When the prostate gland is enlarged, the condition is known as BPH or benign prostatic hyperplasia. The prostate gland surrounds the urethra, which is the tube that carries urine from the bladder out of the individual’s body. When the prostate is enlarged it often blocks or ceases the flow of urine because the urethra is constricted. This can make urination difficult. The condition affects many men as they get older and is not rare. It may also not be a serious problem, but it can grow into one. BPH causes urinary problems including:
In serious cases, BPH blocks the bladder making it impossible or severely difficult to urinate. This can cause bladder stones or infections to develop and even kidney damage.
BPH is thought to be a typical aspect of advanced aging in men. It is typically caused by cell-growth factors and hormonal fluctuations. Genetics can also influence the condition in men, especially if it develops with severe symptoms in men not yet 60 years of age. Men at the age of 50 years and older are more likely to develop BPH. However, the reasons particular men have severe symptoms and others do not is currently unknown.
Treatment for BPH is set by the severity of the symptoms and whether the individual is experiencing any complications. Minor symptoms are typically addressed with lifestyle changes and regular checkups to monitor symptoms. Moderate symptoms are also treated with lifestyle changes and the addition of prescription medications. If the symptoms are very severe, medications and therapies are commonly used. Treatments can include; transurethral needle ablations and transurethral microwave therapy. When complications are found with BPH, physicians address the disease with surgery.
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