Wondering what Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH) is, or which complications it can cause? You’re in the right place to learn more about this common condition.
BPH is the medical term for an enlarged prostate gland without the presence of prostate cancer. BPH can lead to a variety of symptoms that often affect the overall quality of life for patients.
Understanding these symptoms, along with potential treatment options, can help you make a more informed decision about your health.
Let’s first review exactly what BPH is. With that knowledge in hand, we’ll then take a closer look at common complications of BPH.
What is BPH?
BPH refers to an enlarged prostate gland, as well as the enlargement of tissue surrounding it. Its cause has not been confirmed. Research has identified a variety of potential causes and risk factors, including hormonal changes, genetic predisposition, and obesity.
BPH is a common condition for older men, and its prevalence only increases with age. About half of men between ages 51-60 have BPH. That percentage rises to 80% for men age 70 and older.
Treatment options for BPH include:
- Traditional surgical treatments, such as transurethral resection of the prostate (TURP)
- Focal laser ablation
- Transurethral ultrasound ablation procedures (TULSA-PRO)
BPH complications after surgery vary depending on the specific course of treatment.
BPH specifically means an enlarged prostate and surrounding area that is not caused by prostate cancer. That’s where the “B” (standing for benign) in the term BPH comes from.
It’s important to note that benign refers to the absence of prostate cancer, not the absence of any noticeable symptoms. People suffering from BPH experience a variety of issues related to urination. These symptoms can cause negative impacts on their day-to-day lives.
Additionally, BPH can cause more serious issues over time if left untreated. These include bladder stones, bladder damage, urinary tract infections, and kidney damage in severe cases.
5 Common Complications of Untreated BPH
No. 1: Difficulty Urinating
Because the urethra passes through the prostate, BPH often causes urinary difficulties.
As the prostate enlarges, it can compress the urethra, narrowing it. That makes it more difficult to open the urethra and pass urine through it. People suffering from BPH often find it hard to urinate normally. In other words, to feel that they have easily and fully emptied their bladder.
These general urinary complications can be divided into more specific issues, including:
No. 2: More Frequent Urination and a More Frequent Urge to Urinate
BPH can increase how often a person facing this condition feels the need to urinate. This can cause quality-of-life issues, especially when away from home. This frequent need can disrupt a variety of activities, from work to social activities.
The same issue also arises during the sleep cycle. A frequent urge to urinate at night is called Nocturia. It can be disruptive in terms of getting a full night’s sleep and feeling well-rested the next day.
No. 3: Delayed Onset of Urination
Among untreated BPH complications, delayed onset of urination can feel especially bothersome. It means even more time spent away from whatever activity is at hand.
The combination of a more frequent need to urinate and delayed onset is understandably frustrating. It’s an unwelcome set of changes to a regular bodily function. BPH can take something that was simple and make it feel like a much more complex and difficult process.
No. 4: Involuntary Urination and Urge Incontinence
These two complications of BPH are similar but distinct:
- Involuntary urination refers to any sort of unintended release or discharge of urine from the bladder
- Urge incontinence is a specific type of involuntary urination that occurs following the urge to urinate
Both of these symptoms of BPH can lead to significant quality-of-life issues. When someone suffering from BPH isn’t sure if they can fully control their bladder, it can cause embarrassment and anxiety. They may pull back from responsibilities and leisure outside of the home, or with others.
No. 5: Incomplete Emptying
BPH can also cause the bladder to not fully empty during urination, as well as a sensation that this is occurring. That can lead to a more frequent need to urinate, a feeling of frustration, and other negative outcomes.
Treatment Options for BPH
A variety of treatment options exist for BPH. These include medication and surgical procedures. The specific course of action depends on your diagnosis, symptoms, evaluation by a physician, and response to treatments.
Seeking treatment options for prostate cancer or BPH? Request a consultation today.
NOTE: The information provided on this website is general medical information and does not establish a physician-patient relationship. Please discuss your particular situation with a qualified medical professional.