Nearly half of all men in their 50s have an enlarged prostate, and this number rises with age, as 90% of men in the United States over the age of 80 have the problem. The good news is that an enlarged prostate usually doesn’t present any serious medical concerns. The bad news is that it can lead to quality-of-life issues thanks to the side effects.
To determine whether your prostate may be enlarged, which is also called benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), Dr. Robert Cornell and our team pulled together five telltale signs.
Behind an enlarged prostate
Before we jump into the signs of an enlarged prostate, let’s quickly take a look at the location and role of this gland, which will help you better understand the side effects of BPH.
Your prostate gland surrounds your urethra, and its main responsibility is to produce semen. With BPH, the cells of your prostate begin to multiply, enlarging your prostate and placing pressure on your urethra, which is what accounts for the symptoms we discuss below.
1. Frequent urination
One of the primary hallmarks of an enlarged prostate is difficulty emptying your bladder fully. This leads to frequent urination since your bladder is retaining urine.
Due to the pressure on your urethra, you may experience urinary leakage, which is typically a dribble.
If you find yourself waking throughout the night to urinate, this is likely a sign of an enlarged prostate. While there are times when you need to urinate because of excessive fluid intake the day before, nocturia occurs regardless of how many beverages you’ve had and leads to two or more visits to the bathroom during the night.
4. Slowed or delayed urinary stream
One of the more common complaints with BPH is feeling the need to urinate, but when you do, you have trouble initiating the process. In some cases, you may start and stop urination several times.
5. Straining to urinate
As the pressure on your urethra grows, you may have to strain to urinate, and in some cases, urination can become painful.
Treating an enlarged prostate
If you find yourself with any of these symptoms, Dr. Cornell performs a thorough evaluation to determine whether BPH has developed and where.
Based upon this information, he recommends a treatment plan that could include:
- Medications to improve urinary flow and shrink your prostate
- Prostiva® RF Therapy (radiofrequency thermotherapy) to open the passageways
- PlasmaButton™ vaporization to remove prostate tissue
If you’re struggling with any of the symptoms we describe above, we urge you to contact our office in Houston, Texas, as soon as possible. Through early intervention, we can restore your quality of life by restoring your urinary function.