Any male over the age of 40 is at increased risk for benign prostate hyperplasia (BPH), which, as the name suggests, isn't a cancerous condition, but it can be a troublesome one. While BPH often accompanies aging, the condition isn’t inevitable, and it can be associated with factors outside of age.
To shed some light on this common condition, the team here at Arizona Urology wants to focus this month’s blog post on BPH — what causes it, the risk factors, and what we can do to help.
Your prostate is a small gland that’s located between your bladder and your penis and, here’s where the problem comes in, your urethra runs through the center of your prostate.
This gland, which produces some of the fluids in your semen, goes through two growth stages — one when you go through puberty and the other around the age of 25. This second growth stage doesn’t have an end, which means your prostate continues to expand throughout your life.
With BPH, the enlargement of your prostate presses on your urethra to such an extent that it narrows the passageway, making urinating more difficult. As BPH progresses, it can cause your bladder walls to thicken and, eventually, your bladder can weaken and become unable to void completely.
We want to point out that not all men experience BPH, but the numbers are not in your favor, especially as you age. To wit, half of men between the ages of 51 and 60 have BPH and this number jumps to 90% of men over the age of 80.
Other risk factors for BPH
While age is the primary driver of BPH, there are other factors that may place you more at risk, including:
- A family history of BPH (namely your father)
- Being overweight or having obesity
There’s also a connection between BPH and men who have erectile dysfunction.
The good news is that there are solutions for problematic BPH. For example, you can take medications that help free up your lower urinary tract, but bear in mind that you’d have to take these medications for the rest of your life.
We also offer advanced laser technology called GreenLight™, which we use to remove excess prostate tissue. This is an in-office, outpatient procedure that delivers great results.
While these are effective BPH treatments, the one we’re most excited about is called UroLift®. During this in-office procedure, we use a thin needle to place implants in your urethra that move excess prostate tissue out of the way, freeing up your urethra and your ability to urinate.
Taking this minimally invasive step is not only effective, it’s a lifelong solution that can prevent the need for corrective surgery down the road.
If you have more questions about BPH, your risks, and your treatment options, please contact one of our locations in Goodyear, Glendale, Gilbert, or Phoenix, Arizona, to set up a consultation with one of our urology experts.