Causes Symptoms And Treatments Of An Enlarged Prostate
An enlarged prostate, otherwise known as benign prostate hyperplasia or BPH, is the most common prostate problem in men over the age of fifty. A mans prostate begins to grow at the age of twenty-five. According to the American Urological Association, over one-half of men over the age of sixty will have developed an enlarged prostate and by eighty-five the risk increases to ninety percent. Discover the causes, symptoms, and treatments of an enlarged prostate now.
Surgery For An Enlarged Prostate
For most men with very enlarged prostates, surgery can relieve symptoms — but there are both risks and benefits with each type of operation. Discuss them with your doctor. After a careful evaluation of your situation and your general medical condition, your doctor will recommend which is best for you.
TURP : This is the most common surgery for an enlarged prostate, and considered to bring the greatest reduction in symptoms. Only the tissue growth that is pressing against the urethra is removed to allow urine to flow easily. The procedure involves an electrical loop that cuts tissue and seals blood vessels. Most doctors suggest using TURP whenever surgery is required, as it is less traumatic than open surgery and requires shorter recovery time.
With the TURP procedure, patients can expect to have retrograde ejaculation afterwards, says Westney. This is a condition in which a man ejaculates backward into the bladder instead of through the urethra. “Retrograde ejaculation generally isn’t painful,” she tells WebMD. “It shouldn’t be an issue unless fertility is a concern.” Other possible side effects include blood loss requiring transfusion , painful urination, recurring urinary tract infections, bladder neck narrowing, and blood in the urine.
After TURP, the odds of erection problems range from 5% to 35%. However, this is often temporary — and the ability to have an erection and an orgasm returns after a few months.
Key Points About Prostatitis
- Prostatitis is inflammation of the prostate gland caused by infection. It can be one of several types.
- Prostatitis is not contagious and is not an STD.
- Any man can get prostatitis at any age. Symptoms of prostatitis may include urinating more often, burning or stinging during urination, pain during urination, and fever and chills. Your healthcare provider usually diagnoses prostatitis by your symptoms and by checking your urine and semen for signs of infection.
- Antibiotics are used to treat prostatitis. In rare cases, you may need surgery.
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What Causes Bph At What Age Do Men Develop The Condition
Medical professionals do not have a good understanding of what causes an enlarged prostate.
BPH generally begins in a man’s 30s, evolves slowly, and most commonly only causes symptoms after 50.
In benign prostatic hyperplasia, the prostate gland grows in size. It may compress the urethra, which courses through the center of the prostate. This can impede the flow of urine from the bladder through the urethra to the outside. Lower urinary tract symptoms from BPH can be due to one of the factors: dynamic, static, and compensatory. Dynamic factors are related to the tone of the muscle surrounding the prostate and the outlet of the bladder whereas static factors are related to the enlargement of the prostate tissue. Dynamic and static symptoms are prostate-related symptoms. Compensatory factors are the result of changes that occur in the bladder as a result of the bladder working harder to push urine past the bladder neck and prostate.
Signs and symptoms of BPH include lower urinary tract symptoms of weak urine stream, difficulty starting the urine stream , straining to urinate, inability to completely empty the bladder, inability to urinate , blood in the urine , leakage of urine , decreased urine flow , and post-void dribbling of urine.
BPH may also be related to the development of bladder stones, recurrent urinary tract infections, and backup of urine in the kidneys .
Problems With Enlarged Prostate Gland
Benign enlargement of the prostate gland is more common as men get older. It can cause troublesome symptoms, although it doesnt always.
The urethra passes through the prostate gland, so men may have problems urinating if the enlarged gland restricts the flow of urine. If the flow stops completely, a catheter is required to empty the bladder. It is rare for this form of acute urinary retention to cause kidney damage.
An enlarged prostate doesn’t always cause urinary problems. Studies indicate that the size of a man’s prostate gland has little influence on the type or severity of his urination problems. BPH is just one possible cause of urinary symptoms.
Another cause of urinary symptoms can be changes to the muscular wall of the bladder, which may cause spasms of the bladder or weaken the bladder, causing problems passing urine.
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Diagnosis Of Enlarged Prostate Gland And Urinary Problems
If you are troubled by urination problems, see a doctor no matter what your age. If your doctor agrees that your symptoms need further evaluation and treatment, you may need to undergo a few tests.These may include:
- general examination medical history and review of any health conditions including obesity, diabetes, obstructive sleep apnoea, depression and erectile dysfunction. A rectal examination may be done to check the size and shape of your prostate gland
- a urine check to ensure the prostate is not infected
- a flow-rate check to estimate the speed with which you pass urine
- an ultrasound examination to assess if the bladder is emptying completely and to examine your kidneys
- urodynamics a series of tests on the bladder to see how your urinary system is functioning may be recommended in some circumstances.
What Are The Risk Factors For Enlarged Prostate
Researchers are still largely unclear on what causes the prostate to become enlarged but risk factors include:
- Age: As many as 90 percent of men over the age of 80 have an enlarged prostate.
