What is Benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH)
Benign prostate hyperplasia (likewise known as prostate enlargement) is a non-malignant enlargement of the prostate gland. It is an age-related disease. The usual onset is 40 years and above.
The prostate gland is a small, squishy, pin pong ball sized gland located in front of the rectum and between the penis and the bladder. The urethra runs through the center of the prostate from the bladder to the penis. The prostate produces the fluid that carries sperm during ejaculation.
The prostate fluid is a major component of semen. During ejaculation, sperm (spermatozoa) move through a tube called the vas deferens from the testes (sperm-producing organs) into the prostate. The prostate muscles then contract to close off the opening between the bladder and the urethra to prevent mixture with urine in the urethra.
Then the prostate fluid is released into the urethra, pushing semen(a fluid secreted by seminal vesical) out of the body. One of the major enzymes of prostate fluid is the prostate-specific antigen(PSA). PSA liquefy thickened semen after ejaculation.
Note: the prostate fluid mix with the semen(seminal fluid) constitutes 30% of the semen. The other 70% is spermatozoa and seminal fluid.
The cause of benign prostate hyperplasia is unknown, but some of the risk factors are:
- Family history of benign prostate hyperplasia
- Type 2 diabetes mellitus
- Erectile dysfunction
- Lack of exercise
Signs and Symptoms
The main signs of Benign prostatic hyperplasia are symptoms of the lower urinary tract or urination disorders, which may include the following manifestations:
- Urgent need to urinate
- Feeling that the bladder is not empty
- The presence of blood in the urine (Hematuria)
- Dribbling after urination
- Leaking (loss of bladder control)
- Frequent urination at night
- Painful urination
- The digital rectal examination will show palpably enlarged prostate, which is firm, rubbery, and mobile.
- Elevated serum prostate-specific antigen
- Transrectal ultrasound.
The proper treatment of benign prostatic hyperplasia is aimed at relieving the lower urinary tract symptoms, enhance the patient’s quality of life, and prevent complications. The treatment options include:
- Alpha-blockers such as Doxazosin, tamsulosin, and terazosin.
- 5-alpha reductase inhibitors (5ARIs) such as Finasteride and dutasteride
- Urinary catheterization
- Transurethral resection of the prostate
- Lifestyle changes include avoiding alcohol, salty, spicy, fried, fatty food, and caffeine, urinating immediately when you feel the urge to reduce your stress level.
Note: If you have the above benign prostatic hyperplasia symptoms, do not hesitate, do not self-medicate, but first seek the advice of a specialist for a proper checkup and the treatment method to enhance your quality of life.