An enlarged prostate, or benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) can affect men in several ways including how and when he urinates. Learn how an enlarged prostate affects urination.
Just The Facts
By the time a man turns 60, he has a 50/50 chance of having an enlarged prostate. Men turning 85 years of age can expect that percentage to rise to 90%.
This tiny gland is important because it expels the semen during ejaculation. It starts out being the size of a walnut, but begins to grow larger around middle age. It can grow to the size of an apricot or even a lemon.
Since it is located just below the bladder where it connects with the urethra, its size begins to interfere with the urethra, which not only carries semen, but also urine. The larger the prostate becomes, it presses against the urethra and the bladder wall thickens. At some point the bladder can weaken, and it can lose the ability to fully empty.
Although many men will have an enlarged prostate, not all men will have the symptoms around urination.
Common Symptoms Of BPH
An enlarged prostate affects urination several ways.
If you notice any of the following symptoms talk to Dr. Steven Gange:
- Difficulty starting to urinate
- A weak or interrupted urinary stream
- Frequent urination sometimes several times an hour and during the night
- The inability to completely empty the bladder
- Feeling that you need to urgently “go”
Unless you begin some treatment for BPH symptoms, it can affect your life in significant ways. Many men avoid social situations for fear they may not make it to a bathroom. Urge incontinence can become a constant part of a man’s life causing depression and loneliness.
Although having an enlarged prostate does not increase your risk for prostate cancer, other serious complications can occur, including urinary tract infections, bladder and kidney damage, bladder stones, or a sudden inability to urinate.
There are multiple treatments available for the symptoms of BPH including medications, non-invasive procedures and surgery.