BPH (Prostate Enlargement) - What Is It and How Can It Be Treated?
By Wendy Owen
BPH is the enlargement of the male prostate gland. It can have many associated problems including the need to urinate frequently, difficulty in urinating and inability to completely empty the bladder.
The main cause of BPH is age. It's a very common complaint in older men - indeed over 50% of males 55 years old and over are thought to be suffering with BPH.
It's important for BPH to be properly diagnosed, mainly to assess treatment options and to rule out other more serious problems such as prostate cancer.
The difficulty here is many males are embarrassed to seek treatment and indeed some will put up with annoying symptoms for years rather than admit to any problems in this sensitive area!
Still others fear being diagnosed with prostate cancer and will spend years worrying about the possibility while being too afraid to know.
All this, while quite understandable, coupled with a natural male reluctance to admit to any weakness is counter productive. Why suffer when it's not necessary?
Even if there is a problem, it's much better to know about it. This gives us back some control and ability to make choices among the many options now available.
BPH is what it says - "benign". Meaning that there is no malignancy. Having been diagnosed then, all worry about cancer should cease! It's sensible, however, to do everything to prevent prostate cancer - information about which can be found on the site below.
Treatments for BPH fall into 3 categories. Drugs, surgery or natural medications.
Prostate Surgery -
If the symptoms of BPH are severe and causing major problems such as complete inability to empty the bladder, then surgery is the best and probably the only option.. This can take several forms, but the most common is known as TURP.
TURP is performed without cutting and access to the prostate is through the urethra. An instrument is inserted which removes any obstructive tissue, easing the pressure thus relieving the BPH symptoms. TURP is a relatively safe operation.
Drug Treatments -
For those whoses BPH symptoms are not severe - or for those who hate the thought of surgery! - There are two main types of BPH medication.
Hormones - For example Finasteride (Proscar). Hormones work by interfering with the male hormone, testosterone. It is a slow acting and long term treatment. The side effects can be impotence and erection failure.
Alpha Blockers - These act by relaxing the muscle in the prostate itself which prevents urine flow. This is faster acting than the hormone approach but the side effects are weakness and lethargy.
Alternative BPH Treatment
These herbal remedies can be extremely effective without the side effects of drugs. For more information visit the site below.
This article is for informational use only. It is important to seek medical advice if you are experiencing BPH symptoms.
Copyright 2006 Wendy Owen
About The Author
Wendy Owen is a health writer and researcher.