Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH)

Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH) Overview

Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia, or BPH, is a condition in which the prostate enlarges as men get older. BPH is the most common prostate problem for men over 50. It affects about 50 percent of men between the ages of 51 and 60 and up to 90 percent of men older than 80.1

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What is BPH?

The prostate is a male reproductive gland, about the size of a walnut, that produces fluid for semen. The prostate surrounds the urethra, which is the tube that carries urine from the bladder out of the body.

The prostate goes through two main growth periods as a man ages. The first occurs early in puberty, when the prostate doubles in size. The second phase of growth begins around age 25 and continues during most of a man’s life. Benign prostatic hyperplasia often occurs with the second growth phase.2

As the prostate enlarges, it presses on and blocks the urethra, causing bothersome urinary symptoms such as:

  • Urination more than eight times a day
  • Frequent urination during periods of sleep
  • A weak or slow urinary stream
  • A sense that you cannot completely empty your bladder
  • Difficulty or delay in starting urination
  • An urgent feeling of needing to urinate
  • A urinary stream that stops and starts

If you suffer from the above symptoms, you are not alone. BPH is one of the leading reasons for men to visit a urologist2.

Normal Prostate                                                   Enlarged Prostate

     

 

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    How is BPH Diagnosed?

    A health care provider diagnoses benign prostatic hyperplasia based on the following:

    • Personal and family medical history
    • Physical exam
    • Medical tests

    How is BPH Treated?

    If you have been diagnosed with an enlarged prostate due to BPH, there are several treatment options available. Consult your physician to determine which treatment is right for you.

    BPH treatment is based on the severity of symptoms, how much the symptoms affect a man’s daily life and a man’s preferences. Treatment options for BPH may include:

    Watchful Waiting

    With mild symptoms, men may not need treatment. In these cases, a urologist may recommend regular checkups to monitor the condition.

    Lifestyle Changes

    A health care provider may recommend lifestyle changes for men whose symptoms are mild or slightly bothersome. Lifestyle changes can include:

    • Reducing intake of liquids
    • Avoiding or reducing intake of caffeinated beverages and alcohol
    • Avoiding or monitoring the use of medications such as decongestants, antihistamines, antidepressants, and diuretics
    • Training the bladder to hold more urine for longer periods
    • Exercising pelvic floor muscles

    Medications

    Your doctor may prescribe medications to manage your symptoms. These medications include alpha blockers which relax the muscles around the neck of your bladder, making it easier to urinate, and alpha reductase inhibitors which act to shrink the prostate. While medications can be helpful in relieving symptoms for some men, patients must continue taking them long-term to maintain the effects.

    Some patients may suffer side-effects including dizziness, headaches, or sexual dysfunction. Some may not get adequate relief of their symptoms.

    Minimally Invasive Procedures

    UroLift® System Treatment

    The UroLift® System treatment is a minimally invasive approach to treating BPH that lifts or holds the enlarged prostate tissue out of the way so it no longer blocks the urethra. There is no cutting, heating or removal of prostate tissue. Clinical data has shown that the UroLift System treatment is safe and effective in relieving lower urinary tract symptoms due to BPH without any impact to sexual function.5

    Click here to learn more about the UroLift System Treatment.

    Surgery

    Transurethral Resection of the Prostate (TURP)

    For long-term treatment of benign prostatic hyperplasia, a urologist may recommend removing enlarged prostate tissue or making cuts in the prostate to widen the urethra.

    TURP is the most common surgery to treat BPH. During this procedure, patients undergo general anesthesia and prostate tissue is removed. TURP is often considered the “gold standard” for long-term results.

    After prostate tissue has been removed, the body needs time to heal. The remaining prostate tissue may actually swell and become inflamed before the desired shrinking effect occurs. Patients may suffer an uncomfortable recovery period that includes short-term problems such as bleeding, infection, erectile dysfunction, and urinary incontinence. Patients have to have a catheter that is attached to a urine bag inserted into their bladder for several days after the procedure.

    Symptom relief may not occur immediately, but lasts for a long time in many patients once it does occur.

    There can be long-term side effects after TURP such as dry orgasm (retrograde ejaculation), erectile dysfunction or incontinence (leaking of urine).

     

    Talking to Your Doctor About BPH

    BPH is a very common condition and is one of the leading reasons for men to visit a urologist. Whether you have just started experiencing symptoms or if you’ve tried various medications or even surgery, there are a range of treatment options available.

    Before you visit the doctor’s office, you can take this BPH Symptom Quiz to determine the severity of your symptoms. We will discuss your symptoms together to decide which treatment option is best for you.

    Schedule an appointment today to discuss your BPH symptoms with us.


     

    Disclaimer: This quiz is a guide for determining the severity of your symptoms and is only one step in diagnosing enlarged prostate. It is not meant to provide medical advice or replace your physician’s expert opinion. Only your physician can diagnose whether you have BPH and assess your individual condition. Regardless of the prostate test score, if you are experiencing BPH symptoms that interfere with your quality of life, talk to your physician for further evaluation, additional information and treatment options.

     

    Sources:
    1. BPH: Surgical Management. Urology Care Foundation website. www.urologyhealth.org. Updated July 2013. Accessed July 29, 2014.
    2, 3. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services: National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. Updated September 2014.
    4. NeoTract US market model estimates for 2016 based on IMS Health and Drug Procedure Data
    5. UroLift® BPH Relief website. Teleflex Incorporated. www.urolift.com. Updated 2023.

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