The prostate is a male reproductive organ that creates prostate fluid, an essential component of semen. It also works to propel seminal fluid through the urethra when a man ejaculates.
As men age, it's common for the prostate to become enlarged, a condition called BPH. Typically, an enlarged prostate gland is harmless but can cause problems with urinating. If this happens, urinary tract or kidney problems can occur.
BPH is not malignant, but BPH and prostate cancer can happen at the same time. The prostate grows in two ways. In one type of growth, cells multiply around the urethra and squeeze it, much like squeezing a straw. The second type of growth is middle-lobe prostate growth, in which cells grow into the urethra and the bladder outlet area.
BPH is not merely a case of too many prostate cells: Prostate growth involves hormones, different types of tissue, and affects each man differently. Because of these differences, treatment varies.
A common symptom of BPH involves often urinating, sometimes every one or two hours, especially at night. Other symptoms include:
Anyone with a prostate is at risk for it to become enlarged. Unlike many other organs in the body, the prostate continues to grow larger as men age. While the cause of this condition is unknown, scientists theorize that it is due to changing sex hormones in a man’s body as he ages. The condition is not inevitable with age but is common.
If your symptoms are severe enough to cause discomfort, interfere with daily activities, or are associated with lower urinary tract infections, your team at East Valley Urology center usually recommends treatment.
Treatment for BPH depends on your age and how severe your symptoms are. Mild BPH symptoms may be managed with ongoing medication while more severe symptoms may require a procedure. Your BPH specialists at East Valley Urology Center offer a variety of options including:
Medications: These can improve urinary flow and, over time, actually shrink the prostate and promote low-pressure, complete bladder emptying.