What is Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia?
Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia, or BPH, is a condition of the prostate gland. In this condition, the prostate gland is found to be enlarged more than normal. Benign prostatic hyperplasia is usually seen in people who are over 45 years of age. Prostate glands are located below the urinary bladder and surround the urethra. In BPH condition the flow of urine is hindered as a result of the weakened bladder. The function of the prostate gland is to secrete a fluid which is a part of semen.
What Symptoms a person with Benign Hyperplasia may experience?
Vector diagram of WC, Credits: pixabay
The most common signs and symptoms of BPH include the following-
Increased frequency of urine.
discomfort holding their urine for a longer duration.
The extreme urge to urinate in an interval of about two hours.
Dribbling or weak flow of urine.
Unable to empty the bladder completely.
Pain while urinating
What are the causes of BPH?
Hormones are the main cause of BPH, Credits: pixabay
Hormones – Testosterone levels decrease when a man reaches an age over 45 and estrogen production substantially increases, causing enlarged growth of prostate glands.
Infection in the urinary tract also results in Benign Prostatic hyperplasia
Inflammation of the prostate
Narrowing of the urethra due to kidney or ureteral stones
Other causes may include injury, trauma or any previous surgery leading to scarring in the bladder
How is the BPH condition is Diagnosed?
Diagnosis of BPH, Credits: pixabay
Your doctor may recommend a urine test to detect the condition. Other parameters include:
Digital rectal exam
Urinary flow test.
The prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test
The post-void residual volume (PVR) of urine.
Uroflowmetry can be done to measure how fast the urine is flowing
The pressure of the bladder during urination can be tested with the urodynamic pressure test
An ultrasound of the prostate may also help understand the condition better
What are the Risk Factors?
risk factor for BPH, Credits: pixabay
Some of the risk factors for Benign prostate hyperplasia include:
Ageing is considered to be the main factor behind BPH
Family history of enhanced disease
Diabetes and heart disease can also increase the risk of BPH
Excessive weight gain and a sedentary lifestyle can also be a risk factor for enlarged prostate
How is BPH Treated?
BPH treatment, Credits: pixabay
Benign prostatic hyperplasia treatment can be carried out through medicines or through surgery.
1. Treatment Through Medicines
Alpha-Blockers- It helps relax prostate and bladder muscles and help improve urine flow.
5-Alpha Reductase Inhibitors- It helps increase the urine flow by blocking the DHT hormone responsible for enlarged prostate.
Combination Therapy of alpha-blockers and 5-alpha reductase inhibitors is an effective treatment that provides symptomatic relief from BPH.
2. Treatment through surgeries
Benign prostatic Hyperplasia surgery can be performed by any one of the following
1- Prostatic stent – In this type of surgery, a stent is placed that keeps the male urethra open in order and helps in easy flow of urine.
2- Interstitial laser coagulation: This method involves shrinking the prostate with the help of laser light. Careful intraprostatic necrosis is carried out without damaging the surrounding tissues or the urethra.
3- Transurethral microwave thermotherapy (TUMT): This technique involves destroying the excess of the prostate tissue by inserting a small microwave antenna through the tip of the penis. The microwave is then heated up to destroy the excess of the prostate tissue allowing the person to urinate easily.
4- Transurethral needle ablation (TUNA): In this procedure, a scar is created by passing radio waves on the prostate tissue. Scarring shrinks the prostate tissue allowing the person to urinate easily.
5- Photoselective vaporization: This procedure utilizes laser PVP to burn or vaporize the excess prostate tissue. The process is carried out by inserting a cystoscopy into the prostate gland.
6- UroLift: It is a minimally invasive surgery which involves holding or lifting the prostate tissue to make urination easier for an individual.
7- Transurethral electro evaporation of the prostate (TUEVAP): The technique utilizes a rollerball which is inserted into the penis and to the prostate gland. The rollerball is then heated to burn or evaporate the excess prostate tissue
8- Holmium laser prostate surgery (HOLEP): It is a minimally invasive treatment where laser light is used to cut the prostate tissue into small fragments. With the help of a specialized instrument, the fragments are removed
Some preventive measures which you can take to prevent BPH include doing exercise and consuming a healthy diet which would help manage the weight, and also helps to empty the bladder at a normal rate.