Chances are, you don’t know much about an enlarged prostate and what it might mean for your health. If you’re a man nearing or over age 50 and have had problems urinating, it’s time to visit Mississippi Urology Clinic to see if you’re dealing with an enlarged prostate. This condition, also called benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), tends to be easy to diagnose and treat.
If you’re worried about BPH or think the diagnosis sounds concerning, here are the four things your doctor wants you to know about what it means to have an enlarged prostate.
1. An Enlarged Prostate Isn’t Usually A Big Deal
Your prostate is a small gland found below the bladder and in front of the rectum and is part of the male reproductive system. In its normal state, your prostate should be approximately the size of a walnut. As you age, it can slowly increase in size, reaching roughly the size of a lemon in an enlarged state, usually after turning 50. Although receiving a diagnosis of benign prostatic hyperplasia might sound scary, one of the most important words in the name of the condition is benign, meaning it’s not cancerous. Typically, if it’s treated, it does not cause serious health problems.
2. BPH Is Treatable
Depending on your diagnosis, most cases of BPH are treatable. Some patients experience a minor case of BPH, where simple observation by one of our doctors is sufficient. Your condition can be monitored and left untreated if it does not pose a threat to your health or if it doesn’t worsen. Other patients may experience a slightly more severe case and need treatment. At Mississippi Urology Clinic, we have a variety of treatment plans available depending on your individual health as well as the severity of your condition. In addition to medical treatments, you might also need to make lifestyle adjustments like reducing alcohol and caffeine consumption, especially before bedtime.
3. BPH Is Extremely Common
With BPH, the question you should ask is if, not when, you will experience this condition. Almost 50 percent of men between ages 51 and 60 have BPH, with that percentage reaching 90 percent once you’re older than 80.
4. BPH Shouldn’t Be Ignored
Yes, it’s common and it’s not usually very serious, but that doesn’t mean you should ignore it. If left untreated, it can cause discomfort while urinating, difficulty emptying your bladder, a long-term reduced capacity to store urine, kidney damage, or bladder infections. Diagnosing BPH is usually fairly simple. It can be found during a routine rectal exam, a urine test, or blood tests. You should come in for an exam if you’re experiencing any of the common symptoms of BPH, which include having trouble urinating, straining to urinate, feeling the frequent and sudden need to urinate, or generally having less control over your bladder.
If you find yourself nodding along to this list, then it’s time to make an appointment with Mississippi Urology Clinic. Our team of doctors has the experience, resources, and equipment needed to diagnose any of your urology needs.