Enlarged Prostate: What You Need to Know
Having an enlarged prostate is a common issue for men, particularly as they age. While this enlargement is often benign and of little concern, the symptoms it causes can be uncomfortable and difficult to manage. With treatment options like Prostate Artery Embolization, symptoms of prostate enlargement can be reduced and sometimes eliminated completely.
What is the main cause of prostate enlargement?
Enlargement of the prostate is a normal process as men age. As we reach the age of 40 and onward, the prostate gets what’s called BPH, or benign prostatic hyperplasia. This is essentially a hyperplastic or fatty enlargement of the prostate. It’s benign, so not cancer, but it is enlarged and can cause symptoms of urination.
How serious is an enlarged prostate?
An enlarged prostate in and of itself isn’t necessarily serious. A prostate is usually enlarged for one of two reasons. The first reason being cancer, which is a lower chance. The second reason is BPH or benign prostatic hyperplasia, which normally happens when men age. You should always follow up with your urologist to ensure it’s not cancer. When diagnosed with BPH, it is only as serious as the symptoms you’re bothered by.
What are the warning signs of an enlarged prostate?
An enlarged prostate causes urinary symptoms, a spectrum of symptoms that affect a man’s urination. One of the most common is going to the bathroom to urinate many times in the middle of the night, so you’re not getting enough sleep. Some of the daytime symptoms are also urinary. It can be stressful or straining in order to get urination going or while you’re urinating, stopping, and starting. You could experience a weak stream as well. Frequency of urination can also occur, which means once you urinate, you often feel like you have to go right away or within less than two hours during the day.
What happens if an enlarged prostate is not treated?
Benign prostatic hyperplasia, when not treated, has the same long-term issue as cancer where it continues to spread. This means urinary symptoms can get worse. It doesn’t happen in all men, but for the men who have urinary symptoms, as the prostate enlarges, the urinary symptoms usually worsen over time.
What are treatment options for an enlarged prostate?
There are many treatment options for BPH, and you can discuss those options with your urologist. Treatment often depends on what your symptoms are, how bad they are, and how large the prostate is. One of the main options, which is an alternative to a urologist, is what we do here at American Prostate Center. Prostate Artery Embolization (PAE) is a very minimally invasive procedure. PAE decreases the blood flow to the prostate so that the prostate shrinks. That resolves the symptoms without having any surgery, which minimizes most of the risks and increases the benefits of having your prostate treated.