Symptoms of Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia
Benign prostatic hyperplasia is a noncancerous condition in men in which the prostate gland is enlarged. Benign prostatic hyperplasia is also called benign prostatic hypertrophy or benign prostatic obstruction.
The prostate goes through two main growth periods as a man ages. The first occurs early in puberty when the prostate doubles in size. Around the age of 25, men begin to enter the second phase of growth, which lasts for most of their lives. Benign prostatic hyperplasia often occurs with the second growth phase.
As the prostate enlarges, the gland presses against and pinches the urethra. The bladder wall becomes thicker. Eventually, the bladder may weaken and lose the ability to empty completely, leaving some urine in the bladder. Many of the problems associated with benign prostatic hyperplasia are caused by the narrowing of the urethra and the inability to empty the bladder.
What are the Symptoms of Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia?
- Incomplete emptying of the bladder even after passing urine.
- Frequency or the need to pass urine often, about every one to two hours.
- Intermittency or the need to stop and start several times when passing urine.
- Urgency or need to pass urine as if you cannot wait
- A weak stream of urine flow
- Trouble in starting to pass urine or the need to push or strain to pass urine.
- The need to wake up at night more than two times to pass urine
Complications of benign prostatic hyperplasia include:
- Acute urinary retention
- Chronic urinary retention
- Blood in the urine
- Urinary tract infection
- Kidney and bladder damage
- Bladder stones
Seek medical help if:
- You have a complete inability to urinate
- You experience a painful and frequent urge to urinate
- High fever and chills
- Blood in the urine
- You experience great discomfort or pain in the lower abdomen and urinary tract
Causes and Risk Factors of Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia
There are no specific causes of BPH but, it has something to do with normal hormonal changes as you age, but it is not clear. During puberty, your prostate actually doubles in size. Later in life, around age 25, it starts to grow again. This growth continues throughout one’s life for most men. For some, it causes BPH.
How to Diagnose Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia?
Your doctor will first talk to you about your personal and family medical history. Next, your doctor may recommend a digital rectal exam. It checks the size and shape of your prostate. Other diagnostic methods include:
- Blood tests to check for kidney problems
- Urine tests to look for infection or other problems that could be causing your symptoms
- PSA blood test. PSA levels higher than normal may indicate that the prostate is larger than normal.