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Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (Prostate Enlargement)

  • What is Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia or Prostate Enlargement?

    Benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) is a non-cancerous swelling of the prostate gland. It is a common urological disorder in men over 50 years old. This swelling of the prostate causes the urethra, the tube that passes the urine out of the penis, to be squeezed and narrowed. This blocks the flow of urine out of the bladder and more pressure is needed to pass urine.

    The bladder starts to contract (tense) even when it is not completely full, and eventually loses its ability to empty itself. The symptoms of BPH are linked with the narrowing of the urethra and the incomplete emptying of the bladder.

  • The cause of BPH is not well known.

    • BHP can occur due to the build-up of the male hormone dihydroxytestosterone (DHT), which is a testosterone involved in the growth of the prostate. The cause of high levels of DHT is not yet understood.
    • It is thought that the hormonal imbalance that occurs with increasing age can be responsible for this condition.
    • Other hormonal changes include low levels of oestrogen (female hormone) and imbalance in other growth factors that control cell division and cell death.
  • Common symptoms of BPH include:

    • Blood in the urine
    • Greater pressure and straining needed to begin urinating
    • Hesitant and interrupted urination
    • Sensation that the bladder is not completely emptied after urination
    • Sudden inability to urinate (acute retention of urine)
    • Sudden urgent need to urinate
    • Urinating more frequently, especially at night
    • Urine leakage
  • Several treatments are available for BPH. Your doctor will evaluate your condition and suggest the most appropriate treatment, depending on your age, the severity of BPH, and your general health. The treatment options include:

    • Bladder and urethra damage
    • Bladder stones
    • Kidney damage
    • Kidney infections
    • Urinary incontinence (loss of control)
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