14 Common Misconceptions About Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia

INTRODUCTION

Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia:

Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH) is a noncancerous condition that affects the prostate. It is characterized by an increase in the number of cells in the prostate, causing it to enlarge. BPH is common in older men, but can occur in men of any age. Symptoms of BPH include difficulty urinating, frequent urination, weak urine flow, and a feeling of incomplete bladder emptying. If left untreated, BPH can lead to serious complications such as urinary tract infections, kidney damage and even in rare cases urinary retention.

Treatment options for BPH include medications such as alpha-blockers and 5-alpha-reductase inhibitors, which can help to relax the muscle in the prostate and improve urine flow. In severe cases, surgery may be necessary to remove part of the prostate. In addition, lifestyle changes such as maintaining a healthy diet, regular exercise and avoiding excess alcohol and caffeine can help to manage the symptoms of BPH.

It’s important to consult a healthcare professional if you have symptoms of BPH, as it can be easily diagnosed and treated. Early diagnosis and treatment can help to prevent complications and improve quality of life.

 

PATHOPHYSIOLOGY OF BPH

The pathophysiology of Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH) is not fully understood, but it is believed to be caused by a combination of hormonal and genetic factors. As men age, their levels of testosterone and other androgens decrease, while levels of estrogen increase. This hormonal imbalance is thought to stimulate the growth of cells in the prostate, causing it to enlarge.

The exact cause of BPH is not known, but certain genetic and environmental factors are thought to contribute to the development of the condition. For example, the presence of certain genetic mutations in the prostate may increase the risk of developing BPH. Similarly, lifestyle factors such as diet, smoking, and lack of physical activity may also contribute to the development of BPH.

The enlarged prostate can impede the flow of urine through the urethra, leading to symptoms such as difficulty urinating, frequent urination, weak urine flow and a feeling of incomplete bladder emptying. As the condition progresses, it may cause other complications such as urinary tract infections, bladder stones, and even in rare cases urinary retention.

It is also possible that BPH can lead to the development of bladder outlet obstruction (BOO) which is caused by the pressure of the enlarged prostate on the urethra. This can lead to urinary retention, and if not treated, can lead to bladder dysfunction and even kidney damage.

 

SYMPTOMS AND SINGS OF BPH

The symptoms and signs of Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH) can vary from person to person, but common ones include:

  1. Difficulty starting urination: The enlarged prostate can obstruct the flow of urine, making it difficult to initiate urination.
  2. Weak urine flow: The narrowed urethra makes it harder for urine to flow out, leading to a weak or slow stream.
  3. Frequent urination: The need to urinate more frequently, especially at night, is a common symptom of BPH.
  4. Straining to urinate: The obstruction of the urethra can cause a feeling of discomfort or pressure while trying to urinate.
  5. Dribbling after urination: Some men with BPH may experience dribbling after they have finished urinating.
  6. Incomplete bladder emptying: The enlarged prostate can prevent the complete emptying of the bladder, leading to a feeling of discomfort or pressure.
  7. Urinary tract infections: BPH can increase the risk of urinary tract infections due to the accumulation of urine in the bladder.
  8. Blood in the urine: Blood in the urine (hematuria) is a rare symptom of BPH, but it can indicate a more serious condition, such as a urinary tract infection or bladder cancer.
  9. Urinary retention: In severe cases, BPH can cause urinary retention, a condition in which the bladder is unable to empty completely.
  10. Erectile dysfunction: BPH can also affect sexual function, leading to erectile dysfunction.

It’s important to note that these symptoms may be caused by other conditions, so it’s important to consult with a healthcare professional if you are experiencing any of them. An early diagnosis and treatment can help to prevent complications and improve quality of life.

 

URINARY RETENTION

Urinary retention is a condition in which the bladder is unable to empty completely. It can occur as a result of various conditions, including Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH), which is one of the most common causes.

In BPH, the enlarged prostate can obstruct the flow of urine out of the bladder, leading to a build-up of urine in the bladder. This can cause a feeling of discomfort or pressure and can lead to the development of urinary retention. When this occurs, the bladder becomes distended and can no longer contract properly to empty the urine.

Symptoms of urinary retention include:

  1. Difficulty starting urination
  2. Weak urine flow
  3. Straining to urinate
  4. Inability to empty the bladder completely
  5. A feeling of pressure or discomfort in the lower abdomen
  6. Frequent urination
  7. Dribbling after urination

Urinary retention is a serious condition and if left untreated, it can lead to bladder dysfunction and even kidney damage. If you suspect you may have urinary retention, it’s important to seek medical attention as soon as possible.

Treatment for urinary retention may include medications such as alpha-blockers and 5-alpha-reductase inhibitors, which can help to relax the muscle in the prostate and improve urine flow. In severe cases, surgery may be necessary to remove part of the prostate. In addition, lifestyle changes such as maintaining a healthy diet, regular exercise and avoiding excess alcohol and caffeine can help to manage the symptoms of BPH.

