Understanding BPH (Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia)
Taking care of your body is essential, but as you age, some changes are beyond your control. One common change for most men as they get older is an enlargement of the prostate gland, known as BPH (Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia).
What is BPH? (Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia)
  • BPH is a natural part of the aging process and should not be confused with prostate cancer.
  • It occurs when the prostate gland grows larger than usual, putting pressure on the urethra, the tube responsible for carrying urine and semen out of the penis.
  • This can result in symptoms such as a weak urine stream, frequent nighttime urination, and other urinary problems.
  • Causes
  • The exact cause of BPH remains uncertain, although it is believed to be related to hormonal changes as men age.
  • Symptoms
  • As the prostate enlarges, it can compress the urethra, leading to symptoms such as:
    • Dribbling at the end of urination
    • Difficulty starting urination
    • A weak or interrupted urine stream
  • This pressure on the urethra also requires the bladder to work harder to empty, causing:
    • The sensation of needing to urinate shortly after already doing so
    • Frequent urination (eight or more times a day)
    • Incontinence (loss of bladder control)
    • Sudden, urgent urges to urinate
    • Frequent nighttime awakenings to urinate
  • In severe cases, BPH can lead to urinary tract infections, bleeding, bladder damage, and the formation of bladder stones. Rarely, it can cause a complete inability to urinate.
  • Diagnosis and Test
  • Diagnosis involves discussing your medical history, completing symptom surveys, and undergoing a physical examination, which may include a digital rectal exam to assess the size and shape of the prostate.
  • Basic tests, such as blood and urine tests, are performed to rule out other potential causes.
  • More advanced tests, including ultrasounds, biopsy, urine flow tests, and urodynamic evaluations, may be necessary to determine the extent of the condition.
  • Treatments
  • Treatment approaches for BPH vary depending on age, overall health, prostate size, and symptom severity.
  • Options include:
    • Lifestyle changes, such as pelvic floor muscle exercises, fluid management, and reducing caffeine and alcohol intake.
    • Medications to relax prostate and bladder muscles or shrink the prostate.
    • Minimally invasive procedures like TUMT, Rezūm, and laser therapy.
    • Surgical options, including TURP, TUIP, UroLift, or open and robotic surgeries in severe cases.
  • BPH treatments can carry side effects or complications, such as bleeding, urethral stricture, urinary incontinence, erectile dysfunction, and retrograde ejaculation.
  • Consult with one of our Urological providers to determine the most suitable treatment plan based on your individual circumstances.