Benign prostatic hyperplasia also called BPH is a condition that affects the prostate gland in men. The prostate is a gland that is found between the bladder, where the urine is stored, and the urethra, where the urine passed through. As men age, the prostate gland slowly enlarges. This growth may press on the urethra and cause the flow of urine to be slower. This enlargement typically isn’t caused by cancer or infection.
Most symptoms of BPH start gradually. One symptom is the need to get up more often at night to urinate, and to empty the bladder often during the day. Other symptoms include difficulty in starting the urine flow and dribbling after urination ends. The size and the strength of the urine may also decrease.
Such symptoms can be caused by other things besides BPH. They may be signs of more serious diseases, such as bladder infection or cancer. Tell your doctor if you have these symptoms so they can evaluate your condition.
In order to know if you have BPH your doctor will perform a rectal exam, which will allow the doctor to feel the size of your prostate. To ensure that the problem is benign the doctor may need to look a sample of the urine for signs of infection. A blood test may also be in order. An ultrasound or a biopsy of the prostate may help the doctor make the diagnosis.
Once the doctor is sure that the symptoms are caused by benign growth of the prostate gland, treatment can be recommended. Surgery is considered the most effective treatment and is used in men with strong symptoms that persist after other treatments are tried. Drug treatments are also available, which block a natural hormone that makes the prostate enlarge. This medicine has side affects that have to do with sexual function.
Another medicine called alpha blockers, can also help the symptoms of BPH. Alpha blockers have been used for a long time to treat high blood pressure, but they can also be used to help the symptoms of BPH, even in men with normal blood pressure. These medicines may not work with all men. The side affects include dizziness, fatigue, and lightheadedness. The side affects go away once the medication is stopped.
If you are dealing with any of these symptoms, make an appointment today. Call 757-488-3333. Treatment is available.
~Dr. Samir Abdelshaheed