- Family history: Men who have a family history of the condition are more likely to suffer from it.
- Other health issues: Men who suffer from obesity, heart disease, or type 2 diabetes have higher rates of an enlarged prostate diagnoses.
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Is Treatment Always Necessary
No. In most cases, an enlarged prostate does not do any damage or cause complications. Whether treatment is needed usually depends on how much bother the symptoms cause. For example, you may be glad for some treatment if you are woken six times a night, every night, with an urgent need to go to the toilet. On the other hand, slight hesitancy when you go to the toilet and getting up once a night to pass urine may cause little problem and not need treatment.
What Is The Normal Size Of The Prostate
The prostate is an organ located below the bladder and in front of the rectum which is only present in the male body, fulfilling a key role in the formation of seminal fluid. The prostate secretes an alkaline fluid, white in appearance, that makes up to 30% of the volume of semen.
Over the years this gland can slightly increase in size, resulting in a condition known as prostatitis or inflammation of the prostate. For this reason many men wonder what the normal size of the prostate is and at what point it is considered enlarged. Read this OneHowTo article if you want more information about the normal size of the prostate.
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Tips For Dealing With Bph
Harvard Medical School recommends four tips for relieving BPH. The first is to reduce stress by exercising or practicing meditation as men who are tense may need to urinate more frequently. Do not rush any trips to the bathroom and take the time to completely empty the bladder. This will cut down on the number of trips to the bathroom. As some medications may cause frequent urination, talk to a doctor about adjusting dosages or changing prescriptions. The last tip is to avoid drinking too close to bedtime and cutting back on caffeinated beverages throughout the day.
Bloated Stomach And Prostate Cancer
A bloated stomach occurs in a prostate cancer victim usually after the carcinoma is treated by prostatectomy one might consider it as a normal side effect of prostate cancer surgery.
Prostate cancer is not considered to be curable once the mutated cells of the organ have had the chance to metastasize too far out regions of the body ? bone and lymph nodes even a locally metastasized disease constitutes a lot of more trouble than a localized tumor in the prostate.
However, a radical prostatectomy to remove the gland or parts of it while the tumor is still confined to the organ is considered to be a very decisive treatment for the condition, in which the cancer is not even expected to return for as far out as ten year after the procedure. As such it is a common treatment for early stage prostate cancer, or for cancer that has failed to respond to radiation therapy. Usually it is a radical retropubic prostatectomy , in which the surgeon removes the prostate through an abdominal incision, but often a radical perineal prostatectomy is done, where the surgeon does the operation with incisions made in the perineum.
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Tips For Coping With An Enlarged Prostate
When a man reaches about age 25, his prostate begins to grow. This natural growth is called benign prostatic hyperplasia and it is the most common cause of prostate enlargement. BPH is a benign condition that does not lead to prostate cancer, though the two problems can coexist.
Although 50% to 60% of men with BPH may never develop any symptoms, others find that BPH can make life miserable. The symptoms of BPH include:
- a hesitant, interrupted, weak urine stream
- urgency, leaking, or dribbling
- a sense of incomplete emptying
- more frequent urination, especially at night.
As a result, many men seek treatment. The good news is that treatments are constantly being improved. Patients and their physicians now have more medications to choose from, so if one doesn’t do the trick, another can be prescribed. And thanks to some refinements, surgical treatments are more effective and have fewer side effects than ever before.
But there are some things men dealing with BPH can do on their own. When symptoms are not particularly bothersome, watchful waiting may be the best way to proceed. This involves regular monitoring to make sure complications aren’t developing, but no treatment. For more troubling symptoms, most doctors begin by recommending a combination of lifestyle changes and medication. Often this will be enough to relieve the worst symptoms and prevent the need for surgery
Symptoms Of Prostate Cancer: What Are The Symptoms For Prostate Cancer
Usually, prostate cancer does not produce symptoms by itself until it is fairly advanced. Prostate cancer arises silently and usually passes through a curable stage into an incurable stage silently. Therefore, the only means of detecting it when it is curable is to actively look for it with screening. Symptoms could include urinary difficulties however, these symptoms are usually caused by benign enlargement of the prostate. However, these symptoms are usually caused by urinary obstruction from benign prostatic enlargement,scar tissue or from inflammation. Bone pain occurs in very advanced prostate cancer, but the aches and pains that most people experience are usually caused by arthritis.
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What Are The Symptoms Of Enlarged Prostate
When the prostate becomes enlarged, it can block the urethra and impair bladder function. Symptoms that may indicate this is happening include:
- Urinating many times a day and being unable to hold off urination
- Problems starting a urine stream or a weak or interrupted stream, followed by dribbling at the end
- Waking at night to urinate and accidental loss of urine
Metastatic Spinal Cord Compression
Metastatic spinal cord compression happens when cancer cells grow in or near to the spine and press on the spinal cord. MSCC isnt common, but you need to be aware of the risk if your prostate cancer has spread to your bones or has a high risk of spreading to your bones. The risk of MSCC is highest if the cancer has already spread to the spine. Speak to your doctor or nurse for more information about your risk.
