It’s been a long day and you’re looking forward to some much-needed sleep. Unfortunately, your bladder has other plans, waking you throughout the night with a call to urinate you can’t ignore. Night and day, an enlarged prostate sends millions of men running to the bathroom more often.
To explain the connection between an enlarged prostate, aka benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), board-certified urologist Dr. Robert Cornell focuses on this all-too-common side effect here.
To understand the connection between an enlarged prostate and frequent urination, let’s take a look at some BPH basics.
First, your prostate is a small gland that’s located just under your bladder, and it surrounds the top part of your urethra, which runs down the middle of the structure. This gland is responsible for producing semen — the fluid that carries and nourishes your sperm.
Your prostate goes through two growth periods, the first when you pass through puberty and it doubles in size. The second growth period is much longer and begins when you’re 25 and continues for the rest of your life, albeit slowly.
As the gland continues to grow larger, it can begin to pinch your urethra, leading to the symptoms that fall under BPH, including frequent urination. It’s important to note that this condition is benign, as the name suggests.
It should come as no surprise, given the ongoing growth of the prostate, that the prevalence of BPH rises with age — 50% of men between 51 and 60 and 80% of men over the age of 70.
As your prostate grows, it can create blockages where the neck of your bladder leads into your urethra. As a result, you can experience lower urinary tract symptoms, such as:
As the problem continues, the walls of your bladder can thicken, which exacerbates the symptoms we describe above.
Interestingly, less than half of men with BPH develop lower urinary tract symptoms, and the size of the prostate isn’t necessarily a factor. For example, a man can have a very large prostate and no urinary issues while another can have only slight prostate enlargement and experience problems with urination.
If you fall into the unfortunate half who do experience symptoms, no matter the size of your prostate, the good news is that there are solutions.
Depending on the extent and severity of your symptoms, Dr. Cornell has you covered. From medications that can help you urinate more normally to innovative techniques, such as Prostiva® radiofrequency thermotherapy and PlasmaButton™ vaporization, we can help keep your trips to the bathroom to a minimum.
If you want to address frequent urination due to an enlarged prostate, please contact our office in Houston, Texas, to schedule an appointment.