Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia
Vantage Chemist information on Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia
The symptoms of BPH are called 'lower urinary tract symptoms' (LUTS) because they affect the lower urinary tract (the bladder and urethra).
Symptoms of BPH happen because the prostate presses on the urethra (the tube that carries urine), causing it to narrow. This means that urine can't pass down it as easily as before - it's obstructed. This is why some symptoms are called 'obstructive symptoms'.
The following are typical obstructive symptoms:
- Poor stream - The flow of urine is weaker, and it takes longer to empty your bladder
- Hesitancy - You may have to wait at the toilet for a while before urine starts to flow
- Dribbling - Towards the end of passing urine, the flow becomes a slow dribble
- Poor emptying - You may have a feeling of not quite emptying your bladder
When you have obstructive symptoms, the bladder has to work to push the pee out. After a while, the muscle of the bladder wall starts to thicken because of the extra work it's been doing. This means it becomes less stretchy, so the bladder can't hold as much pee. That's why you have to go more often, including at night, and why you often can't hold on when you need to go. These are called 'irritative symptoms'.
The following are typical irritative symptom:
- Frequency (passing urine more often than normal). This can be most irritating if it happens at night. Getting up several times a night is a common symptom and is called 'nocturia'
- Urgency. This means you have to get to the toilet quickly when you 'need to go'
- It's often these symptoms that are most bothersome and cause the most disruption to daily life
What impact can BPH have?
Like you, many men find that BPH affects their enjoyment of life. For example, you might feel tired all the time because you can't get a decent night's sleep. You might feel anxious and embarrassed at social gatherings because you keep having to disappear to the loo. Maybe you always have to think about what you're drinking and when - one more drink before the journey home might mean you can't make it back without stopping for a pee.
Outings and car journeys can be frustrating, especially if you have to map out every public toilet to reassure yourself you won't be caught short. BPH can affect your relationship with your partner too. Do they get annoyed with your toilet habits? Maybe you're disturbing their sleep, which might even lead to you sleeping in separate bedrooms.
Flomax relief is a new treatment that can help men between ages 45 and 75 and can reduce urinary symptoms due to BPH within 7-14 days.