Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia: A Common Part Of Aging
It is common for the prostate gland to become enlarged as a man ages. Doctors call this condition benign prostatic hyperplasia , or benign prostatic hypertrophy.
As a man matures, the prostate goes through two main periods of growth. The first occurs early in puberty, when the prostate doubles in size. At around age 25, the gland begins to grow again. This second growth phase often results, years later, in BPH.
Though the prostate continues to grow during most of a mans life, the enlargement doesnt usually cause problems until late in life. BPH rarely causes symptoms before age 40, but more than half of men in their sixties and as many as 90 percent in their seventies and eighties have some symptoms of BPH.
As the prostate enlarges, the layer of tissue surrounding it stops it from expanding, causing the gland to press against the urethra like a clamp on a garden hose. The bladder wall becomes thicker and irritable. The bladder begins to contract even when it contains small amounts of urine, causing more frequent urination. Eventually, the bladder weakens and loses the ability to empty itself, so some of the urine remains in the bladder. The narrowing of the urethra and partial emptying of the bladder cause many of the problems associated with BPH.
What Is Overactive Bladder
According to the Urology Care Foundation, around 33 million Americans have OAB. They say estimate that 30 percent of men and 40 percent of women in the United States experience symptoms.
OAB is believed to occur due to malfunctioning nerves that trigger uncontrolled bladder muscle contractions that happen while the bladder is filling. The main symptom of OAB is a sudden urge to urinate thats hard to control. It can be stressful, and it can get in the way of your day-to-day life. It normally responds well to medical therapy.
Trouble Resisting The Urge To Urinate
- Need to urinate often
- Need to urinate at night
- Severe urgings that lead to urine leakage
Sometimes these emptying problems can lead to a complete stop of urine flow and urinary tract infections that are difficult to treat. The symptoms described above can also be due to other illnesses in the lower urinary system, so you should always consult your doctor before starting any treatment.
You can also find additional information in our enCATHopedia Leaflet.
Does Enlarged Prostate Cause Ed
Of the many symptoms caused by BPH, one of the most common complaints men have when visiting a urologist is Erectile Dysfunction or ED. This is defined as the inability of a man to attain or maintain an erection sufficient for vaginal penetration and satisfactory sexual performance.
BPH does not directly cause ED, but many men with BPH seek medical attention to relieve ED.
Is Further Treatment Needed
In the years after your surgery, it is important to continue having a rectal examination once a year and to have any symptoms checked by your doctor.
Since surgery for BPH leaves behind a good part of the gland, it is still possible for prostate problems, including BPH, to develop again. However, surgery usually offers relief from BPH for at least 15 years. Only 10 percent of the men who have surgery for BPH eventually need a second operation for enlargement. Usually these are men who had the first surgery at an early age.
Sometimes, scar tissue resulting from surgery requires treatment in the year after surgery. Rarely, the opening of the bladder becomes scarred and shrinks, causing obstruction. This problem may require a surgical procedure similar to transurethral incision . More often, scar tissue may form in the urethra and cause narrowing. The doctor can solve this problem during an office visit by stretching the urethra.
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What Is Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia
Benign prostatic hyperplasiaalso called BPHis a condition in men in which the prostate gland is enlarged and not cancerous. 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. The second phase of growth begins around age 25 and continues during most of a mans life. 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. The narrowing of the urethra and urinary retentionthe inability to empty the bladder completelycause many of the problems associated with benign prostatic hyperplasia.
What Are The Symptoms Of A Uti
The problem here is that the symptoms of a UTI are often very similar to the symptoms of BPH frequent urination, urgent urination and pain/discomfort while urinating.
However, there are a few indications of a UTI that differ from those of an enlarged prostate. Look out for unpleasant-smelling urine, cloudy urine and a burning sensation when urinating. Take a look at our cystitis symptoms pages for a better idea.
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Possible Cancer Protection From Prostate Drugs
Early research suggested that 5-alpha-reductase inhibitors , a class of drugs used to treat prostate enlargement, might increase the risk of developing more aggressive prostate cancer. However, newer studies have found that not only do the drugs appear to pose no extra risk, they may even protect against prostate cancer.
For instance, research from the Prostate Cancer Prevention Trial study in 2013 showed that taking the 5-ARI finasteride for seven years could lower the chance of getting low-grade prostate cancer by 25% among men ages 55 and older. A follow-up study of almost 9,500 men, published in the Nov. 1, 2018, issue of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, also showed that finasteride lowered the risk by a similar amount , and found the protective effect lasted for at least 16 years.
