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Benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH): symptoms, treatments and prevention

Benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) affects half of all men over the age of 50. Simply put, BPH is the medical term for a condition in which the prostate gland becomes enlarged. Here’s an overview of the symptoms of BPH, the available treatments and what you can do to prevent this condition.

Benign prostatic hyperplasia: symptoms and possible complications

BPH isn’t a sign of prostate cancer and doesn’t increase your risk of developing it. In fact, prostate gland enlargement happens to almost all men as they get older. Nevertheless, the symptoms of BPH can be bothersome if left untreated. The most common signs and symptoms of BPH include:

  • A frequent and urgent need to urinate
  • Low urine output during urination
  • A slow and/or weak urinary stream
  • An inability to empty the bladder completely
  • Blood in the urine
  • Pain in the lower back, pelvis or upper thighs

If the bladder doesn’t fully empty, you may experience complications such as recurrent urinary tract infections and kidney stones. If BPH becomes severe, you may not be able to urinate at all. This is called urinary retention and is a serious complication that requires immediate medical intervention.

Treatments for BPH depending on the severity of the symptoms

If you think you may have benign prostatic hyperplasia, you should make an appointment with a doctor or urologist. You’ll be given a thorough medical exam, as well as blood and urine tests. The results of these tests will allow the health professional to suggest treatment depending on the severity of your symptoms.

  • Mild symptoms: active surveillance without medication
  • Moderate symptoms: medications to reduce the size of the prostate or to relax the muscles so that urine flows more easily
  • Severe symptoms: surgery

Most doctors start by treating BPH with medication before resorting to other treatments such as surgery.

Preventing BPH: healthy diet and exercise

The good news is that it appears that men who eat a nutrient-rich diet, exercise regularly and maintain a healthy body weight are less likely to develop BPH.

At our private urology clinics in Montreal and the South Shore, Dr. Carlos Marois diagnoses and treats BPH. As a urologist, he also conducts a number of procedures using advanced medical equipment, including circumcision, erectile dysfunction treatment, vasectomy, vasectomy reversal and more. To make an appointment, contact us today.

Would you like to make an appointment, or do you have any questions? Write to us and we will get back to you as soon as possible!

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