What You Need to Know About Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia
If you get up several times at night to go to the bathroom, you may be blaming normal aging. But if you're a man, your restless nights could result from a condition known as benign prostatic hyperplasia.
Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia: What It Is, Risk Factors, Symptoms and Diagnosis
The prostate gland is an organ the size of a walnut placed under the base of the bladder, anterior to the rectum; It produces part of the seminal fluid that carries sperm. When it swells too much, it can restrict urinary flow. Benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), better known as the enlarged prostate gland, affects over 6 million men over 50 in Italy: 50% of men between 51 and 60 years, 70% between 61 and 70, up to 90% in octogenarians (source: Ansa).
BPH is not a cancerous condition nor does it evolve into cancer. It can be bothersome and lead to urinary tract infections. Other potential complications include kidney failure, bladder stones and blockage of urinary flow.
Although the exact cause of BPH is still unknown, some hormonal changes are thought to be decisive. Potentially, it can affect all men, but they are more likely to develop it if they have these risk factors:
- 40 years or older.
- Cases of BPH in the family.
- Type 2 diabetes.
- Sedentary lifestyle.
Some men have BPH but never develop symptoms because their urinary flow is not blocked. Others suffer from one or more of the following symptoms:
- Weak or slow urinary flow.
- Drip at the end of urination.
- Inability to completely empty the bladder.
- Incontinence or accidental loss of urine.
- Pain when urinating.
- Frequent urination, especially at night.
- A strong and sudden urge to urinate.
- Having to strain to start urinating.
After analyzing the patient's medical history, the doctor performs a physical examination to rule out abnormalities of the kidneys or bladder. A rectal exam will help your doctor determine the size of your prostate.
Other tests may include:
- Blood tests.
- Pre and post massage examination.
- Measurement of residual urine after emptying.
UPMC Salvator Mundi International Hospital provides minimally invasive therapeautics for the treatment of BPH.