Prostate Medications That Don’t Interfere Directly With Cold Medications
There are prostate medications which do not directly interfere with cold medications. These drugs, known as 5-alpha reductase inhibitors include:
- Proscar or Propecia
Keep in mind that these drugs will not interfere directly with cold medicines , but taking cold medications could still result in urinary retention.
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Techniques To Overcoming Urination Issues
Men with BPH can relieve some of the urinary symptoms of BPH and make urination easier with natural techniques such as
- Stress management Stress has many effects on the body. Most significantly, it negatively affects hormone levels and oxidative inflammation, both of which can exacerbate BPH. Stress can have several effects on an enlarged prostate, making symptoms like painful urination, urinary frequency, and urgency associated with BPH more bothersome. In addition, men should also be aware of the strong relationship between oxidative inflammation, obesity, and zinc deficiency in the prostate and BPH. 3
- Kegel exercises Muscles around the bladder and pelvic region become weaker with age. Kegel exercises can strengthen these muscles to help improve control of urination. They can be done at almost any time and do not require any special equipment. 4
- Double voiding A technique whereby the man waits a few minutes after normal urination and then attempts to urinate again. The second voiding and bladder contraction may produce more urine and help to empty the bladder more effectively.
- Excessive consumption of caffeine or alcoholCaffeine is a diuretic. It can increase the production of urine as well as the urge to urinate. Like caffeine, alcohol can stimulate urine production. While neither item has been associated with causing or worsening BPH, both tend to add to the symptoms and effect a mans quality of life.
What Is Enlarged Prostate Who Does It Affect
The first common prostate issue that can cause Urinary Incontinence, is an enlarged prostate or benign prostatic hyperplasia . Prostate enlargement happens to almost all men as they get older. Prostate enlargement rarely occurs before men turn 40 years old, but more than 50% of men in their 60s, and up to 90% of men in their 70s and 80s, have some enlargement. BPH is not cancer, and it does not raise your risk for prostate cancer. Which brings me to the second prostate issue that may cause bladder issues.
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Try These Techniques To Relieve Common Urinary Symptoms Without Medication
For frequent urination or urgency in men, these methods really work. And you can always switch to medication later.
If you are a man over age 50, chances are you knowor will soonsomeone taking a medication for an overgrown prostate gland. Better known as benign prostatic hyperplasia , this condition can cause bothersome problems like frequent urination at night, difficulty completely emptying the bladder, and the urgent need to urinate at inconvenient times.
BPH triggers noticeable problems in a third of men in their 60s and nearly half of those in their 80s. Drug therapy relieves symptoms, and for severe problems, surgery may be considered. But for men with milder symptoms that dont interfere much with their daily lives, theres another option: watchful waiting.
In watchful waiting, you and your doctor monitor your symptoms closely and then take action only when you feel it is necessary. In the meantime, simple changes in behavior can help to take the edge off urinary symptoms. This approach also avoids the costs and risks associated with more aggressive treatment.
Watchful waiting is broadly available to men who have lower urinary tract symptoms that have been attributed to BPH, but who are not bothered enough to take on the small but finite risks of treatment, such as drugs or surgery, says Dr. Michael J. Barry, a clinical professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School who helped to write national guidelines on how to treat BPH.
Diagnosing An Enlarged Prostate
As with all incontinence conditions, a thorough diagnosis must be developed before action can be taken. You may have heard of some of these exams. And if you havent, now is a good time to familiarize yourself with them. Not only is knowledge power, but it also eliminates surprises.
Because those with BPH can experience symptoms from mild to severe, the treatment options featured here are organized from least invasive to more intense.
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New Technique May Help Men’s Nighttime Urination
Procedure partially blocks blood flow to the gland and appears to ease the night need, but skeptics exist
MONDAY, April 4, 2016 — Waking often in the night to urinate is a common problem among men who have an enlarged prostate, but an innovative new treatment has shown some promise in easing the problem, researchers are reporting.
The procedure, called prostatic artery embolization , involves placing microscopic spheres in the arteries that supply blood to the prostate gland to partially block the blood flow.
Reducing blood flow to the prostate causes the gland to soften and shrink, said lead researcher Dr. Sandeep Bagla, an interventional radiologist at the Vascular Institute of Virginia, in Woodbridge.
In their new study, Bagla and his colleagues show that PAE improves symptoms in men suffering from nocturia — waking up repeatedly during the night to urinate.
“Their urinary symptoms bothered them considerably less, and their quality of life also showed marked improvement,” Bagla said. “The improvement in quality of life stems directly from the fact that these men are getting a better night’s sleep.”
The findings were scheduled to be presented Monday at the Society of Interventional Radiology’s annual meeting, in Vancouver.
The study included 68 men who had the procedure done. Researchers were able to reach 46 of these patients one month later for follow-up, and all 46 reported fewer urinary symptoms and a better quality of life.
