The prostate is a male reproductive gland that transports sperm during ejaculation. As a man ages, the prostate typically grows larger, putting pressure on the urethra, the tube through which urine passes. This common condition is known as Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH). The condition is unrelated to prostate cancer but it can certainly affect a man's quality of life by leading to frequent trips to the bathroom, sensation of incomplete emptying and disrupted sleep. If the condition persists long enough, it can lead to kidney failure, bladder injury or urinary tract infections.
BPH is extremely common, so common that it is one of the leading reasons for visiting a urologist. It affects approximately 50 percent of men between the ages of 51 and 60 and up to 90 percent of men over the age of 80. The reality is that nearly every male will develop BPH if he lives long enough.
Occasionally men do not experience any symptoms, however when symptoms are present they include:
Frequent and/or urgent need to urinate, day and night
Difficult or delayed start to urination
Weak or slow urinary stream or one that stops and starts
A sense that you've not fully emptied your bladder
Complete inability to urinate
Leakage of urine
To determine if you could have BPH, take this BPH Symptom Quiz designed by the American Urological Association. Make an appointment with us and bring the results so we can determine the severity of your symptoms and the treatment option that might be best for you.
Exams and Tests
After taking a complete medical history and physical exam, your physician may also order the following tests:
Urine flow rate
Post-void residual test to see how much urine is left in your bladder after urination
Pressure flow studies to measure the pressure in the bladder as you urinate
Urinalysis to check for blood or infection
Urine culture to check for infection
Prostate-specific antigen (PSA) blood test to screen for prostate cancer
Cystoscopy, to visualize the interior of the prostate and bladder
Your treatment options will be based on the severity of your symptoms and the presence of any other medical conditions.
Sometimes we take a "watchful waiting" approach to monitor how the prostate is growing and whether it's causing the symptoms to worsen. This may be combined with suggestions regarding various lifestyle changes.
When treatment is warranted, the good news is that there are a number of options:
Medication — Your doctor may prescribe alpha blockers to relax the muscles around the neck of the bladder or alpha reductase inhibitors to shrink the prostate.
Rezum® Thermal Therapy — In the outpatient setting, water vapor technology is injected into the prostate to safely and effectively vaporize the prostate tissue blocking the urethra. Read more about Rezum® Thermal Therapy »
UroLift® System — This technique, often done in the doctor's office, lifts or holds the enlarged prostate tissue out of the way so it no longer blocks the urethra. Read more about UroLift® System »
TURP — This procedure is performed in the hospital under anesthesia to remove the interior of the obstructed area of the urethra.
Invasive Surgery — In certain situations, a hospitalized surgery under general anesthesia may be warranted to remove the inner part of the prostate through an abdominal incision.
Arizona Urology Specialists — Locations
Glendale5750 W. Thunderbird Road Suite B-200 | Glendale, AZ 85306602.375.1700More Info
Scottsdale — 92nd Street10301 North 92nd Street Suite 101 | Scottsdale, AZ 85258 480.661.2662More Info
Scottsdale — Thompson Peak20201 North Scottsdale Healthcare Dr. Suite 280 | Scottsdale, AZ 85255480.661.2662More Info
Scottsdale — South3501 N Scottsdale Rd. Suite 250 | Scottsdale, AZ 85251480.264.4720More Info
Phoenix — Deer Valley19841 N 27th Ave. Suite 201 | Phoenix, AZ 85027623.582.6420More Info
Phoenix — Downtown1313 East Osborn Rd. Suite B150 | Phoenix, AZ 85014602.264.4431More Info
Mesa5058 E Southern Ave. Suite 102 | Mesa, AZ 85206480.834.4188More Info
Fountain Hills16838 East Palisades Blvd. Bldg C | Fountain Hills, AZ 85268480.272.6400More Info
Arizona Prostate Cancer Center20601 North 19th Ave. Suite 115 | Phoenix, AZ 85027602.557.0055More Info