider at Urology Center of Florida may recommend diagnostic studies to rule out cancerous changes in the prostate.
Hormone imbalances and other age-related changes are thought to be the main cause of BPH.
We also know that your risk of developing symptomatic BPH as you age increases if you:
There are no definitive steps you can take to completely prevent BPH. However, your risk of developing the condition increases if you also have heart disease, diabetes or obesity and/or lead a sedentary lifestyle. It makes sense then that reducing those risks through a healthy diet and routine exercise may also reduce your risk of developing symptomatic BPH.
The degree of your prostate enlargement doesn’t always predict the severity of your symptoms. Some men experience significant issues with relatively mild prostatic enlargement while others with severe enlargement have minor symptoms or none at all.
Treatment is often based on the severity of your symptoms and may include:
Managing your BPH symptoms starts with an evaluation by a urologist. Schedule a visit with a board-certified specialist at Urology Center of Florida today. Call the office, or book your appointment online.