Benign prostatic hyperplasia or BPH is what is known as an enlarged prostate. It may sound scary, but should you be concerned about an enlarged prostate? This depends on your age, whether you are symptomatic, and how severe those symptoms are. Here’s a bit more detail!
What is the Prostate?
The prostate gland is located below the bladder and in front of the rectum. It wraps around the tube that carries urine and semen out of the body. It begins to grow slightly as early as age 25 – 30 and the size increases with age, but slows down the older you get.
Three Stages Of An Enlarged Prostate
It is difficult to tell how many men actually have an enlarged prostate since most men do not have any noticeable symptoms. It is believed there are three stages.
The first is known as the microscopic stage where small areas of the prostate are enlarged but can only be seen through a microscope. Symptoms are rare at this stage, and only one in four men will ever develop symptoms.
The macroscopic stage shows larger areas under a microscope, and can be felt by your doctor during a rectal exam.
The symptomatic stage is noted by changes in urinary habits. There is decreased blood flow to the prostate and there can be additional symptoms related to inflammation of the prostate, an infection, or even prostate cancer.
When To Get Concerned About An Enlarged Prostate
Common symptoms of BPH involve difficulty beginning to urinate, straining to urinate, dribbling at the end, and a decreased force of the stream. This occurs because the prostate surrounds the urethra and its enlargement will squeeze the urethra making it difficult to urinate.
When symptoms begin to affect your quality of life, it is time to see a BPH specialist at Denver BPH. It is time to decide on a treatment that is right for you depending on your age and the severity of your symptoms.
Do not ignore painful or burning urination, painful ejaculation, blood in the urine or semen, frequent pain in the lower back, hips, pelvic or rectal area.
Possible complications from untreated BPH include the following:
- Decreased kidney function
- Urinary retention
- Chronic prostatitis causing chronic pelvic syndrome with pain in the lower back, groin, and tip of the penis
- Bacteria infections
- Bladder stones
- Prostate cancer
There are medications available to shrink the prostate, therapies using laser, microwaves, and radio waves, or surgery may be needed.