– When you gotta go, you gotta go. But imagine racing to the bathroom and not being able to empty your bladder. If you are living with benign prosthetic hyperplasia, BPH you just might know what it’s like.
In short, BPH means you have an enlarged prostate gland, but to fully understand it, let’s take a closer look at how the prostate grows. Composed of glandular and muscular tissue, the prostate goes through two main stages of growth.
It first grows during puberty and doubles in size. The second growth stage happens around 25 and continues for most of a person’s life. BPH usually occurs later in the second growth stage, between the ages of 50 and 60.
The prostate gland surrounds part of the urethra, the tube that carries urine and sperm out of the body. When it’s enlarged, it’s harder for bodily fluids to pass through the urethra, which is why common symptoms of BPH include trouble peeing, including a slow or dribbling stream or difficulty getting started, peeing frequently, feeling like you always need to go or needing to pee during the night, urine that’s a different color or smells funny.
Milder symptoms don’t always need to be treated but your healthcare provider will a watch for any changes to make sure things don’t get worse. However, more severe symptoms may require medications that can slow prostate growth or relax its muscles, surgical or minimally invasive treatment to widen the urethra or remove any tissue that is blocking it.
And be sure to contact your healthcare provider immediately if you’re noticing stomach or genital pain while urinating, pain, fever or chills while urinating, blood in your urine, or not being able to pee at all.
The cause of BPH is not well understood but some researchers believe aging’s effect on the testicles might lead to it. As the most common prostate problem, almost all men will experience enlargement as they grow older.
50% of men will show some signs of BPH by the age of 60. 90% of men will have symptoms of it by 85. Half of them will need to seek treatment. So, does having BPH mean you’re going to get prostate cancer? The short answer, no.
But since BPH and prostate cancer have similar symptoms, it’s possible to live with both at the same time. If you notice any changes, ignoring what’s going on won’t make things better, neither will getting an advice from friends on social media.
Talk to your healthcare provider. They can review your family medical history, examine you for BPH or suggest a prostate cancer screening if need be. BPH is quite common, so if you are living with it, you are not alone.
Reach out to your doctor today to prevent further complications down the road. (soothing music)