Health problems are your body’s way of telling you something is wrong. This is why it’s always important to listen to your body and not ignore any symptoms you’re experiencing. This is especially true for benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), which is very common in men over 40. In fact, up to 90% of men will experience symptoms of BPH by age 80 (source: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1477638/).
Don’t ignore the following symptoms of BPH. See your urologist as soon as possible to get tested.
This is one symptom that can sneak up on you. The enlargement of your prostate gland can put pressure on your urethra, which runs through your prostate. This can bring on some trouble with urination, including frequent urination. At first, you may be going to the bathroom just one or two times more a day. Over time this can increase to many more times per day. Frequent urination is a common symptom of BPH.
Frequent urination can be very frustrating—having to find a bathroom or be near one, getting up in the night to urinate, and drinking fluids like caffeine that can make you feel as if you have to go more often can all be life-altering. Get checked out by your doctor if you begin to feel the need to urinate frequently, because it could be a sign of BPH.
Difficulty Starting Urination
If you have BPH, you may have trouble beginning the process of urination. You may feel you have to strain to begin urination. This, too, can be frustrating and worrisome.
If you’re having difficulty starting urination in addition to some of the other symptoms of BPH or even if you have it as a solo symptom, it’s still important to get checked out. Many of the symptoms of BPH overlap with symptoms of other lower urinary tract symptoms that could range from an infection to prostate cancer. As BPH is very common, getting diagnosed with this can get you on the path to being treated.
Weak Urine Stream
Once you do begin to urinate, you may experience a weak urine stream if you have BPH. This could be the result of the enlargement of the prostate pressing on your urethra, which is the duct through which urine exits the body as well as semen. Since the urethra goes though the prostate, men with BPH may experience lower urinary tract symptoms.
Some men with BPH may not experience any symptoms at all. The treatment for BPH will depend on the severity of your symptoms. A weak urine stream could be indicative of BPH, especially when combined with frequent urination and difficulty starting urination.
Inability to Wait
In the average person, the bladder can hold about two cups of urine. This means that if you’re properly hydrated, urinating up to six times a day is normal. However, men with BPH may feel like they need to go more often, and they may feel as if they can’t wait to go once they feel the urge.
Feeling as if you can’t hold your urine once your bladder has signaled to your brain that you need to go can be a symptom of BPH. This is a symptom that you’ll likely want to manage upon your diagnosis with your urologist. Don’t live with this symptom—see your urologist.
One of the most important reasons to not ignore the symptoms of BPH is the fact that these lower urinary tract symptoms can be indicative of another condition. You’ll want to ensure you don’t have an infection that can be life-threatening or have prostate cancer. Since BPH is very common, getting diagnosed is important because there are treatment options for your symptoms. See your urologist if you’re experiencing any symptoms of BPH.