Of Movember, moustaches, and men’s health, we would like to highlight a prostate condition that has afflicted countless of men, but with many too embarrassed to talk about.
It’s a condition that enlarges the prostate, from its original size of a walnut into the size as large as an orange.
Medically known as Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH), it’s not cancerous, nor does it increase one’s risk of falling prey to prostate cancer. However, its symptoms can be very exasperating. Having to attend to frequent calls of nature in the middle of the night, incontinence, and incomplete voiding are some.
As a result of that, not only one’s physical health would be greatly affected, but also his social life.
Indeed, the lower urinary tract symptoms (LUTS) together with enlargement of prostate matter, a lot. In conjunction with the month of “Movember”, dive in further with us to know the low-down on BPH. Perhaps, you are able to find the answers to this “walnut” of a problem that has adversely impacted scores of men.
Ready, set, Mo…
More on what Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH) is
Benign – As it is benign, it is non-malignant. Nevertheless, the lower urinary tract symptoms of BPH are similar to that of prostate cancer. It is wise for men with LUTS to screen for cancer as well as to treat the troublesome LUTS.
Prostatic – The enlargement of the prostate, a walnut-sized gland responsible for the production of fluid to transport sperm, typifies the condition of BPH, and can bring about urinary problems.
Hyperplasia – Means an abnormal increase in the number of cells or abnormal cell growth. This results in the prostate becoming larger in size.
Most common among men turning half a century old and beyond, this non-cancerous enlarged “walnut” affects one of our body’s most fundamental systems – the urinary tract.
The prostate is located below the bladder
As the prostate enlarges, it exerts pressure on the surrounding bladder and urethra. The bladder stores and empties urine, while the urethra is the tube or channel through which urine leaves the body.
Enlarged prostate narrowing the bladder and urethra
When these two vital parts of the urinary system are pressed against by the enlargement of the prostate, a few situations or symptoms of BPH would arise. Imagine stepping or clamping on a garden hose with water…
It may cause:
- Blocked urine flow from out of the bladder and urethra, due to the enlarged prostate pressing on the two organs, thereby leading to incomplete emptying of the bladder and difficulty peeing, too
- Conversely, frequent urination could happen as well. As the prostate grows in size, it places pressure upon the nearby bladder, thus causing it to contract and release urine even when it contains only a small amount of it. This, in turn, increases our trips to the washroom
Age could be the factor
While the root cause of BPH is still unknown to us, age is commonly thought to play a role in causing BPH.
As men get older, hormonal changes take place and this may trigger the prostate gland to grow.
Over the years, BPH has been seen taking a toll on physical health and psychological wellbeing. Why? Think about the pesky all-nighter dashes to the toilet, not to mention keeping your partner awake, as well as the lack of control over urination, and the inability to release urination or toxins from your body.
Fortunately, as every cloud has a silver lining, there are steps and solutions to tackle it.
Those who experience mild BPH symptoms may not require immediate treatment; instead, making healthier lifestyle choices such as limiting the intake of sugary, alcohol, caffeine, and fizzy drinks as well as staying active may help improve the situation.
Contrarily, if the relevant symptoms are moderate to severe, treatment is needed and may be given in the form of medicine – to make the prostate shrink down to its normal size or, worst comes to worst, surgery or minimally invasive procedure like Rezum (steam treatment) may be required – in the event that the medicine is not effective.
Facing urinary problems? Don’t be afraid to seek help from our team of urologists, even when the symptoms are not bothersome. One thing could lead to another. Take charge of your health today for a better tomorrow.