The prostate gland surrounds the urethra (the tube that carries urine from the bladder through the penis in males).The walnut size prostate gland produces secretion which nourishes the sperms in the semen. Benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) refers to a benign nodule (prostate adenoma) growing in the prostate gland. BPH tends to worsen over time, as the patient ages.
Common symptoms are the result of compression against the urethra, and they include:
• Frequent urination, especially at night
• Difficulty in starting to urinate (having to wait or strain)
• A weak urine stream
• Bladder does not feel empty even after urination
However not all patients with the above symptoms have BPH, and about half of all men with BPH may not have symptoms
It is usually diagnosed after a careful review of the patient’s medical history, a physical evaluation as well as various blood and urine tests (to verify that the patient does not have any other conditions similar to BPH). Sometimes ultrasound and uroflow (a special test to determine the speed and amount of urination) tests can help to make a diagnosis of BPH.
A wide variety of treatments are available for BPH. They include medications and surgical options. The best treatment choice for you depends on several factors, including how much your symptoms bother you, the size and shape of your prostate, other health conditions you may have, your age and your preference. If your symptoms aren't too severe, and there is no significant blockage of the bladder by the prostate, you may elect not to have treatment and wait to see whether your symptoms become more bothersome over time, or the blockage may become more severe and you may not be able to empty your bladder completely. This result in large amount of urine left in your bladder after urination (residual urine) and may cause infection and harm to your kidneys if left unattended.
• Medications include a) those that relax the muscles around the urethra, and b) those that keep the prostate from growing and aid in shrinking it. These two types of medications are sometimes used together.
• Surgery may be recommended when medication isn’t effective, and there is ineffective bladder emptying resulting in large amount of residual urine. There are several types of surgical treatment which help to reduce the size of the prostate, and open up the urethra. Transurethral Resection of the Prostate (TURP) is one of the most effective surgical treatments available, and it involves removing pieces of the enlarged prostate gland through the urethra. Your family doctor may refer you to an Urologist to discuss the various options.
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