Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia, or BPH, is the enlargement of the prostate gland. The prostate gland surrounds the urethra and assists in reproduction. As a man ages, the prostate gets larger and begins to put pressure on the bladder and urethra, causing uncomfortable symptoms.
About half of men over age 75 will experience symptoms of BPH. BPH is a very minor condition and is not related to prostate cancer. However, symptoms can cause discomfort and be inconvenient.
Many of the symptoms of BPH tend to relate to urination. Here are the 7 most common symptoms:
- Difficulty starting urination. The enlarged prostate alters the pressure of your bladder to pass urine. This can have damaging effects on your kidneys.
- Weak urine stream. As the urethra becomes constrained, urine passes at a much slower rate.
- Urgent need to urinate. You may go from not needing to urinate to suddenly needing to go because of how the bladder gets constrained.
- Issues with sleeping. Pressure from the enlarged prostate can mess with nerve signaling in the middle of the night. This leads to you thinking you have to urinate when you don’t.
- Feeling unable to completely empty your bladder. You may not be able to completely empty your bladder, which can lead to Urinary Tract Infections (UTI) and stone issues.
- Urinary tract infection. A UTI is caused by the urine that sits in your bladder which you can’t fully empty, creating an environment for bacteria to thrive.
- Bladder stones. The leftover urine in your bladder can also crystallize to create bladder stones.
BPH can cause these symptoms, but having these symptoms doesn’t necessarily mean you have BPH. There are many reasons why you may have urinary issues. Talk to your urologist about proper diagnosis.
BPH treatment entirely depends on the individual case. Very minor cases may just need changes in lifestyle. In other cases there are medication and surgery options available. Keep in mind, there is no permanent cure for BPH, but treatment options are meant to lessen the symptoms caused by BPH to help improve your quality of life.