Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia: What Men Should Know


Benign prostatic hyperplasia affects almost all men as they approach midlife, therefore it is often called an age thing. Sometimes it produces symptoms, sometimes not. The condition cannot be prevented, but can be treated with medications targeted at a man’s specific needs or may not require treatment at all. Treatment will depend on whether the condition gets worse and what symptoms are present. There is an overview of pharmacological treatment options at, though the majority of men need them only when symptoms disrupt their normal life.

Here’s what men should know about the condition:

What does benign prostatic hyperplasia mean? It means the non-cancerous enlargement of the prostate tissue due to increase in the reproduction of its cell. It indicates that the gland has grown, possibly affecting the reproductive and urinary systems, but is by no means linked to prostate cancer development.

What are the causes? Aging, natural hormonal changes and family history are generally attributed to the condition. High dihydrotestosterone level that accumulates in older men prostate is the prime suspect in prostate enlargement. Other risk factors are sedentary lifestyle, obesity and erectile dysfunction.

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What are the symptoms? The symptoms are all micturition related – increased urination frequency, difficulty starting, dribbling, pain, not being able to completely empty the bladder or urinate at all.

Is it life threatening? The condition is considered harmless unless a man is bothered with urinary symptoms that interfere with his lifestyle. However, there are sometimes serious cases that can be present with symptoms that may cause kidney failure. Thus, in severe cases the enlargement can completely block the urine flow, causing bladder damage. It can also give rise to urinary tract infections, bladder stones and kidney obstruction.

How is it treated? If the condition doesn’t provoke bothersome symptoms no treatment is given. Otherwise, medications like Proscar that shrinks the prostate and helps relax bladder muscles resolve many cases. Sometimes surgical procedures that remove part of the gland or open more space for the urethra may be required.


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