Enlarged prostate, or BPH, is one of the most common urological conditions that a man can encounter as he gets older. It can cause uncomfortable urinary symptoms, such as blocking the flow of urine out of the bladder and other urinary tract, bladder, or kidney problems. Statistics show that 50% of men over the age of 50 will have BPH, then 60% over 60, and so forth, increasing by 10% with every decade of life.
BPH may not be problematic in all men, it just means that the prostate is getting larger. When the prostate gets too large, it is the equivalent of choking a hose. What's going to happen is as it gets bigger, it starts choking the urethra, causing an obstruction in the flow of urine as it comes out of the bladder.
As that happens, the bladder starts straining more and more to be able to push the urine out. Over time, the bladder becomes fatigued from pushing against an obstruction, and leads to symptoms related to what is called an overactive bladder. Urine will be retained in the bladder, the bladder becomes thick, the flow of the urine is not very strong, and the bladder starts being weak in terms of pushing. So, you start having increased urination urgency and frequency and waking up at night to urinate.
An enlarged prostate left untreated may lead to worsening urinary symptoms and significant bother to the patient. Allowing effects to start occurring with the bladder may also lead to urinary tract infections, urinary incontinence, blood in the urine, development of bladder and kidney stones, kidney failure and finally the complete inability to urinate, necessitating placement of a catheter into the bladder. Over time, as a prostate gets bigger, and the symptoms become more predominant, it is very important for men to seek help from a urologist.
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