What is BPH?
BPH (Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia) is a non-malignant (non-cancerous) enlargement of the prostate gland, commonly occurring in older men.
In fact, the American Urological Association reports that by age 60, over half of all men have BPH and by age 85, 90% of all men have BPH.
What Causes BPH?
The most common risk factor for BPH is age. An enlarged prostate is a normal part of the aging process, caused by changes in hormones and cell growth. Genetics may be a contributing factor for BPH, but a definitive link has not been established.
During puberty, the prostate goes through a phase of very rapid enlargement, but this levels off once puberty is completed. Starting in mid-life, the prostate begins growing again, but very slowly over time.
It is thought that these periods of growth result from increased levels of male hormones such as testosterone. Testosterone is produced throughout a man’s life, subsequently, the prostate grows throughout a man’s life.
Due to the slow progression of this growth, most men do not notice any symptoms of BPH until they are older and the prostate has grown to such a size that it impinges on the outflow of urine from the bladder.
Symptoms of BPH
Common enlarged prostate symptoms involve urination problems, which may include:
- Difficulty starting a urine stream
- Frequent urination, especially at night
- Urgent need to urinate
- Weak urine stream
BPH and Other Conditions
It is important to note that BPH is a completely benign condition. It does not cause, nor does it indicate prostate cancer. It is important to consult with a physician if you are experiencing BPH symptoms to rule out other conditions. Symptoms such as frequent urination or urination problems can be a sign of another condition such as urinary tract infection.
Prostate gland enlargement can become a serious problem for a few patients who experience severe symptoms. Possible complications can include urinary tract infection, bladder stones, bladder damage and kidney damage.
Treatment for BPH
For most men, lifestyle changes and home remedies are effective. In more serious cases, medication or surgery may be required. BladderVoid is a safe and effective treatment developed by doctors to relieve problems urinating associated with BPH.
Sources: About.com, WebMD