Enlarged Prostate

What is an Enlarged Prostate?

Benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), or Enlarged Prostate, is a common urological condition caused by the non-cancerous enlargement of the prostate gland as men get older. As the prostate enlarges, it can squeeze down on the urethra.

In the early stage of prostate enlargement, the bladder muscle becomes thicker and forces urine through the narrowed urethra by contracting more powerfully. As a result, the bladder muscle may become more sensitive, causing a need to urinate more often and more suddenly.

Enlarged Prostate Symptoms

The symptoms associated with BPH can cause men to have trouble urinating, and are known as lower urinary tract symptoms (LUTS). The symptoms include:

  • Urinary problems such as difficulty urinating or a weak urinary stream
  • Stopping and starting during urination or significant dribbling after urination
  • Incomplete emptying of the bladder or blockage or urinary flow
  • Having to urinate again shortly after urination
  • Frequent urination, especially at night
  • Urgent need to urinate
  • Blood in the urine

Just because you may have an enlarged prostate, doesn’t mean you have to live with it for the rest of your life. There are treatment options for BPH, two of which are minimally invasive in-office procedures. Your urologist will be able to determine which procedure is right for you based on your symptoms and the severity of BPH.  

It is important to note that the symptoms of an enlarged prostate could relate to a number of things, including prostate cancer and prostatitis. Contact a Urologist to schedule a urinalysis, Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA) blood test, and/or prostate exam to detect early symptoms and signs of potential issues within the prostate.

Enlarged Prostate Causes & Risk Factors

The top three risk factors for developing BPH include:

Age

The older you are, the more likely you are to have an enlarged prostate. Even though it’s not known why this is, many men will experience symptoms around age 50 and even more so later in life. This is why it’s important to care for your prostate as you age, through exercising, eating well, and reducing stress.

Lifestyle

Obesity increases your risk of getting BPH as you age, as well as other unhealthy lifestyle factors such as smoking, eating lots of sugar and bad fats, meats, and having a sedentary job. Keeping active as well as exercising and eating well can decrease your risk for having an enlarged prostate.

Family History

Having a male relative who’s had BPH or other prostate problems could mean you may develop issues with your prostate as well. It’s always good to educate yourself about your health and know about your family’s medical history. This way, you can discuss with your doctor what your risk is and how you can help minimize it.

Even though you might have age and a family history against you, lifestyle factors should not be neglected. In fact, this should be even more reason to have a healthy lifestyle. You can still take control of your health and do good things for your body by staying active and maintaining your healthy lifestyle.

If you have one or several risk factors for BPH, talk with your doctor even before you experience symptoms. Since many men experience BPH later in life, chances are you may have an enlarged prostate at some point in your life. Consider your age and inquire about your family history, but don’t forget to exercise, reduce stress, and eat well — this could help you minimize your chances of getting BPH even if you have a family history.

ENLARGED PROSTATE CANCER

There are two treatment options for an enlarged prostate, both of which are completed in-office and minimally invasive. These include Rezūm™ Water Vapor Therapy treatment and the UroLift® System.

Rezūm™

Rezūm™ is a treatment for BPH that uses the stored thermal energy in water vapor to treat extra prostate tissue and relieve symptoms.

Men choose to treat their BPH with Rezūm™ because it:

  • Offers an alternative to BPH medications.
  • Relieves symptoms safely and effectively.
  • Provides noticeable symptom improvement within two weeks.
  • Is a simple in-office/ outpatient therapy, done without general anesthesia, that allows patients to return to regular activities within a few days.
  • Preserves sexual and urinary functions

UroLift®

UroLift® is a one-time, in-office solution that provides rapid relief and recovery from BPH symptoms. The UroLift® System uses a revolutionary approach to treating BPH that lifts and holds the prostate tissue so it no longer blocks the urethra.

It is the only BPH treatment that does not require heating, cutting, or removal of the prostate tissue. The procedure is typically performed using a local anesthesia in your Urologist’s office.

The benefits of UroLift® include:

  • Doesn’t cause new onset, sustained erectile or ejaculatory dysfunction
  • Minimally invasive
  • Minimal downtime
  • Durable results
  • Rapid symptom relief and recovery
  • Significant improvement in the quality of life

As with any medical treatment, individual results may vary. Most men see great relief from their BPH symptoms with UroLift® and Rezūm™. View the entire list of in-office procedures and treatments we offer for men with enlarged prostates.

FAQs

A Prostate-Specific Antigen Test is a lab test that measures the amount of PSA in the bloodstream. The antigens are mainly found in seminal fluid, but a small amount of PSAs will make their way into the bloodstream. This generally isn’t a concern unless there’s a significantly high amount found in the bloodwork, which can indicate different types of inflammation or cancer. 

Working alongside a urologist is a crucial first step in protecting prostate health. It’s essential to have PSA levels routinely checked so medical providers can begin the process of confirming a diagnosis and recommending treatment if necessary. The three common prostate issues — BPH, prostatitis, and prostate cancer — can all be confirmed through PSA testing. Learn more by reading our blog.

Once men get into their 40s, 50s and 60s, many notice the effects of an enlarged prostate. A man in his 40s may have a prostate the size of an apricot, while the prostate of a man in his 60s may be the size of a lemon. Learn more by reading our blog.

Greenlight™ and Thulium Laser Vaporization, Minimally Invasive Thermotherapy, and Transurethral Resection of the Prostate (TURP) are all surgical procedures that can be considered to remedy an enlarged prostate. Learn more about our procedures here.

Treating Enlarged Prostate with the Urologists of the Carolinas

If you think you are at risk for an enlarged prostate, or you would like a physical exam to check your overall urinary tract health, then contact us to schedule an appointment. Our board-certified urologists will listen to your symptoms and work with you to determine next steps for treating your symptoms. 

In the meantime, check out our Man-to-Man Guide on Healthy Aging! Learn what health concerns to look for at each stage of your life with this guide.

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