Benign prostatic hypertrophy (BPH) refers to enlargement of the prostate gland that tends to be more common and symptomatic in the aging male.
The exact cause is unknown. The enlarged prostate causes lower urinary tract symptoms (LUTS) by direct bladder outlet obstruction and increased resistance to flow. Symptoms include night and daytime frequency and difficult and prolonged urination. Development of moderate to severe LUTS symptoms may progress to acute urinary retention.
The most important motivation for treatment intervention is the severity and degree of bother related to symptoms. The goal of treatment is relief of symptoms that significantly impact quality of life.
Options for treatment include watchful waiting, medical therapies including alternative medicines, minimally invasive therapies and surgery. Normally more invasive therapies are reserved for the patients that have moderate to severe symptoms and for patients that have developed urinary retention related to obstruction.
Urologic evaluation often includes a careful prostate exam with PSA and a review of a voiding diary. Further evaluation may include an assessment of voiding function and cystoscopy depending on risk factors. Need for treatment intervention can then be discussed and guided by your urologist.