By the age of 80, up to 90% of men have some degree of benign prostate hyperplasia (BPH), and one of the primary side effects is difficulty with urination.
If you want to figure out why you’re getting up throughout the night to urinate or you’re experiencing other difficulties with urination, board-certified urologist Dr. Robert Cornell and our team pulled together the following information on BPH.
Your prostate gland is a small gland (about the size of a walnut or golf ball) that’s located below your bladder and in front of your rectum. Part of your reproductive system, this gland is responsible for producing ejaculate, but it can also impact your urinary tract due to one anatomical feature — your urethra passes through the center of your prostate.
When you pass through puberty, your prostate doubles in size in preparation for your reproductive years. After this initial growth spurt, your prostate continues to grow after the age of 25 and never stops.
As the tissue expands, it can start to press on your urethra and compromise the flow of urine through the tube. As well, the walls of your bladder can thicken, which can further hamper your urinary tract.
As you can see, the growth of your prostate is inevitable, which is why half of men between 51 and 60 have BPH and, as we mentioned, 90% of men over the age of 80 have it.
Symptoms of BPH
As a result of your prostate gland squeezing your urethra, you can experience a wide range of urinary symptoms, including:
- Needing to urinate frequently throughout the night, up to every hour
- Your bladder still feels full after urination
- You need to start and stop during urination
- You find it difficult to initiate urination
- Your urges to urinate are strong
- You have a weak stream
- You strain to urinate
In extreme cases, BPH can fully block your ability to urinate. This is a medical emergency and you should seek help right away.
Restoring the flow
The good news is that we offer several effective treatment options for BPH, depending on its severity.
In milder cases, we may try medications called alpha blockers that relax the muscles associated with your prostate and your bladder. We may also turn to 5-alpha reductase inhibitors that shrink your prostate and encourage the flow of urine.
If you still struggle with urination, Dr. Cornell may suggest Prostiva® radiofrequency thermotherapy, an in-office procedure in which he reduces excess prostate tissue.
As well, Dr. Cornell offers the innovative PlasmaButton™ vaporization procedure, during which he gently removes prostate tissue using low-temperature plasma energy.
If you’re having urinary difficulties, your first step is to come see us so we can determine whether it’s BPH-related. To get started, contact our office Houston, Texas, to set up an appointment.