Benign prostatic hyperplasia, or BPH, is a condition of the prostate that men often develop as they age. As men age, the prostate gland is known to become enlarged. However, this does not mean cancer. BPH is a noncancerous growth of the cells within the prostate gland. By age 60, more than half of men have BPH. By age 85, about 90 percent of men have BPH, but only about 30 percent will have symptoms. An enlarged prostate can put pressure on the urethra which makes it difficult to urinate.
Key statistics for benign prostatic hyperplasia:
· The risk of BPH increases every year after age 40.
· It is estimated that BPH is present in about 20 percent of men in their 50s, 60 percent of men in their 60s, and 70 percent of men by age 70.
· About 25 percent of men with BPH (more than 350,000 a year in the United States) will eventually require treatment to relieve the urinary obstruction BPH causes. Some may require treatment more than once.
Most of the signs and symptoms of BPH are related to urination because the enlarging of the prostate puts pressure on the urethra which decreases the flow of urine. The signs and symptoms of BPH include:
· A weak or slow urinary stream
· Incomplete emptying of the bladder
· Frequent urination
· Urinary urgency
· A urinary stream that starts and stops
· Waking up often at night to urinate
· Straining to urinate
· Dripping and leaking after urination
It is unclear as to what the exact cause of BPH is. However, what we do know is that age and testosterone play an important role. The risk factors for BPH include poor diet, physical inactivity, abdominal obesity, smoking, & excessive alcohol use.
BPH is a condition that progresses quite slowly over the course of many years. Most men can usually make the decision on their own about if and when they should be treated. In some cases, BPH symptoms are severe enough to require immediate treatment. There most common ways to treat BPH depend on the severity of your symptoms. The most common treatment options for BPH include watchful waiting, prescription medications, and surgery.