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What Is Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH)?

Benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH)—also known as an enlarged prostate—is a condition affecting approximately 50% of all men over 50. Learn more about the condition, symptoms, and risk factors.

What Is BPH?

An enlarged prostate, known clinically as benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), is a highly common, non-life-threatening disorder where the prostate gland grows but is non-cancerous.

Prostate tissue growth can put pressure on the urethra, which is responsible for carrying urine from the bladder out of the body. As a result, individuals with BPH may have trouble urinating or an increased need to urinate.

BPH is caused by the accelerated growth of prostate cells, causing the gland to become larger. The growth causes prostate tissue to push on the urethra, which can lead to uncomfortable urinary symptoms.

While the core cause of prostate tissue growth isn't entirely known, it is believed to be related to an increase in dihydrotestosterone (DHT), a hormone involved in prostate tissue growth. Most men experience increased DHT levels as they age.

Symptoms of BPH

BPH symptoms frequently involve the following

Additionally, BPH can increase the likelihood of experiencing urinary tract infections (UTIs).

If unaddressed, BPH symptoms can significantly erode general comfort and quality of life.

BPH Risk Factors

Several factors can contribute to the likelihood of suffering from BPH.

The aging process is one of the primary contributors to the onset of BPH. The likelihood increases as men age. Approximately half of all men will have some degree of prostate enlargement by age 50. By age 80, an estimated 90% will experience BPH.

Genetic factors are also thought to contribute to the development of BPH. Siblings or offspring of people with BPH are likely to suffer from the condition, suggesting a hereditary connection.

A person's race or ethnicity could also contribute to higher BPH risk. Research has indicated that Black men are more likely to develop BPH than White men, while Asian men have lower rates of BPH than Black or White men. Additional studies are necessary to better understand the connection between race and risk for BPH.

Several medical conditions and behavioral elements can contribute to BPH development. It is more likely that men who are struggling with obesity, diabetes, heart disease, or a sedentary lifestyle will develop BPH.

Hormonal imbalances, such as low testosterone levels or elevated estrogen production, might also raise the risk of BPH.

Although the above are well-documented risk factors for BPH, having one or more risks will not necessarily guarantee symptomatic BPH. Nevertheless, screening for prostate abnormalities is important to further reduce the risk of BPH or other prostate-related health concerns.

BPH and Cancer

BPH is not known to elevate the risk of prostate cancer. However, the appearance of any urinary symptoms should be addressed by a specialist, as several BPH symptoms are identical to those associated with prostate cancer, including increases in urinary frequency and urgency.

Additional Prostate Health Issues

Prostatitis, a bacterial infection, is another issue that might be mistaken for BPH. Treatment depends on the type of prostatitis and may include antibiotics, anti-inflammatory medications, pain relievers, alpha-blockers, and physical therapy.

BPH Diagnosis

The diagnosis of BPH involves a thorough medical history, physical examination (digital rectal exam), and laboratory tests, such as a urine analysis, prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test, and sometimes a prostate fluid culture.

BPH Treatment

BPH treatment might only involve lifestyle changes or medications that minimize symptoms by relaxing the bladder or inhibiting prostate tissue growth.

A medical intervention might be recommended for patients who have not experienced symptom reduction through lifestyle modifications or medications.

Prostatic Artery Embolization (PAE) is a groundbreaking, non-surgical procedure to improve urinary symptoms caused by an enlarged prostate. The approach treats BPH without sexual side effects, hospitalization, general anesthesia, or significant recovery times.

PAE is an endovascular approach that blocks the blood flow to the areas of the prostate most affected by tissue growth, resulting in shrinkage of the prostate over several months.

Patients with BPH-related urinary symptoms must be evaluated by a specialist to isolate the underlying cause of prostate changes. Screenings and regular exams are important for ensuring optimal prostate health.

Texas Prostate Institute: Trusted Resource for Prostate Health

Texas Prostate Institute provides effective solutions for patients suffering from painful benign prostate hyperplasia (BPH) symptoms.

With a team of dedicated vascular and interventional radiologists, our clinic offers a safe and highly effective endovascular approach to alleviate BPH discomfort. Prostate artery embolization (PAE) has been proven to yield excellent patient outcomes, with minimal recovery time and a low risk of complications.

If you have questions or issues relating to prostate health, please contact our caring team of specialists to schedule a consultation today.

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