Benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH)

What is benign prostatic hyperplasia?

Benign prostatic hyperplasia (also called BPH) is a condition that affects the prostate gland in men. The prostate is a gland found between the bladder (where urine is stored) and the urethra (the tube urine passes through). "Benign" means the enlargement isn't caused by cancer or infection. "Hyperplasia" means enlargement as a man matures, the prostate goes through two main periods of growth. The first occurs early in puberty, when the prostate doubles in size. At around age 25, the gland begins to grow again. This second growth phase often results, years later, in BPH. Though the prostate continues to grow during most of a man's life, the enlargement doesn't usually cause problems until late in life. BPH rarely causes symptoms before age 40, but more than half of men in their sixties and as many as 90 percent in their seventies and eighties have some symptoms of BPH.


What are the symptoms of BPH?

Most symptoms of BPH start gradually , Many symptoms of BPH stem from obstruction of the urethra and gradual loss of bladder function, which results in incomplete emptying of the bladder. The symptoms of BPH vary, but the most common ones involve changes or problems with urination, such as

  • a hesitant, interrupted, weak stream of urine

  • urgency and leaking or dribbling

  • more frequent urination, especially at night

    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.


    Men who have BPH with symptoms usually need some kind of treatment at some time. However, a number of researchers have questioned the need for early treatment when the gland is just mildly enlarged. The results of their studies indicate that early treatment may not be needed because the symptoms of BPH clear up without treatment in as many as one-third of all mild cases. Instead of immediate treatment, they suggest regular checkups to watch for early problems. If the condition begins to pose a danger to the patient's health or causes a major inconvenience to him, treatment is usually recommended


    Benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) cannot be cured, so treatment focuses on reducing your symptoms. Treatment is based on how severe your symptoms are, how much they bother you, and whether you have complications. Medications can often control moderate BPH symptoms. Some men respond better to a combination of drugs rather than a single medication. The main options are:

  • Alpha-blockers. by relaxing smooth muscle tissue found in the prostate and the bladder neck. This allows urine to flow out of the bladder more easily.e.g. alfazosin or doxazosin


  • 5-alpha reductase inhibitors. These drugs shrink the size of the prostate gland but may take months to be effective. You may only notice improvement in symptoms if your prostate is significantly enlarged.e.g : finasteride

  •  These drugs can increase your bladder's capacity, delaying the urge to urinate.

    Do not try to rush your urination. Try to relax while using the bathroom.

If possible, avoid medicines that make your symptoms worse.

  • Consider trying an herbal therapy for BPH, such as saw palmetto or beta-sitosterol. Talk with your doctor before starting any herbal therapy