 

DIAGNOSIS OF BPH

Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH) is typically diagnosed through a combination of a physical examination, medical history, and diagnostic tests. During the physical examination, the healthcare provider may perform a digital rectal exam (DRE) to check for an enlarged prostate. Additional tests that may be used to diagnose BPH include:

-Prostate-specific antigen (PSA) blood test: to check for elevated levels of PSA, a protein produced by the prostate.

-Urinalysis: to check for blood or infection in the urine.

-Urodynamic studies: to measure the flow rate and pressure of urine.

-Transrectal ultrasound (TRUS): to create a visual image of the prostate and check for any abnormalities.

If BPH is suspected, the healthcare provider may refer the patient to a urologist, a specialist in urinary tract and male reproductive system disorders, for further evaluation and treatment.

 

TREATMENT OF BPH

Treatment for benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) typically begins with lifestyle changes and medication. These may include:

  • Drinking less fluid, especially in the evening
  • Avoiding caffeine and alcohol
  • Taking medications such as alpha-blockers, which relax the muscles of the prostate and bladder, or 5-alpha-reductase inhibitors, which shrink the prostate
  • In some cases, surgery may be recommended, such as transurethral resection of the prostate (TURP) or laser surgery.

It’s important to talk with your doctor about the best treatment options for you, as the choice of treatment will depend on the severity of symptoms and other individual factors.

14 Common Misconceptions About Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia

 

  1. BPH is cancer: BPH is a noncancerous condition that affects the prostate.
  2. Only older men are affected: While BPH is more common in older men, it can occur in men of any age.
  3. BPH is not a serious condition: While BPH is not cancerous, it can cause serious symptoms such as difficulty urinating and an increased risk of urinary tract infections.
  4. BPH is caused by poor hygiene: BPH is not caused by poor hygiene and is not contagious.
  5. BPH is caused by an enlarged prostate: BPH is caused by an increase in the number of cells in the prostate, not just an enlargement.
  6. All symptoms of BPH are the same: Symptoms can vary from person to person and can change over time.
  7. BPH can be cured: There is no cure for BPH, but there are treatments that can help manage symptoms.
  8. Surgery is the only treatment option: While surgery is an option, there are also medical treatments such as alpha-blockers and 5-alpha-reductase inhibitors that can help manage symptoms.
  9. BPH is caused by hormonal imbalances: BPH is not caused by hormonal imbalances, but rather by an increase in the number of cells in the prostate.
  10. BPH will go away on its own: BPH will not go away on its own and requires treatment to manage symptoms.
  11. BPH only affects urinary function: BPH can also affect sexual function, as well as increase the risk of urinary tract infections and kidney damage.
  12. BPH can only be diagnosed by a urologist: BPH can be diagnosed by a primary care physician, as well as a urologist.
  13. All men will develop BPH as they age: While BPH is more common in older men, not all men will develop it as they age.
  14. BPH is only caused by aging: While age is a risk factor for BPH, other factors such as genetics, diet, and lifestyle also play a role.

KEYPOINT ON BENIGN PROSTATE HYPERPLASIA

Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH) is a common condition in which the prostate gland becomes enlarged, causing urinary symptoms such as difficulty starting urination, a weak urine stream, and frequent urination. BPH is not cancerous and does not increase the risk of prostate cancer. Treatment options for BPH include medication, minimally invasive procedures, and surgery. The choice of treatment will depend on the severity of the symptoms and the patient’s overall health. It is important for men to discuss their symptoms and treatment options with their healthcare provider.

 

REFERENCES ON BENIGN PROSTATE HYPERPLASIA

Benign Prostate Hyperplasia (BPH) is a common condition in men in which the prostate gland enlarges. There are many resources available for information on BPH, including the following:

  1. The American Urological Association (AUA) website: https://www.auanet.org/guidelines/benign-prostatic-hyperplasia-bph-guideline
  2. The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) website: https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/urologic-diseases/benign-prostatic-hyperplasia-bph
  3. The Mayo Clinic website: https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/benign-prostatic-hyperplasia/symptoms-causes/syc-20370087
  4. The European Association of Urology (EAU) Guidelines on BPH: https://uroweb.org/guideline/benign-prostatic-hyperplasia-bph/
  5. The American Family Physician journal: https://www.aafp.org/afp/topicModules/viewTopicModule.htm?topicModuleId=32

It’s important to consult with a urologist or a primary care doctor for individualized diagnosis and treatment options.

Laximedical
Laximedical is dedicated to making health and wellness information accessible, understandable and actionable so that readers can make the best possible decisions about their health. Our content is created, verified, and reviewed by qualified writers, editors, physicians, and other contributors.