If you’re a middle-aged male wondering what is BPH, it is benign prostatic hyperplasia or an enlarged prostate. The prostate is a part of the male’s reproductive system with a size similar to a walnut. As male ages, his prostate size increases, sometimes leading to issues associated with urinating.
When you experience the following signs of BPH, it’s time to meet a urologist:
- Difficulty in starting to urinate
- Dribbling at the end of urination
- Inability to complete the bladder
- Increased frequency of urination at night (Nocturia)
- Urgent or frequent need to urinate
Less common symptoms and signs are:
- Inability to urinate
- Blood in the urine
- Urinary tract infection (UTI)
Diagnosis of BPH
Urologists focus on the genitourinary system: urinary bladder, kidneys, adrenal glands, and male reproductive organs, including male fertility. They are also trained to surgically and medically treat illnesses affecting these organs.
When you visit them for a check-up, they will ask about your symptoms, issues, and the effects of these problems on the quality of your daily life. You will be asked to complete a form, which records how much urine you pass, how much liquid you usually consume, how often you have to pee daily, and if you have leakage.
Tests to Diagnose BPH
- Urine test. They will analyze your urine to help identify if other conditions, not BPH, cause your symptoms.
- Blood test. Results can indicate kidney problems.
- Digital rectal exam. Your urologist will insert a finger into the rectum to check for prostate enlargement.
- Prostate-specific antigen (PSA) blood test. PSA is a substance produced mainly by normal prostate cells, which increases when you have an enlarged prostate. This can also be due to infection, recent procedures, surgery, or prostate cancer.
- Urinary flow test. This test measures the strength and amount of your urine flow. It also helps identify over time if your condition is getting better or worse.
- Postvoid residual volume test. It is done to measure if you can empty your bladder completely. They will insert a catheter into your bladder after urinating to see how much urine is left in your bladder.
- 24-hour voiding diary. This records the frequency and amount of your urine.
If your condition is more serious, your doctor may recommend the following tests:
- Prostate biopsy
- Transrectal ultrasound
- Urodynamic and pressure-flow studies
Treatment of BPH
There are many available treatments for BPH, like medications, minimally invasive therapies, and surgery. The ideal treatment may depend on several few factors, such as:
- Your age
- The size of your prostate
- Your overall health
- The amount of difficulty or discomfort you’re experiencing
REZUM: A New Therapy for BPH
A minimal invasive transurethral water vapor therapy called REZUM is using thermal energy for BPH treatment. According to experts, short-term results show promising outcomes for outpatient-based with a potential for preserving sexual function. In short, it is an effective treatment to reduce symptoms of BPH but doesn’t affect a man’s sexual function.
How REZUM Works
The best thing about REZUM is that you don’t need to undergo continuous therapy because it can be completed in a single visit.
It works by delivering tiny amounts of steam to the enlarged prostate, damaging the cells that cause obstruction. Thus, the overall size of the prostate and the symptoms related to BPH are reduced.