It’s not uncommon for men to develop an enlarged prostate gland, or benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), as they age. In fact, by age 60, about 50% of men have BPH, and the number rises to at least 90% by age 85.
BPH isn’t linked to an increased risk of developing prostate cancer. But that doesn’t mean the condition is problem-free.
At Urology Associates Medical Group, our urological providers are committed to providing the safest and most effective BPH treatments for men in the Burbank, California, area. We also want you to understand the signs of BPH so you can get the help you need as soon as possible.
Here’s a closer look at BPH, the signs you may have it, and the treatment options available to help you manage your condition.
What is an enlarged prostate (BPH)?
Your prostate gland is about the size of a walnut. It surrounds your urethra and produces seminal fluids.
Although scientists aren’t sure why, starting in your 20s, the prostate gland begins to grow and keeps growing for the rest of your life. For some men, the gland grows too large and interferes with urination. This is called benign prostatic hyperplasia.
Researchers don’t know why some men develop the condition and others don’t, but they do know age plays a role. In other words, the older you get, the greater your odds of developing BPH become.
Other risk factors also increase your chances of getting BPH, including:
- Having a family history of BPH
- Being overweight or obese
- Leading a sedentary life
- Having heart disease
- Having diabetes
Men with high or rising testosterone levels and certain changes in their testicles linked to certain types of erectile dysfunction also have a higher risk of BPH.
How can I tell if I have BPH?
One of the most common signs of an enlarged prostate gland is experiencing frequent urges to urinate. If you’re running to the bathroom more often than normal and can’t pinpoint another reason, such as an increase in beverage consumption or more caffeine than normal, it could be a sign of BPH.
Frequent urges to urinate aren’t the only sign of BPH. Other symptoms of BPH include:
- Difficulty urinating
- Pain during urination
- Dribbling urine or slow urine stream
- Getting up multiple times at night to urinate
- Trouble emptying your bladder
- Changes to your urine’s smell or color
- Pain or discomfort after ejaculation
The good news: We can treat these symptoms and the discomfort they cause.
Why is it important to talk to a doctor about BPH?
Over time, the symptoms of your enlarged prostate generally become more severe and can lead to potentially serious complications, including:
- Complete blockage of your urethra
- Damage to your kidneys
- Frequent urinary tract infections (UTIs)
- Bladder stones/bladder damage
- Bladder infections
We monitor your condition and recommend treatments to help you avoid developing these conditions, which may cause lower back or abdominal pain, an inability to urinate, fever, pain, or chills when trying to urinate, and noticeable blood in your urine.
If you experience any of these symptoms, call us at Urology Associates Medical Group immediately.
What are my treatment options for BPH?
We base our treatment recommendations on different factors unique to you. For example, your age, medical history, current overall health, size of your prostate, and the severity of your symptoms all help determine which treatment is best for you.
While everyone’s BPH treatment plan is different, depending on your needs, your options may include:
- Active surveillance
- Medications that improve urination
- Surgery to remove part of the prostate
- Minimally invasive prostatic urethral lift using the UroLift® System
The innovative UroLift System treats the main problem BPH causes: the restriction on your urethra. Using minimally invasive techniques and specially designed implants, we place the UroLift System to hold back your excess prostate tissue so your urethra remains open.
This outpatient procedure usually takes less than an hour and doesn’t require general anesthesia, nor does it require any cutting or removal of your prostate tissue. Instead, we insert a small device through your urethra and use a tiny needle to place the UroLift implants in the correct position.
Unlike other treatments that affect your ability to get an erection or ejaculate, UroLift doesn’t affect sexual function. It also has fewer side effects.
If you’re experiencing any signs of an enlarged prostate, don’t wait to schedule an appointment with us at Urological Associates Medical Group in Burbank, California.