Benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), commonly known as enlarged prostate, is a disease that generally affects men older than 65 years. A high incidence of BPH was observed in Western countries compared to eastern countries like China, India, and Japan. Symptoms of BPH can be distressing and harm your quality of life and mental wellness. Therefore, selecting the right treatment strategy is essential. This article will explain symptoms, causes, and treatment options for BPH so that patients can choose their therapy carefully.

What is BPH?

The prostate is a small gland positioned below the bladder that helps in semen production. BPH is a noncancerous growth of the prostate gland, which has more prevalence in older men. It obstructs the urine passage and causes severe discomfort in men.

What are the symptoms of BPH?

Typical symptoms of BPH include difficulty in urination and several intervals in the stream. Further, as the bladder gets more sensitive, therefore, patients suffering from chronic BPH may not control their urination, resulting in frequent bed wetting during sleep. Patients may feel a burning sensation while urinating due to the presence of a bladder tumor, stone, or infection.

What are the causes of BPH?

The actual cause of BPH is unknown. However, some studies suggest that enlargement of the prostate gland occurs due to aging and alteration in testosterone levels in men.

How to diagnose BPH?

Before choosing a treatment, it’s crucial to undergo a thorough medical evaluation. This typically involves:

  • Medical History and Symptom Assessment: Your doctor will ask about your symptoms, their severity, and how they affect your daily life.
  • Physical Examination: In this diagnosis procedure, a digital rectal exam (DRE) is conducted to observe the size of the prostate.
  • Urine Tests: These tests are performed to evaluate the infection or other clinical conditions that might cause similar symptoms.

 

  • Blood Tests: Your doctor may suggest undergoing a prostate-specific antigen (PSA) blood diagnosis to rule out prostate cancer.
  • Imaging Tests: In certain cases, an ultrasound is performed to get a better view of the prostate.

What are treatment options for an enlarged prostate?

Once diagnosed with BPH, several treatment options are available. These range from lifestyle changes and medications to minimally invasive procedures and surgery.

1. Lifestyle Changes

Lifestyle modifications can be an effective first step for men with mild symptoms of BPH. Reducing fluid intake before bedtime may help prevent bladder sensitization. Similarly, caffeine and alcohol harm the bladder and worsen symptoms. Therefore, limiting their intake reduces the symptoms of an enlarged prostate. Regular physical exercise can help manage symptoms and improve overall health.

2. Medication

When lifestyle changes are not sufficient, medications are often the next step.

  • Alpha-blocker: One commonly prescribed medication is Tamlocept 0.4mg Capsule, which contains Tamsulosin. It is an alpha-blocker that relaxes the muscle tissues in the prostate, and bladder-neck to make urination easier.
  • 5-Alpha Reductase Inhibitors: These classes of medications help shrink the prostate size over time.
  • Combination Therapy: Sometimes, a combination of alpha-blockers and 5-alpha reductase inhibitors is recommended for better results.

3. Minimally Invasive Procedures

If medicines are not effective or cause undesirable side effects, minimally invasive procedures may be considered. Transurethral Microwave Therapy (TUMT) and Transurethral Needle Ablation (TUNA) are two invasive procedures that use microwave and radiofrequency energy, respectively, to reduce prostate size. Similarly, prostatic urethral lift (PUL) implants are utilized to clutch the enlarged prostate tissue away from the urethra.

4. Surgical Options

For severe symptoms or when other treatments fail, surgery may be necessary. The most frequently used surgical treatment is Transurethral Resection of the Prostate (TURP), which removes part of the prostate that is blocking the urethra. On the other hand, laser surgery, like Holmium Laser Enucleation of the Prostate (HoLEP), provides quicker recovery to patients.

An enlarged prostate may cause severe clinical conditions in older men. Therefore, an in-time diagnosis helps patients to opt for therapeutic strategies effectively. Recently, several medications have provided excellent outcomes that improve the quality of life of patients.

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