Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia is a very common condition among the elderly male population in our nation. A good number of our elderly men have been showing increasing worries concerning their difficulty with Urination, especially as they age, and hence the need for this publication.
What is Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH)?
Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia is a disease condition of the prostate gland that occurs when there is an abnormal increase in size (enlargement) of the prostate gland.
It is also known as Benign Prostatic Hypertrophy.
What is the Prostate Gland?
The Prostate gland is a gland found only in males (men), that is responsible for producing some portion of the male semen (the whitish, milkfish substance that is released during sex and ejaculation), and hence is important for fertility and reproduction.
It is also important for Urination, as the male Urethra (the place/pipe where urine passes through to leave the body) passes through the Prostate gland. Hence when there is a problem with the Prostate gland, the man would have a difficulty in passing urine.
Most people with BPH are usually elderly, in their fifties & sixties, generally healthy-looking but may have this urine odour around them.
What is the Cause of Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia?
The cause of BPH is unknown but there are Known factors that can predispose you to develop the disease. They include;
- Age: It is usually common among men in their old age (50 years and above). This doesn’t mean that it cannot happen to younger men.
- Race: it is common among blacks.
How do I Notice Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia?
The symptoms of BPH are diverse and vary from patient to patient. Suspect BPH, If you see/are someone who;
- Is always urinating very often (every less than 2 hours).
- Cannot hold urine for long or postpone urination, have to urinate as soon as you start feeling pressed.
- Have to strain/use much strength/pressure for the urine to come out.
- Have to spend some time when you get to the toilet before the urine starts coming out.
- When the urine comes out, you tend to Urinate & stop, and start again, and stop. Just like that.
- After urinating, you still feel like your bladder is not empty, and that there is still some urine left there.
- Do you urinate so much at night? This is common with BPH.
- Some people might have some form of pain when urinating.
- When it is severe, the person cannot urinate at all, they would have retention and the abdomen would be swollen (they might be unaware of this).
- Others would have problems with sexual Performance & Abnormal ejaculations.
- You might notice blood in your urine. See a doctor immediately you notice this because it can also be a sign of Cancer of the Prostate.
Treatment For Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia
Anyone with BPH should go to the hospital immediately to see a doctor (especially a Urologist.) If You do not know where to find one, Just go the any Federal Medical Centre or Teaching Hospital in Your State.
The management of BPH involves;
- Catheter: Used to enable the patient to pass out urine & relieve the Urinary retention first.
- Medication: Use of drugs like Prazocine. Do not take drugs without a doctors prescription.
- Surgery: This is the main treatment for BPH. Your doctor would tell you the surgery options that is suitable for you. TURP (Transurethral Resection of the Prostate) is the gold standard.
Food substances like Onions & Garlic have been helpful in the management of patients with BPH.
Effects of Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (What BPH can Cause):
An enlarging prostate gland in a man can cause problems with
- Fertility: due to the function of the prostate gland in the production of semen, as well the closeness of the gland to other fertility organs (Seminal vesicles, VAS, etc), there could be problem with infertility and getting a woman pregnant.
- Urination: as a result of the urethra passing through the Prostate, enlargement of the prostate can compress the Urethra, and cause difficulty with passing out Urine.
- Defecation: in the same way that the Prostate can compress the Urethra, an enlarging prostate gland can also compress the rectum (where the faeces pass through), thereby causing constipation.
- Infections & Stone Formation: the retention of urine can also predispose you to have recurrent infections, stone formation, stone formation & further obstruction
Self-Care/Preventive Strategies for Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia
- Do not delay urination
- Avoid alcohol/ caffeine drinks especially at night
- Do not drink too much fluid late into the night
- Exercise regularly
- Keep warm
- Pelvic exercise Kegel’s (you can find this on youtube)
- Reduce anxiety
Other conditions that can mimic Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia
These conditions share similar symptoms with BPH. They are
- Cancer of the Prostate (read here)
- Bladder Stones
Let us continue to raise the awareness of people about BPH by sharing this write up.