Benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), commonly known as Enlarged Prostate is a medical condition associated with the genitourinary system of men in which the prostate glands are swollen and inflamed. In the case of Enlarged Prostate, this swelling limits urine flow by putting pressure on the urethra.
It is most commonly seen in people above 50 years. If it has been diagnosed at a young age, this is a cause of concern as it would impact the flow of urine, kidney, bladder or might even cause urinary tract infection in men. Let’s study it deeper!
Table of Contents
- Common signs indicating enlarged prostate
- Enlarged Prostate Causes
- Prostate cancer screening
- Diagnostic Tests
- Treatment Options
1. Common Signs Indicating Enlarged Prostate
The most evident symptoms of an Enlarged Prostate are –
- Poor Urinary Stream- if you have an Enlarged Prostate, it is natural to experience some pain while urinating. You might feel that you’ve not emptied the bladder completely.
- Leakage of Urine- since the bladder doesn’t get empty and more urine accumulates, it results in frequent leaking because of increased urinary urgency.
- Urinary Hesitancy- the condition when it takes you quite a while to urinate, is what is known as urinary hesitance, a common symptom of an enlarged prostate.
- Nocturia- if you are frequently waking up at night to void the bladder, it firmly indicates an enlarged prostate.
- Urinary Dribbling- it means the unknowing dropping of urine soiling the innerwear.
- Increased urine frequency- because the bladder doesn’t get vacant absolutely, you might feel the need to urinate every now and then.
- Inability to Control Urine- the urge to urinate accelerates rapidly in case of an enlarged prostate.
- Urinary Straining- since the urethra is compressed and urine doesn’t pass efficiently, you might strain intensely to make it pass.
- Pus in Urine- it is quite certain that you have an enlarged prostate if you see some pus in your urine. It requires immediate medical attention.
- Burning Sensation- it is natural to experience some burning sensation while urinating in case of an enlarged prostate.
2. Enlarged Prostate Causes
Although the exact causes of enlarged prostate are yet to be determined, some of the predominant factors leading to an enlarged prostate including the following-
- Hormonal Factor : Body’s Testosterone and androgens are responsible for enlargement throughout the growth
- Some bacterial infections in the prostate gland may enlarge the prostate.
- Family history
Besides the factors mentioned above, age, family history, lifestyle, diabetes and dietary factors potentially increase the risk of an enlarged prostate.
3. Prostate Cancer Screening
Prostate cancer screening, essentially, means looking for cancer before it shows any signs and symptoms. The goal is to nip the evil in the bud. Generally, it is recommended for men above 45 years of age to undergo this screening. It applies to people who have-
- an average risk of Prostate Cancer
- an increased risk of Prostate cancer
- no signs of prostate cancer
- Never been diagnosed for it.
A test namely Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA) is undertaken for screening of Prostate Cancer. It is important to consult its benefits and ill-effects with your doctor before undergoing it.
4. Diagnostic Tests
If your body shows any of the above-mentioned symptoms, the following tests may be recommended to ascertain if you have an enlarged prostate or not-
- Urine Test- the doctor will recommend urine analysis to look for the presence of blood or infection.
- Digital Rectal Exam- this involves the insertion of a finger in the rectum to check enlargement if any.
- Blood Test- it effectively signals kidney problems.
- Prostate-Specific Antigen Blood Test- PSA or prostate-specific antigen is a type of protein produced by the prostate itself. Generally, its level rises in case of enlargement of the prostate.
In order to affirm an enlarged prostate, the following additional tests may be recommended-
- Postvoid Residual Volume Test- it tests your ability to vacate the bladder completely. Normally, it is performed using ultrasound after you urinate to check how much urine is left in the bladder.
- Urinary Flow Test- the patient is required to urinate into a receptacle which is attached to a machine to test the amount and strength of your urine.
- 24-hour voiding diary- it records the frequency and amount of urine. It is specifically useful if more than one third of the urine passes at night.
If your doctor finds any complexities, the following tests may be further recommended-
- Transrectal ultrasound, essentially to evaluate your prostate.
- Prostate biopsy, examines the tissue to rule out the possibility of prostate cancer.
- Cystoscopy, to view the inside of urethra.
- Urodynamic & pressure-flow studies are often conducted to measure bladder pressure and test the functioning of your bladder muscles.
5. Treatment Options
The treatment alternatives for an enlarged prostate are plenty ranging from medications to minimally invasive surgery. Depending on your age, size of the prostate and overall health condition, the following treatments may be recommended-
- MEDICATIONS- the following categories of medicines are seen to be effective in curing an enlarged prostate:
- 5-alpha reductase inhibitors
- Combination drug therapy
- MINIMALLY INVASIVE THERAPIES :-
- Transurethral resection of prostate (TURP)- involves removal of a section of prostate gland.
- Transurethral incision of prostate (TUIP)- tiny cuts are made in urethra allowing a smooth passage for urine.
- Transurethral microwave thermotherapy (TUMT)- it uses waves to destroy the inner portion of the enlarged prostate, thereby, causing it to shrink.
- Transurethral needle ablation (TUNA)- radio waves are emitted through needles to destroy excess prostate tissue.
- Laser therapy- as the name suggests, it essentially uses lasers to do away with the overgrown prostate tissues.
- Embolization- it involves breaking the blood supply to and from the prostate to decrease its size.
- Robot assisted prostatectomy- is resorted to in case of an excessively large prostate and other complicating factors.
It is advisable to understand ‘what is the main cause of the prostate enlargement, does enlarged prostate cause pain or not’ so that you are well informed before actually undergoing it. Since it is the combined effort of the doctor and the patient that makes surgery or treatment a success. It is significant to consult a specialist who is well experienced. Checking his records and reviews would efficiently help. At Dr. Vikram’s Clinic, you will get the best treatment, treatment options, suggestions and care.