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This Medical Condition Is Common And Not Preventable: Know All About Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia

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View pictures in App save up to 80% data. Hello my loves, today, I would like to share some knowledge concerning a very common condition among the male population. We often hear and read from various media about Prostate enlargement. It is even more popular because traditional and herbal medicine hawkers always boast of having the cure to it. In fact, your herbal medicine adverts are incomplete if you fail to claim that your products can cure prostate enlargement.

It is important we discuss this medical condition because about half of all men between ages 51 and 60 are experiencing debilitating symptoms due to an enlarged prostate. And up to 90% of men over age 80 have it. Let's have a care, shall we?

The Prostate

We cannot fully understand prostate enlargement without establishing some knowledge about what the prostate itself is.

The prostate is an organ found in the male reproductive system. The prostate gland secretes a fluid that nourishes sperms. It can be found surrounding the urethra (a tube through urine and sperm is passed to the exterior) at the neck of the bladder. The neck of the bladder is where the urethra joins the bladder. There are two (or more) sections called lobes of the prostate that is enclosed by an outer layer of tissue. These lobes are anterior to (in front of) the rectum, just below the bladder.

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Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia, BPH (Prostate Enlargement)

Having understood what the prostate is, we can now have some ease in our attempts to know what prostate enlargement is.

Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia, BPH basically means an enlarged prostate, hence the name prostate enlargement as it is commonly called. Medical literature has it that 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.

As the prostate enlarges, it presses against the urethra. The bladder wall becomes thicker. Gradually, the bladder may weaken and lose the ability to empty fully, leaving some urine in the bladder. Narrowing of the urethra and urinary retention( inability to empty the bladder fully) is responsible for a number of the problems of BPH.

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What BPH is Not

Knowing what BPH is, let's look at what it is not.

BPH is benign—it is not cancer. And although it may happen at the same time as cancer, it is not responsible for the occurrence of cancer.

Causes and Risk Factors

What brings about this condition? What events lead to its occurrence? What primary conditions increase the likelihood of BPH?

The prostate enlarges as a result in the increased production or multiplication of the prostate cells. However, the exact causes of prostate enlargement is unknown.

The likelihood that a male experiences prostate enlargement increases with age. It is purported by medical literature that the prostate usually begins to enlarge after the male reaches age 40.

Mayo Clinic has outlined the following as risk factors that may contribute to the establishment of the disease on its website:

1. Aging: Prostate gland enlargement rarely causes signs and symptoms in men younger than age 40. About one-third of men experience moderate to severe symptoms by age 60, and about half do so by age 80.

2. Family history: Having a blood relative, such as a father or a brother, with prostate problems means you're more likely to have problems.

3. Diabetes and heart disease: Studies show that diabetes, as well as heart disease and use of beta blockers, might increase the risk of BPH.

4. Lifestyle: Obesity increases the risk of BPH, while exercise can lower your risk.


Here, we shall be delving into what BPH results to in victims. How does it manifest?

The person with BPH usually experiences symptoms in his lower urinary tract. Among these symptoms are:

1. Increased frequency of urination (about 8 or more times a day)

2. Urinary incontinence (person may tend to wee on themselves)

3. Difficulty in starting a urine stream

4. Frequent urination at night (what is medically termed as nicturia)

5. Painful urination

6. Abnormal urine color or smell

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Prostate issues can also cause sexual problems. The extent of any sexual problem varies according to the condition of the prostate. Some common sexual side effects include:

  • erectile dysfunction (ED)
  • reduced sexual satisfaction
  • problems maintaining an erection
  • decreased libido

When To See a Doctor

There can be warning signs for BPH and you must be on the lookout for them. Noticing symptoms early and reporting them could help save you a great deal!

The soonest you experience any urinary problems, you should be prompted to call unto your Doctor—you shouldn't wait until your symptoms get galling and unbearable for you before you do. Urinary problems, if left untreated could result in the obstruction of the urinary tract.

The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK), a research organisation in the United States recommends that men with the following symptoms should seek immediate medical care:

1. Complete inability to urinate

2. Painful, frequent, and urgent need to urinate, with fever and chills

3. Blood in the urine

4. Great discomfort or pain in the lower abdomen and urinary tract


What would your health care provider do before determining whether or not you have BPH?

There are a number of tests and procedures conducted in diagnosing BPH. Information available at RadiologyInfo.org purports that Tests vary from patient to patient, but the following are the most common:

1. Filling out a questionnaire: Your doctor is most interested in the severity and type of symptoms you have, and how much they bother you or impact your life. A simple questionnaire is a common starting point.

