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Understanding BPH

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1 in 2 men above 50 years old have it. 9 out of 10 men aged 80 and above suffer from it. BPH is curable but if left untreated, it can lead to surgery.

Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH) is a medical condition characterized by increase in size and number of cells in the prostate gland. It is often referred to as "enlarged prostate". The prostate gland sits just below a man's bladder and takes part in the production of semen. It secretes a fluid that helps nourish the sperm. The prostate is about the size of a walnut in its normal condition. However, it grows larger as men grow older. As it enlarges, it presses against the urethra, which is the tube that carries urine from the bladder out of the body. This narrowing of the urethra causes the bladder wall to thicken and become irritable. The bladder begins to contract even when it contains small amount of urine, causing frequent urination.

Two studies indicate that hormonal changes are accountable for the enlargement of the prostate during adulthood. The first indication is the imbalance of sex hormones (estrogen and testosterone) and the second is the effect of Dihydrotestosterone (DHT), a substance derived from testosterone in the prostate. According to research findings, older men will continue to produce and accumulate high levels of DHT in the prostate. This accumulation of DHT encourage the growth of cells. Researchers have also concluded that men, who do not produce DHT, do not develop BPH.

In truth, the risk of developing BPH increases with age and they can be treated if symptoms are immediately acknowledged.

Symptoms of PBH

The burning pain whilst urinating and the feeling that the bladder is not completely emptied after urination are the most common symptoms of BPH.

Here's a complete list of BPH symptoms which intensity usually progress gradually:

1. An urge to urinate often but only small amount of urine is flushed out.

2. Having a weak stream of urine.

3. Waking up at night to urinate often.

4. Pain in the lower back, in the area between the testicles and anus, in the lower belly or upper thighs, or above the pubic area. Pain may be worse during a bowel movement.

5. Pain during or after ejaculation.

6.Pain at the tip of the penis.

If these symptoms are disregarded, complications like infection, bladder/kidney damage, acute urinary retention or bladder stones may develop and might lead to a surgery.

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