Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH) is a condition characterized by the non-cancerous enlargement of the prostate gland, commonly observed in older adults. Typically diagnosed between the ages of 50 to 60, it's rare in men below 40. As men age, the prostate gland naturally enlarges, though the rate and severity vary among individuals. Not all men experience symptoms or detect changes in their urination flow.

While BPH isn't life-threatening, it does cause significant discomfort, potentially leading to erectile dysfunction, an increased risk of prostate cancer, kidney damage, urinary tract infections, and more. Therefore, all men above 50 should undergo regular check-ups, even in the absence of symptoms.

Doctors effectively manage BPH with medications such as alpha-blockers, 5-alpha reductase inhibitors, and other supplements, alongside lifestyle modifications, physiotherapy, and non-pharmacological interventions.


Signs and Symptoms of BPH

As men age, prostate enlargement becomes more common, with approximately 10% of men over 40 showing signs of BPH. By the age of 80 or older, over half of all men may develop the condition.

Common signs include:

Frequent urge to urinate
Nocturia (nighttime urination)
Difficulty initiating urination
Weak urine stream
Dribbling at the end of urination
Incomplete bladder emptying
In severe cases, individuals may experience additional symptoms like urinary tract infections and hematuria (blood in urine). Notably, the size of the prostate gland doesn’t always correlate with symptom severity.

Diagnosis of BPH

Doctors diagnose BPH based on clinical signs, symptoms, and various tests, including prostate examination, blood tests, urine studies, and the prostate-specific antigen (PSA) blood test. These tests help rule out other conditions like prostate cancer and kidney disease.

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Treatment Options

No need to fret, as managing BPH is well within the realm of effective medical care. It’s a common condition, so rest assured, doctors have ample experience in handling it. Initially, they’ll likely recommend lifestyle adjustments, such as moderating water intake before bedtime and cutting back on caffeine and alcohol consumption. They’ll also review any medications you’re currently taking, as some could exacerbate urinary symptoms.

Subsequently, doctors may explore drug therapies like alpha-blockers, which help relax the bladder-neck or sphincter, easing urinary symptoms. Another option is 5-alpha reductase inhibitors (5-ARIs), which can curtail further prostate enlargement, although they may impact sexual function.

In recent years, the FDA has greenlit certain drugs beneficial for sexually active men, such as PDE5 inhibitors. These not only alleviate BPH symptoms and slow prostate growth but can also substantially enhance erectile function, thereby enhancing one’s sex life. Additionally, natural supplements may offer relief in specific cases.

However, if medications, lifestyle adjustments, and supplements fall short, and the prostate continues to enlarge, resulting in worsening symptoms over time, doctors may consider minimally invasive surgical procedures like transurethral resection of the prostate (TURP).

If you’re experiencing symptoms of BPH, seek assessment and guidance from our Hisential clinics for personalized treatment options.