View pictures in App save up to 80% data. 2. Urine flow study: During this test, the patient voluntarily empties his bladder and the amount of flow is measured. A special device can help physicians detect reduced urine flow associated with BPH.

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3. Digital rectal examination (DRE): The physician inserts a gloved finger into the rectum (located next to the prostate) and feels the back of the prostate. Prostate cancers can sometimes be detected as lumps or bumps on the prostate here.

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4. Prostate-specific antigen (PSA) blood test: Elevated levels of PSA in the blood may sometimes be an indicator of prostate cancer.

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5. Cystoscopy: In this examination, the physician inserts a thin tube with a tiny camera on the end called a cystoscope through the opening of the urethra at the tip of the penis. The camera allows the physician to inspect the inside of the prostate, urethra channel and bladder.

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6. Transrectal ultrasound and Prostate Biopsy: There are two potential reasons for this exam: (i) If there is suspicion for prostate cancer, this test may be recommended. The physician uses an ultrasound probe to acquire images of the prostate and guides a biopsy needle into the prostate to remove small slivers of tissue for examination under a microscope. (ii) Your doctor may simply want to know the exact size of your prostate to plan prostate surgery for BPH. In this case, only an ultrasound image will be obtained; no needles will be used.

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7. Transabdominal ultrasound: This exam may be performed to measure the size of the prostate and the amount of urine left in the bladder after urination.

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8. Prostate magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) : MRI provides views of the entire prostate with excellent soft tissue contrast.

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Management And Treatment

Like most conditions, BPH is manageable. It is not a death sentence, but it could complicate to certain situations that might lead to death.

Your healthcare provider will treat you of BPH based on the nature of the symptoms you present. The treatment options available for BPH include lifestyle changes, medications and surgery. 

Lifestyle changes: Unless your BPH exacerbates your quality of life, your health care provider would recommend alterations in lifestyle for persons experiencing mild symptoms. These changes include:

1. Reducing intake of liquids, particularly before going out in public or before periods of sleep

2. Avoiding or reducing intake of alcohol and foods and drinks containing caffeine

3. Avoiding or monitoring the use of medications such as decongestants, antihistamines, antidepressants, and diuretics

4. Training the bladder to hold more urine for longer periods

Medications: Medications may be resorted to in cases where there's a need to halt the growth of the prostate and consequently treat BPH symptoms. The class of medications used are:

1. Alpha blockers: These medications relax the smooth muscles of the prostate and bladder neck to improve urine flow and reduce bladder blockage. Men with moderate to severe BPH and men who are bothered by their symptoms are good candidates. Alpha blockers are not a good choice for men who are about to have cataract surgery.

2. 5-alpha reductase inhibithors: These medications block the production of DHT, which accumulates in the prostate and may cause prostate growth. These drugs may be best for men with very large prostate glands. Older men are good candidates.

3. Combination medications. Several studies, such as the Medical Therapy of Prostatic Symptoms (MTOPS) study, have shown that combining two classes of medications, instead of using just one, can more effectively improve symptoms, urinary flow, and quality of life. Men with larger prostates are good candidates for this treatment.

However, these medications can lead to sexual side effects, including:

  • reduced sex drive
  • problems maintaining an erection
  • problems achieving an erection

Surgery: For long term treatment of terribly aggravated BPH, surgery is required to remove enlarged prostate tissue or make cuts in the prostate to widen the urethra. This is recommended when medications have been ineffective, when symptoms are bothersome for the patient or when complications begin to arise.


If untreated or unattended to over a period of time, there are increased chances that BPH would complicate to the following secondary conditions:

1. Acute urinary retention

2. Chronic, or long lasting, urinary retention

3. Blood in the urine

4. Urinary tract infections (UTIs)

5. Bladder damage

6. Kidney damage

7. Bladder stones


Your prostate will just grow and BPH cannot be prevented. According to NIDDK, men with risk factors for benign prostatic hyperplasia should talk with a health care provider about any lower urinary tract symptoms and the need for regular prostate exams. Men can get early treatment and minimize benign prostatic hyperplasia effects by recognizing lower urinary tract symptoms and identifying an enlarged prostate.

I hope you have learnt a great deal. Drop all your questions and additions or suggestions in the comment section. Like and share to inform others too—you never know who might be needing this.

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Source: opera.com
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