BPH is better known as an enlarged prostate. While BPH isn't cancerous, it causes prostate cells to expand, which enlarges the gland and puts pressure on the urethra. This interferes with urination, causing:
A healthy prostate is around the size of a walnut. The prostate is situated beneath the bladder, in the area where urine is stored. It encircles the urethra, the tube that moves urine away from the bladder. As the prostate grows larger, it causes an increasing amount of interference with normal urination.
In addition to the issues with urination, BPH can cause urinary tract infections, bloody urine, and bladder stones.
Men who are over the age of 50 are at an increased risk for BPH. By the time a man reaches age 60, he has a greater than 50% chance of having BPH. By the age of 85, about 85% of all men have suffered from BPH. While not common, it's possible for men to have BPH before the age of 40. Men who have close family members with BPH are more likely to have it themselves. Some evidence also appears to indicate that heart disease risk factors may be connected to BPH, including:
The treatment for BPH is tailored according to the severity of the symptoms. If symptoms are fairly mild and aren't causing any physical problems, the watch-and-wait approach may be best. In this approach, lifestyle adjustments may be made to prevent the condition from worsening. The doctor may recommend changes like weight loss, increased exercise, and healthier eating to help minimize BPH symptoms.
If symptoms of BPH are causing quality of life issues, a more aggressive approach may be taken, including:
At Urology Associates of South Florida, we accept most major insurance plans. Here is a short-list of just some of the most popular plans we accept. Please contact our office if you do not see your insurance provider listed.