Benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), also known as an enlarged prostate, is a common condition that usually affects men as they age. The prostate is a donut-shaped gland that sits below the bladder and surrounds the urethra. Below are the BPH symptoms to watch for as you age.
Men with BPH may develop various urinary symptoms as the prostate increases in size and disrupts the natural flow of urine. Although BPH is often considered a normal part of aging, urinary symptoms can be disruptive and concerning.
BPH Symptoms To Watch For
These are the BPH symptoms to watch for as you age.
- Frequent Urination: BPH can result in the frequent need to urinate.
- Waking at Night to Urinate: Waking at night to urinate, especially several times, is a common symptom of BPH. The medical term for this is nocturia.
- Urinary Urgency: A common symptom of BPH is a sudden and strong urge to urinate that may be difficult to control.
- Weak Urine Stream: Many men with BPH experience a weak, slow urine stream. Some men may also experience a urine stream that starts and stops before the bladder feels emptied.
- Straining to Urinate: Pushing or straining to initiate or maintain a stream may be caused by BPH.
- Dribbling: Some men experience dribbling of urine after they feel like they have finished urinating.
- Difficulty Initiating a Stream: BPH can lead some men to experience difficulty initiating or maintaining a urine stream.
- Feeling Unable to Empty the Bladder: Men with BPH commonly feel they cannot empty their bladder completely.
- Discolored or Foul Smelling Urine: If your urine is discolored or foul smelling, it can indicate there is an underlying infection. Men with BPH may be more prone to infections of the bladder (UTI).
- Pain or Discomfort: Discomfort or pain before, during, or after urination can be caused by BPH. Some may also experience a sensation of pressure in the lower abdomen or pelvis. In some cases, men can also experience pain after ejaculation with BPH.
Am I At Risk of Developing BPH?
Doctors are unsure why the prostate enlarges as men age but have determined that certain factors may increase the risk of developing BPH. You may be more likely to develop BPH if you:
- Are over the age of 40.
- Have a family history of BPH.
- Have certain health conditions, including obesity, heart disease or poor circulation, type 2 diabetes, and erectile dysfunction.
- Live a sedentary lifestyle.
If you think you may have BPH, your doctor will ask for your medical history, including your current health conditions, symptoms, medicines you take, and your family history. Your doctor may also want to examine you by performing a digital rectal exam (DRE). For a DRE, your doctor will insert a gloved finger into your rectum to feel if the prostate is large, tender, or irregular.
If necessary, your doctor may also order other various medical tests or procedures like urine tests, blood tests, or urodynamic testing to see how well you can hold and release urine. They may recommend a cystoscopy to look inside the urethra and bladder. An ultrasound may be needed to visualize the prostate. A prostate biopsy may be performed in certain situations to rule out prostate cancer.
When to See Your Doctor For BPH
Signs and symptoms of BPH can also be caused by other conditions, like urinary tract infections and prostate cancer. It’s important to see a doctor to rule out more serious problems. If the cause is determined to be BPH, your doctor can help you with treatment options to improve inconvenient and uncomfortable BPH symptoms.
Get your life back and solve your BPH problems – schedule an appointment today!