The prostate is a male sex gland about the size of a ‘langsat’, located below the urinary bladder. The bladder stores urine produced by the kidneys. The prostate encircles the urethra which is a tube that carries urine from bladder through the penis.
WHAT IS BPH?
Benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) is a non-cancerous enlargement of the prostate. BPH makes urination difficult for most men over age 50 and is characterized by symptoms of urinary obstruction and irritation that resembles those of other prostate disorders.
WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS OF BPH?
The symptoms are :
Interruptions in the urinary stream
Hesitation before beginning to urinate
A feeling that the bladder is still full after urinating
Dribbling after urination
Weak urinary stream
Frequent urination, especially at night
An urgent need to urinate
HOW DOES BPH AFFECT QUALITY OF LIFE?
Many men adapt their lifestyle to cope with their symptoms until these grow so bothersome that they are forced to seek medical attention, or wait till medical complications arise.Most men will mistakenly assume that any bothersome urinary problems they may be experiencing are simply a part of growing old. In many instances, however, this is not the case. They could be suffering from a common and treatable condition, BPH.
A common consequence of BPH is a bigger risk of contracting urinary tract infections.
Advanced BPH can have a devastating effect on a man’s lifestyle. Men with this disease often suffer psychologically, planning their daily activities around the availability of toilet facilities. Others live in fear of possible surgery, or worry that it could be cancer. For many, the need to urinate frequently makes it impossible to get a good night’s sleep.
WHAT CAUSES BPH?
The prostate weighs only a few grams at birth but release of the male sex hormone, testosterone during puberty causes it to grow. By the time a man reaches the age of 20, his prostate weighs about 20 grams. Around the age of 45, the prostate begins to grow again for some unknown reason. As the prostate enlarges, it squeezes the urethra, restricting the flow of urine from the bladder and out of the body. Research has shown that the major factor creating the urinary symptoms of BPH is the increased tension of the enlarged smooth muscle of the prostate.
HOW COMMON IS BPH?
BPH occurs in more than half of men in their sixties, and up to 85 percent of those in their eighties