If you have trouble in starting a urine stream or urinate frequently at night, you may be in a condition of an enlarged prostate gland. It is also called benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH). As the prostate gland gets larger, it may partially block or squeeze the urethra, thus causing problems of urinating. The incidence rate of BPH increases as men age. When men reach 80, 80% of them suffer from BPH. BPH is not cancerous but sometimes very troublesome. To avoid troubles to improve your quality of life, what are the options for treating BPH? How to choose?
There are four options for treating BPH, medical therapy, minimally invasive procedures, surgery and herbal therapy.
Currently, two type of medicines including alpha blockers and alpha-reductase inhibitors are used to treat BPH. Alpha blockers are also called alpha-adrenergic blocking agents which can relax the prostate muscle and bladder neck. This type of medication can be used to treat BPH; however, it has some side effects like orthostatic hypotension. Alpha-reductase inhibitors are another kind of drugs for treating BPH. Alpha-reductase inhibitors constitute drugs such as Finasteride (Proscar) and dutasteride (Avodart) that block a natural hormone to prevent the prostate from growing larger. There are also side effects of this medicine. The study shows that a very small amount of men who take alpha-reductase inhibitors have difficulties in ejaculation. Sometimes, for treating severe BPH, a combination of this two types is needed.
Minimally Invasive Procedures
Nowadays, urologists can perform various minimally invasive procedures to treat BPH. In the minimally invasive procedures, a transurethral method is adopted to destroy troublesome prostate tissue or dilate the urethra to relieve some symptoms of BPH such as urinary retention without leaving no scars. Patients can choose a procedure according to their symptoms and overall condition. Minimally invasive procedures can relieve BPH symptoms but cannot cure BPH.
Surgery is viewed as the most effective treatment for BPH. To treat BPH in a long-term, the removal of enlarged prostate tissue is recommended to widen the urethra. Usually, if medical therapies and minimally invasive procedures do not work, or symptoms are very severe with complications, surgery is a better option. Common surgery for treating BPH include transurethral resection of the prostate (TURP), laser surgery, open prostatectomy and transurethral incision of the prostate (TUIP). There are some low-probability risks such as infection, bMingding or impotence. Prostate tissue removal can relieve many BPH symptoms, but it does not cure BPH.