By age 60, at least half of all men develop benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), or an enlarged prostate. The condition develops when the gland responsible for making seminal fluid, called the prostate, grows in size and puts pressure on your urethra.
Some of the most common signs and symptoms of an enlarged prostate include:
- Trouble starting to urinate
- Dribbling or a slow urine stream
- Frequent urge to urinate
- Frequent night urination
- Difficulty emptying the bladder
- Pain during urination
- Pain after ejaculation
- Changes in the smell or color of your urine
At Urology Associates Medical Group in Burbank, California, our providers specialize in diagnosing and treating enlarged prostates. Many of our patients express concern about how an enlarged prostate affects their health.
We understand the concern, so we created this useful guide to help you understand whether you should be concerned about your enlarged prostate.
How concerned should I be about my enlarged prostate?
Fortunately, having an enlarged prostate doesn't increase your risk of developing prostate cancer. It also doesn’t mean you’ll develop problems with sexual function.
But an enlarged prostate can cause frustrating and often embarrassing urinary issues, like leaking or incontinence. And if left untreated, advanced BPH can cause serious complications, including:
- Blocked urethra
- Damaged kidneys
- Urinary tract infections (UTIs)
- Bladder infections
- Bladder stones
- Chronic pelvic syndrome
- Prostatitis (inflammation of the prostate gland)
Advanced BPH usually causes more symptoms than early stage BPH, including blood in the urine, fever and chills while urinating, chronic pain in your abdomen, back, or pelvis, and an inability to pass urine.
Schedule an appointment with our Urological Associates team immediately if you have any signs of advanced BPH. Other conditions that require medical intervention may also have these symptoms, and we can rule out other diseases or infections while treating your BPH.
Are there treatments for an enlarged prostate?
Yes! At Urological Associates Medical Group, we create a personalized BPH treatment plan for each patient based on your age, medical history, current overall health, the stage of BPH, and your symptoms.
There are several treatment options for an enlarged prostate, and the right treatment for you depends on your unique situation. Generally, the three main treatment options for an enlarged prostate are:
- Watchful waiting for early or mild BPH
- Medications for mild or moderate BPH
- Surgery for BPH with debilitating symptoms
In years past, the only surgical treatment for BPH involved moving or removing part of the prostate gland. This treatment reduced the symptoms of BPH but caused other problematic symptoms, including sexual dysfunction.
Thanks to developments in medical technology, we now use a minimally invasive surgical intervention called the UroLift® System to treat the symptoms of an enlarged prostate.
The UroLift System works by keeping the enlarged prostate tissue off the urethra so it can stay open and you can urinate without trouble. There’s no cutting or excising of any prostate tissue, and you don’t need general anesthesia.
We insert the small implants through the urethra and into the prostate. Most patients are finished in under an hour, and you’re free to return home after your treatment. There are few side effects, and no risk of sexual dysfunction.
When side effects occur, they’re generally mild and may include:
- Mild burning or pain with urination
- Mild hematuria (blood in urine)
- Urgency incontinence (feeling a strong urge to urinate with little urine)
If they occur, these side effects typically resolve on their own in a week or two.
Are you ready to learn more about your enlarged prostate and whether you have cause for concern? Schedule an appointment with us at Urological Associates Medical Group in Burbank, California.