Benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), an enlarged prostate, is a common condition that affects men. This condition is part of the normal aging process and is common in men aged forty and older. Between thirty-one and forty, about one in twelve men have an enlarged prostate but this prevalence increases to fifty percent among men aged fifty-one to sixty and about ninety percent for men over eighty.
While benign prostatic hyperplasia is not a serious or life-threatening condition, symptoms can interfere with daily life. An enlarged prostate largely causes urinary symptoms such as a weak or interrupted urine flow, difficulty initiating a urine stream, and trouble emptying the bladder. It can also result in an increased risk of urinary infections and treatment for the condition may cause other issues. The following are the most common signs of benign prostatic hyperplasia.
Over time, the bladder will start to contract even when it only has a small amount of urine and cause the need to urinate more frequently and urgently. This can be one of the most problematic symptoms of an enlarged prostate, and it can make it impossible to get through a short flight let alone a night without getting up to use the restroom. Along with frequent urination, especially at night, you may experience a sense of urgency with urinary leakage and dribbling after you are done urinating.
There are a few ways to relieve this symptom. Taking more time to empty your bladder as completely as possible can reduce the number of trips you need to make to the restroom. Avoiding fluids in the evening may also help. Alcoholic and caffeinated drinks should be avoided in the evening because they can stimulate the kidneys to make more urine and affect the bladder’s muscle tone.
Reveal the next sign of benign prostatic hyperplasia now.
Difficulty Beginning To Urinate
Urine flows from the bladder and through the urethra. As the prostate becomes enlarged, it pinches the urethra and narrows the opening. This forces the bladder to contract with more force to push urine through the urethra. For most men, difficulty beginning to urinate is one of the first signs of benign prostate hyperplasia. A hesitant urine stream may also be weak and get interrupted. Once you are done urinating, you may experience dribbling or urinary leakage.
This urine hesitancy often develops slowly as BPH progresses. Some men don’t notice it at all until they are unable to urinate at all, a condition called urinary retention, which can lead to a swollen bladder and discomfort. Difficulty initiating a urine flow can also be the result of a urinary infection, including prostatitis.
Get to know more symptoms of this condition now.
Blood In The Urine
Blood in the urine is always alarming, but it isn’t always a sign of something seriously wrong. Visible or microscopic blood in the urine, known as hematuria, is a possible sign of an enlarged prostate. Benign prostatic hyperplasia often causes vascular enlargement of the prostate directly related to hematuria. As the prostate grows, it presses on the urethra, which can irritate the bladder walls. It’s this pressure and irritation of the bladder that can lead to pain during urination and loss of bladder control. The irritation can also enlarge and even tear veins on the inner surface of the prostate which may cause hematuria. Hematuria can also be the result of a sudden stretching of the bladder wall. This bleeding is not painful and, while it should be checked out by a doctor, is rarely serious. It takes very little blood to visibly discolor the urine red or brown.
Learn about more signs of an enlarged prostate now.
Urinary Tract Infection
While urinary tract infections (UTIs) are uncommon in men, benign prostatic hyperplasia makes developing a UTI more likely. This is because the bladder can’t empty completely after urinating which increases the risk of a urinary tract infection. When urine remains in the bladder, bacteria can better grow and develop into an infection. A UTI comes with its own symptoms including a frequent and intense need to urinate, cloudy and foul-smelling urine, a burning sensation during urination, pain in the lower abdomen, and fever.
Urinary tract infections are very uncommon in men under fifty but about twenty to fifty percent of men after the age fifty experience at least one UTI and it’s usually associated with an enlarged prostate or prostatitis.
Reveal another sign of benign prostatic hyperplasia now.
Inability To Empty The Bladder Completely
As the prostate continues to enlarge, the bladder muscle gets thicker, stronger, and more sensitive. This is likely due, in part, to the greater force the bladder must exert to push urine through the pinched urethra. As the enlargement advances, the bladder muscle becomes unable to overcome the narrowing of the urethra. As the walls of the bladder thicken and get stronger, the bladder is no longer able to pull itself together to squeeze out urine. This leads to an inability to empty the bladder completely. A small amount of urine will remain in the bladder after urinating. Benign prostatic hyperplasia may leave you with the feeling your bladder has not been fully emptied, and you may notice a weak urine flow.
