Prostate Problem Guide
BPH Affects More Than Half Of All Men Above The Age Of 60
BPH stands for benign prostatic hyperplasia (sometimes also called benign prostatic hypertrophy) and is a condition that will affect one man in every two by the age of 60, rising to nine out of every ten men by the age of 80. So what is it?
Well, in plain language, having BPH simply means that you are suffering from a swollen or enlarged prostate.
The prostate, which is situated just below the bladder and in front of the rectum, starts life at about the size of a pea and then grows rapidly during puberty to reach the size of a walnut by a man's early twenties. It then continues to grow very slowly normally throughout life. In many cases however the inner cells of the prostrate begin to show signs of abnormal growth and the prostate gland becomes enlarged to the point at which it may start to interfere with surrounding tissue and organs. At this point it is important to state that this cell growth is confined to the inner cells of the prostate and is not, and should not be confused with, prostate cancer.
The prostate gland is sometimes described as being "donut" shaped with part of the gland being wrapped around the urethra, which carries urine from the bladder out of the body. As the prostate gland enlarges it begins to pinch the urethra causing problems with urinating. This is usually the first sign that you may be suffering from BPH.
As time progresses you may experience a range of problems including difficulty in urinating (problems both starting and stopping the flow of urine), a frequent and urgent need to urinate, a feeling that your bladder is still full even after you have urinated and dribbling after you have finished urinating.
Although BPH is very common it need not necessarily present a problem and for many men the symptoms are so slight they really don't notice it at all, while for other men the problems are relatively minor and they simply don't worry about it. For a significant number of men however the symptoms can be sufficient to warrant one of a range of BPH treatments, usually starting with one or more of a variety of BPH drugs and moving on to surgery if necessary.
The most important thing to remember is that if you start to experience BPH symptoms then the chances are that you are suffering from BPH. This may not however be the case and there are a range of other problems that can produce the same or similar signs.
So, whether it worries you or not, it's always a good idea to check with your doctor if you start to develop BPH symptoms just to be on the safe side.