How Does An Enlarged Prostate Affect The Bladder
As the prostate begins to swell it can start to affect different parts of the urinary system. It can begin to tighten around the urethra, making it harder for urine to flow through the narrow tube. It can also start to press on the underside of the bladder and can even reduce the amount of space available in the bladder.
Due to the narrowing of the urethra, some of the common symptoms of an enlarged prostate include a difficulty starting urination, and a weak stream or poor flow when you do start. You may also find that your bladder doesnt quite feel empty afterwards. In serious cases, the urethra can become completely blocked, causing urinary retention.
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Why Do Prostate Issues Cause Urinary Incontinence
Because the prostate surrounds the urethra, nears the bladder, and produces fluids, an enlarged prostate can significantly affect the flow of the urinary stream. When the prostate enlarges, it puts pressure on the bladder and squeezes the urethra. This squeezing pressure can cause a variety of different symptoms.
Bladder issues differ, depending on each individual case. Though the symptoms vary, the most common issues experienced while urinating include:
Although it is not always a side affect.
Prostate surgery, prostatectomy, is generally used to treat prostate cancer or an enlarged prostate . Sometimes prostate surgery is used to treat recurring prostate bleeding and urinary problems, but its less typical.
The process of a prostatectomy consists of the surgeon making an incision in the abdomen, from the length of the belly button to the pubic bone. From there, the prostate, or parts of the prostate, are then removed. If you have cancer in your prostate, the lymph nodes surrounding the prostate gland may also have to be removed. If surrounding nerves are also affected, they too may need to be removed. Depending on how much of the prostate area is removed, you may develop Erectile Dysfunction and Urinary Incontinence.
A radical prostatectomy is the surgical removal of the entire prostate gland . This removal of the entire prostate makes you at higher risk of acquiring Urinary Incontinence and erectile issues.
Otc Meds And Urinary Symptoms In Men With Enlarged Prostates
You may have heard that urinary problems, such as the inability to pee, can occur when you take cold medications. Or, perhaps, you took a cold medication and are wondering why you aren’t able to urinate.
Prostate problems and medications for an enlarged prostate don’t always mix with medications for the cold or flu, as these common over-the-counter cold meds can cause urinary retention, making it harder for your body to release urine.
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Are There Different Causes For Men
In some cases, blood in the urine may mean something different for men than for women. Blood may show up from either an enlarged prostate gland or prostate cancer.
And, both bladder and kidney cancers are more common in men than in women.
For 2018, the American Cancer Society estimates 42,680 new diagnoses of kidney cancer in men and 22,660 in women.
For bladder cancer, the society estimates 62,380 new cases among men and 18,810 in women in 2018.
The most common cause of bladder cancer is smoking, Dr. Abouassaly says.
The carcinogens get absorbed in the blood and filter into the kidneys and bladder and they just sit there, he says. I recommend if you are a smoker, do everything you can to stop smoking.
How An Enlarged Prostate Keeps You Up At Night
Many men may feel embarrassed when they start to experience the symptoms of an enlarged prostate, but its a common condition. In fact, the majority of men in their 60s, 70s, and 80s have an enlarged prostate.2
Although having an enlarged prostate is common, the urinary symptoms that accompany it may keep you and your partner up at night. These include:
- A frequent need to urinate, both day and night
- An urgent feeling of needing to urinate
- A sense that you cannot completely empty your bladder
- Weak or slow urinary stream
- Difficulty or delay in starting urination
- A urinary stream that stops and starts
As you can imagine, the frequent and urgent need to urinate leads to sleep disruptions throughout the night. You may find yourself getting up multiple times just to pee.
Getting up in the middle of the night repeatedly to use the bathroom doesnt just keep you from getting a good nights rest it can also disrupt your partners sleep quality. Although only 8 percent of men reported bothering their partner when they wake up to pee at night, 64 percent of women who were impacted by their partners enlarged prostate say it has disrupted their sleep.1
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How To Stop Frequent Urination In Men
The treatment of frequent urination depends upon the reason behind it. Your healthcare provider will aim to manage or treat the underlying cause leading to urinary symptoms.
If you are passing urine frequently due to diabetes, your doctor will offer effective management of your blood sugar levels. If the same is caused due to an infection such as UTI, then you will be offered certain medications to treat the bacterial infection.
Along with medication, your healthcare provider will help you regain bladder control through training and exercises. There are different forms of bladder training techniques used by doctors to control the constant urge to urinate male.
- Kegel exercises: Kegel exercises are helpful in strengthening the muscles below the bladder and control urination.
- Bladder training: Your healthcare provider will assist you to train your bladder and control urination for longer than usual.