With age comes the onset of many new medical conditions, and for most men, enlarged prostate is one of those changes. Also known as benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), an enlarged prostate occurs when the prostate gland, which surrounds the urethra, begins to grow larger.
An enlarged prostate can be uncomfortable. When the prostate expands, fluid has trouble passing through the urethra out of the body. However, an enlarged prostate is a benign condition that does not increase the likelihood of developing prostate cancer.
If you have an enlarged prostate, you may notice symptoms including:
While the exact cause of enlarged prostate is unknown, certain variables may account for the development of the condition.
Age is a key factor in the likelihood that you will experience an enlarged prostate. In fact, if you live long enough, you will probably experience the condition later in life, according to the U.S. National Library of Medicine. An estimated 90% of men older than the age of 80 have an enlarged prostate.
Hormones may also play a role in an enlarged prostate. If you already had an enlarged prostate and had your testicles removed, your prostate will become smaller.
Your doctor may perform a digital rectal exam to feel the prostate gland. Your doctor may also recommend other tests, including:
MultiCare Urology specialists have access to a variety of treatments to manage an enlarged prostate. Depending on severity of symptoms, your doctor may first elect to wait and watch how the condition progresses. They may also recommend lifestyle changes, such as avoiding alcohol and caffeine, consuming fluids slowly, exercising regularly and minimizing stress.
If more aggressive treatment is needed, your doctor may recommend one of the following clinical options:
After treatment, you may need to take medication that will prevent symptoms from coming back or worsening. You may also need multiple courses of treatment to manage symptoms.