Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia, commonly known as BPH, is characterised by the nodular, irregular enlargement of the prostate gland. Situated just below the bladder in men, this walnut-sized gland contributes approximately 30% of the fluid in semen.

What Exactly is Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH)?

The prostate gland encircles the urethra, the tube responsible for draining urine from the bladder. As the prostate enlarges, it may constrict the urethra, leading to urination issues. This enlargement can also make the bladder wall thicken due to the increased force needed to push urine through the narrowed urethra, thus causing frequent and sudden urges to urinate.

Remarkably prevalent, BPH incidences rise with age. By age 60, over half of all men showcase evidence of BPH. It's crucial to note that BPH doesn’t lead to prostate cancer. However, the symptoms of both conditions can appear similar. Fortunately, BPH is highly treatable.

Identifying the Causes of BPH

The root cause of BPH remains undetermined, although male sex hormones do play a part.

Spotting BPH: Key Symptoms

  • Frequent or urgent urination needs.
  • Delayed, weak or interrupted urine stream with dribbling.
  • Pain during urination.
  • Multiple urination urges during the night.
  • The presence of blood in urine.

How is BPH Diagnosed?

  • Patient's history and physical examinations, notably a digital rectal examination (DRE) where the doctor checks for prostate enlargement.
  • Tests measuring urine flow rate.
  • Comprehensive urine tests and cultures.
  • Assessment of retained urine in the bladder.

Treatment Options for BPH

  • Mild symptoms might not necessitate treatment.
  • Limiting alcohol or fluid consumption, especially at night, is recommended.
  • Medications, such as Proscar (finasteride) or alpha-blockers, might be prescribed by your doctor.
  • Heat treatments, like microwave or radio-frequency energy applications, can offer symptom relief. Notably, these can be outpatient procedures.
  • Transurethral resection of the prostate (TURP) is a prevalent surgical treatment. It involves inserting a viewing tube through the penis to remove obstructive prostate tissue.
  • In cases of significantly enlarged prostates, surgical removal via an abdominal incision might be required.

Can BPH be Prevented?

Currently, there's no established method to prevent BPH.