MSCC can cause any of the following symptoms.
- Pain or soreness in your lower, middle or upper back or neck. The pain may be severe or get worse over time. It might get worse when you cough, sneeze, lift or strain, or go to the toilet. It might get worse when you are lying down. It may wake you at night or stop you from sleeping.
- A narrow band of pain around your abdomen or chest that can move towards your lower back, buttocks or legs.
- Pain that moves down your arms or legs.
- Weakness in your arms or legs, or difficulty standing or walking. You might feel unsteady on your feet or feel as if your legs are giving way. Some people say they feel clumsy.
- Numbness or tingling in your legs, arms, fingers, toes, buttocks, stomach area or chest, that doesnt go away.
- Problems controlling your bladder or bowel. You might not be able to empty your bladder or bowel, or you might have no control over emptying them.
Read more about metastatic spinal cord compression .
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Enlarged Prostate Treatments In The Pipeline
Researchers continue to investigate new therapies for enlarged prostates. “Another category of drugs is under development,” says Slawin. “We’ve come a long way in treating BPH. It’s no longer the life-threatening disease it once was. Now, in treatment, we’re working on quality of life issuesÃ¢â¬Â¦ reducing side effects of treatment.”
Also being studied is a procedure called water-induced thermotherapy , an experimental procedure that involves destroying excess prostate tissue utilizing heated water and an air-filled balloon, which protects normal prostate tissue. The procedure is performed with only local anesthesia. Results may not be fully apparent for three to four months. However, preliminary studies examining WIT have shown positive results, with a near doubling in urine flow. However, the American Urological Association has not thus far endorsed WIT as a viable treatment option for symptoms of BPH.
What Are Medications And Surgery Procedures That Treat Bph
There are several different ways to treat BPH, and the treatment may vary with the different factors. Alpha-blockers and PDE-5 inhibitors commonly treat the dynamic factors associated with BPH, whereas 5-alpha reductase inhibitors and surgical interventions treat the static factors, and anticholinergics and beta 3-adrenoceptor agonists treat the compensatory factors.
Men should carefully weigh the risks and benefits of each of these options. Although surgical intervention tends to produce the most significant impact on symptoms, it is associated with greater risk and is typically reserved for individuals who fail medical therapy, either by lack of adequate symptom improvement or side effects of the medication.
Medical treatment of BPH is usually reserved for men who have an elevated AUA-SI :
Surgery or office procedures may also be used to treat BPH, most commonly in men who have not responded satisfactorily to medicine or those who have more severe problems, such as a complete inability to urinate, kidney problems due to the BPH, recurrent urinary tract infections, recurrent bladder stones, or gross hematuria .
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How Might An Enlarged Prostate Affect My Life
Having an enlarged prostate affects men in different ways. Some men can manage mild symptoms and dont need treatment. Other men find they need to stay near a toilet. This can make it difficult to work, drive, be outdoors and attend social events. If you need the toilet a lot during the night, this can affect your sleep and make you feel more tired during the day.
Some men with an enlarged prostate find their symptoms improve over time without treatment. But for most, the symptoms will stay the same or slowly start to cause more problems over time unless they have treatment.
Losing Control Of Your Bladder
Urinary incontinence can range from uncontrolled release of a full bladder to slower leakage. Leaking urine can also present in varying ways, from leaking a few drops after coughing, exercising, or bending, to leaking large quantities or leaking during sex. This usually improves over time if its a result of prostate cancer treatment, however, it can be longer-lasting if its from spinal cord compression. The good news is, there are some ways to manage losing control of your bladder, if needed, including:
- Absorbent pads or pants
- Bed protectors
- Urinary sheaths
If urine incontinence continues for longer periods of time, or becomes a serious impairment to quality of life, there are other additional options including:
- Artificial urinary sphincter
- Internal male sling
- Anti-cholinergic medications
All of these options for serious impairment require surgery with the exception of medications. Your doctor will help you determine the side effects and potential benefits for your specific case. Additional lifestyle changes may also be beneficial to help fight urinary incontinence, including eating a well-balanced diet with fiber , exercising , avoiding alcoholic, fizzy, or caffeinated drinks, quitting smoking, and retraining your bladder by creating and maintaining a urination schedule.1-4
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What Causes An Enlarged Prostate
We still dont really know all the things that cause the prostate to grow. But we do know about two risk factors that can increase your risk of having an enlarged prostate.
Your risk of having an enlarged prostate increases as you get older. Many men aged 50 or over have an enlarged prostate, but they dont all get symptoms. And some men have symptoms that don’t bother them.
The balance of hormones in your body changes as you get older. This may cause your prostate to grow.
Some studies show that obese men and men who have diabetes may be more likely to develop an enlarged prostate. Regular exercise may help to reduce your risk of urinary symptoms. But we still need more studies into the causes of enlarged prostate to know for certain if, and how, we can prevent it.
There is also some research that suggests you may be more at risk of developing an enlarged prostate if your father or brother has one. Again, further studies are needed to confirm this.