The prostate is a walnut-shaped gland that sits below the bladder and surrounds the urethra. As men age, the prostate starts to grow again. This condition called BPH (benign prostatic hyperplasia) develops over decades and results in urinary problems in middle-aged and older men. Frequent urination, especially at night, is one of the most common complaints of BPH or an enlarged prostate. A brief anatomy lesson can explain why.
As the prostate grows, it squeezes the urethra. The urethra is the tube that transports urine from the bladder to the penis. This gradual growth of the prostate restricts the normal flow of urine like a hose with a clamp on it.
Symptoms generally begin to occur as men approach 50. Left untreated, BPH usually worsens over time. BPH is the most common disorder of the prostate and affects more than half of all men by age 60. Its incidence increases with advanced age.
Although BPH is non-cancerous, it shares some symptoms associated with prostate cancer.
Enlarged Prostate Symptoms:
Common symptoms of an enlarged prostate include:
- Frequent urination, especially at night
- Inability to completely empty the bladder
- Hesitancy – stop & go urination
- Dribbling after voiding
- Straining to urinate
- Urgent urination
- Weak stream
Enlarged Prostate Treatment:
Laser therapy. GreenLight XPS laser system. A minimally-invasive outpatient procedure that uses laser energy to remove excess prostate tissue. Suitable for most men with an enlarged prostate. Can be performed in a doctor’s office or an outpatient surgery center. Used to treat mild to severe symptoms.
Heat therapy. TherMatrx Office Thermo Therapy. A minimally-invasive outpatient procedure that uses microwave energy to eliminate excess prostate tissue. Best used on men with smaller prostates. Can be performed in a doctor’s office. Used to treat mild to moderate symptoms.
Surgery. Transurethral Resection of the Prostate (TURP). A TURP is the removal of excess prostate tissue blocking normal urine flow. Usually performed in a hospital to treat mild to severe symptoms.
Oral medication. May require life-long use. Can cause side effects and cease to work.