Prostate Gland & Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia – A Complete Overview
Majority of men are not aware of Prostate gland. They might hear it from the doctor while experiencing any problem or disease related to Prostate gland. What is the function of this gland? What problems can we might get with this gland? When it’s appropriate time to call the doctor when having a problem? These are common questions arising in the minds of men. So, the best way is to get information to deal this aspect of men’s health. Here, we briefly explain the basics of Prostate gland and Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia – a common condition associated with this gland.
What is Prostate gland?
It is a small gland and an important part of male reproductive system. It has a walnut like shape and size. It exists below the bladder and in front of the rectum. It surrounds urethra, a tube in the penis carrying urine from the bladder out of the body.
What is the function of Prostate gland?
It helps in making the fluid that nourishes and protects sperm in the semen. The semen carries sperm from the testicles during ejaculation.
What is enlargement of the Prostate gland?
As the men grow older, the prostate gland becomes large. It is a normal part of aging. When men reach 40, the size of gland becomes the size of an apricot. When they reach 60, it becomes the size of a lemon. Because the gland surrounds a part of the urethra so an enlarged prostate squeezes or blocks the tube causing problems during urination. Some men won’t see any problems till 50’s or older while some notice the symptoms earlier. This condition of the enlargement of prostate gland is called as Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia or BPH. It is not a cancerous condition.
Who might get the problem of BPH?
This condition is very common among men. Age and family history are the two important risk factors of developing the condition. Following are some stats:
- Every 8 out of 10 men eventually get an enlarged prostate.
- About 90% of men over 85 years will have BPH.
- About 30% of men find the symptoms troublesome.
What are the symptoms of BPH?
An enlarge prostate doesn’t mean that every man will have more or worse symptoms. They appear differently for each person. Some men have few symptoms with very large prostates. The three most common symptoms include:
- Frequent urination especially at night is the most common symptom of BPH. This happens when the growing gland presses the urethra. The bladder has to contract more strongly to pass out the urine. As a result, it also contract even when there is small amount of urine in bladder.
- Difficulty in urinating is another common symptom. High pressure on urethra makes it narrow becoming hard for the bladder to pass urine. As a result, it takes a longer time to get weaker flow of urine going.
- The third symptom is the inability to urinate. It happens when enlarged prostate completely blocks the urethra. Bladder muscles become too weak to pass out urine. This condition can also cause kidney or bladder damage. So, it is recommended to immediately consult the doctor when you start experiencing this symptom.
How BPH diagnosed?
The symptoms of BPH are similar to some other urological problems so the doctor can better figure out the problem. Usually, the doctor asks about the symptoms. He/she also conducts different tests and exams which include:
- Digital rectal exam for checking enlargement and other abnormalities
- Urine and blood tests
- Urine flow study for measuring strength of urine stream
- Cystoscopy, the exam to view and evaluate urethra and bladder
What is the treatment of BPH?
The treatment plan depends on various factors, which includes age, family history and how much symptoms are causing trouble. Important treatment options include:
Those men who have enlarged prostate but the symptoms are very mild then they can have annual checkup and tests.
Some simple lifestyle changes may also help:
- Avoid alcohol and caffeine.
- Avoid fluids especially at night before bedtime.
- Go for urination whenever you have an urge.
- Empty the bladder then wait for moment and then try to empty it again.
- Avoid stress.
- Exercise regularly.
Some common medicines prescribed for the treatment are alpha blockers. They help in relaxing the muscles of gland and bladder for an easy flow of urine. Doctor’s recommendation is necessary to decide the right type of medicine.
Surgical treatment is recommended when the symptoms become more severe and other treatment options didn’t help the patient. Transurethral Resection is the most common surgery in which parts of enlarged gland are removed relieving pressure from urethra. The doctor can advise the surgery after evaluating the possible risks and outcomes.
Contact Urology Care of Central New jersey for treatment of BPH:
If you are experiencing the symptoms of BPH or want to have regular checkup then please consult our Board Certified urologist Dr. Sinha. He will provide a workable treatment plan tailored according to individual condition. He has extensive experience and training in conducting various screening exams using advanced equipment. Book an online appointment right now!