Continue reading to uncover another common symptom of BPH.
A Weak Stream
Affecting almost fifty percent of men by the age of sixty, BPH is a frustrating and common issue. As the male ages, his prostate can become enlarged, pressing on the urethra and on part of the bladder, resulting in a weak stream when urinating. Specifically, the muscles around the urethra tighten up, making it difficult for the man to urinate, resulting in a weak and slow stream. This does not necessarily mean the male will develop prostate cancer, but it does indicate that they could have BPH or another urinary condition. However, it can cause problems, such as bladder and kidney damage, and incontinence. One way to improve a weak urine stream is to do kegel exercises. For instance, the patient can stand or sit on the toilet and contract the muscles that allow them to stop and start the flow of urine, holding it for five to ten seconds. These exercises should be done five to fifteen times, three to five times a week to help improve bladder control and function.
Learn about another recognizable symptom of BPH now.
Another common and easily recognizable symptom of BPH is the dribbling of urine a patient may experience. When the bladder muscles are strong and there is no resistance to the flow of urine, the bladder will empty quickly and completely with no complications. The few drops that remain can simply be squeezed out. However, when a man is experiencing BPH and their urinary system is significantly weakened, more than a few drops will remain in the bladder or urethra waiting for the final push. The man may think he is done, but unfortunately, he is not and trace amounts of urine will always remain due to the weakened muscles around the urethra not contracting properly, thus causing the dribbling to occur.
Keep reading to find out about another surprising symptom of BPH.
Constant Urination During The Night
Waking up constantly in the middle of the night to urinate is a medical condition known as nocturia. While most adults are able to sleep at least six to eight hours throughout the night uninterrupted, an individual dealing with BPH might find themselves waking up several times or more during the night to relieve themselves. Unfortunately, nocturia has many side effects as well. Besides feeling like they were up all night long, the patient may also feel extremely tired and fatigued, as nocturia can negatively affect their quality of life such as putting them at an increased risk of nighttime falls, depression, and decreasing their work efficiency, among other problems. Nocturia is also prevalent in men over the age of sixty, and an enlarged prostate and benign prostatic hyperplasia are the common causes of this condition as well. What happens is the enlarged prostate can close off the urethra, causing the bladder to contract harder to push out urine, eventually weakening the bladder and resulting in frequent urination throughout the night.
Discover the various complications BPH can cause now.
If left untreated, prostate and bladder issues can create immense complications for many men. For one, the bladder can become irritated as urine will become backed up rather than released due to BPH, and the symptoms associated with BPH can begin to affect a patient’s daily life. For instance, for some men, it might become incredibly difficult to control their bladder, or they might wet the bed at night or not be able to reach the bathroom in time when they urgently need to. Another complication is a patient can develop a urinary tract infection or bladder stones as well. Some signs of BPH are not as common, but can signal that the patient has a more complicated or advanced stage of BPH than believed, such as if they experience burning or pain when they urinate, blood in their urine or they cannot urinate at all because the urethra is blocked, requiring immediate medical attention.
Next, reveal when it is the right time for a patient to see a doctor.
When To See A Doctor
If a male patient is experiencing symptoms of BPH and is concerned about their prostate health, they should consider consulting their doctor about their symptoms. On the other hand, some men may not be too bothered by their symptoms, but either way, it is imperative that a man speaks to their doctor about any urinary issues they experience. For one, it can be difficult to predict how BPH will turn out and men should not assume the problem will resolve itself. A doctor will want to rule out other possible conditions that can cause urinary issues of course and some symptoms might need immediate medical attention as well, making it essential that a man visits his doctor sooner rather than later. Also, if a male patient is experiencing certain symptoms, such as they cannot urinate at all, urinating frequently and it’s painful and accompanied by fever and chills, bloody urine, or they feel a significant pain in the lower abdominal region and urinary tract, then visiting a doctor is imperative at this point as well.