Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH) is a common urological condition caused by the non-cancerous enlargement of the prostate gland.
The word ‘benign
’ means that the enlargement is not caused by cancer or infection. The word ‘hyperplasia
’ means enlargement. It is also known as Benign Enlargement of Prostate (BEP).
is a walnut sized gland that is part of the male reproductive system. It is located below the urinary bladder and surrounds the upper portion of the urethra (the tube that carries urine out of the body). The main function of the prostate gland is to produce fluid for the semen
As the prostate gland
increases in size it causes the gland to pinch against the urethra like a clamp on a garden-hose. As a result it can put pressure on the urethra and slow down or cut off the flow of urine. The bladder wall becomes thicker and irritable leading to contraction of bladder even when it contains small amounts of urine, causing more frequent urination. Eventually, the bladder weakens and loses the ability to empty itself.
The size of the prostate does not always determine how severe the obstruction or the symptoms will be. Some men with greatly enlarged glands have little obstruction and few symptoms while others whose glands are less enlarged, have more blockage and greater problems. Sometimes a man may not know that he has any obstruction until he suddenly finds that he is unable pass urine at all.
A variety of treatment approaches can help solve BPH
problems. To provide relief from BPH symptoms, medications
may be needed to relax the muscles of the prostate, or to block hormones that cause prostatic growth, or to relax the bladder and improve continence. Surgery
is recommended for people who have not been able to successfully treat the condition with other treatment options.