For men, there are a number of health issues that you should be aware of as you age. High blood pressure, heart disease, and body weight are among these. One specific body part that you should have checked regularly is the prostate. There are a number of issues that affect this organ some more serious than others. One of these health issues is benign prostatic hyperplasia or BPH.
What Is BPH
BPH occurs in men as they become older and is a fairly common condition. It is the enlargement of the prostate gland. When this happens, men may experience a variety of symptoms. These include frequent or urgent need to urinate, difficulty starting urination, and the ability to completely empty the bladder. Lesser symptoms include blood in urine, urinary tract infections and the inability to urinate at all.
Doctors perform a number of procedures to determine if BPH has occurred. Initial tests include things such as urine test, blood tests and a PSA. Next up are tests such as urinary flow test to confirm prostate gland enlargement. If the condition is a bit more complex, then more tests such as a biopsy will be done.
There are a few treatment options for BPH. If symptoms aren’t that bad, then treatment may consist of only medication. Alpha blockers help make urination easier by relaxing the muscle fibers in the prostate. Inhibitors are used to shrink the prostate. If the condition is more severe, then other options such as surgical or minimally invasive exist. There are a number of surgical options. These range from procedures that enter through the urethra to perform corrective actions to embolization and prostatic urethral lift. Laser therapy is also an option. A bph laser is used to vaporize obstructive prostate tissue to improve the flow of urine.
It is important to complete followups after the prostate has been treated for BPH. The specific follow-up care will depend on the type of treatment undergone to address the enlargement. It’s also good to be aware that side effects may occur after treatment.