Enlarged Prostate – Symptoms
An Enlarged Prostate can show various different signs and symptoms. Some of the common symptoms include:
- Frequent urges to urinate
- Urinating more than your usual frequency at night (nocturia)
- Difficulty at the start of urination every time
- Weak, irregular urine stream
- Dribbling at the end of urination
- Inability to completely void your bladder
Few symptoms that are observed quite rarely include:
- Urinary tract infection
- Inability to urinate
- Blood in your urine
It is found that in some men, symptoms usually stabilize and even improve with time.
Enlarged Prostate – Causes
Prostate enlargement or BPH does not have a clear, definite cause. However there are certain factors that increase the risk of developing an Enlarged Prostate. These may include:
- Family history
- Diabetes and heart disease
- Aging – Enlarged Prostate is usually observed in men above age 40. It is speculated that a Prostate enlargement may occur due to changes in hormonal balance with increasing age.
Enlarged Prostate – Diagnosis
Your doctor may perform a physical exam which will include:
- Digital Rectal Exam – the doctor will insert a gloved finger inside the rectum to check for an Enlarged Prostate
- Urine Test – to check for indications of infections
- Blood Test – to check for any complications in the kidney
- Prostate-Specific Antigen (PSA) Blood Test – a high value of PSA in blood may indicate an Enlarged Prostate.
Your doctor may also recommend additional tests to check the strength, amount and frequency of your urine flow, along with your ability to void the bladder completely.
In case you have a complex condition, your doctor may order further tests such as –
- Trans-rectal ultrasound – An ultrasound probe is inserted into your rectum to measure and evaluate your prostate.
- Prostate biopsy – A biopsy can help your doctor check for prostate cancer.
- Urodynamic and pressure flow study – It uses a meter to measure the pressure needed on the bladder for you to urinate.
Cystoscopy – A lighted, flexible tube with a camera is inserted into your urethra, allowing your doctor to examine the insides of your urethra and bladder.
Enlarged Prostate – Treatment
Your doctor may ask you to be watchful of your symptoms and just take at-home care without undergoing any other treatment. You may also be prescribed medication to ease urination.
Keeping in mind the severity of your symptoms as well as the size and shape of your prostate gland, your doctor may recommend one of the following surgical procedures:
Most men who undergo prostate surgery experience improvement in urine flow rates and symptoms.
Enlarged Prostate – Risks & Complications
Although BPH surgery is quite effective, there is a small risk of developing complications. These may include –
- Temporary difficulty in urination
- Urinary tract infection
- Dry orgasm
- Erectile dysfunction (impotence)
- Heavy bleeding
- Loss of voluntary control over passing urine (urine incontinence)
Dropped sodium level in blood.
Enlarged Prostate – Pre Op Care
- Inform your doctor about ongoing medication well in advance.
- You may be prescribed antibiotics to prevent a Urinary Tract Infection.
- You may be given enema to clear your bowels.
Enlarged Prostate – Post Op Care
- Avoid strenuous activity.
- Drink plenty of water.
- Consume fibrous food.
- Use a stool softener if recommended by your doctor.
- Avoid intercourse.
- Do not take any blood-thinning medications until directed by your doctor.
- Start light pelvic-floor exercises to regain bladder control.
- Avoid driving.