In this guide from SoHo Men’s Health, we explain if BPH is a danger to your health.
What Is BPH?
Benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) is the enlargement of the prostate. This common condition often affects older men and can be considered a normal part of aging. Generally, for patients with mild to no BPH symptoms, the preferred approach is the regular monitoring of symptoms by a medical professional.
In some cases, medical treatment such as shrinking the prostate or relaxing the muscles around the prostate may be necessary to alleviate urinary issues. In more severe cases, surgery or other treatments such as laser or wave therapy may be used to restore urinary flow, minimize the risk of urinary tract infections, and prevent incontinence.
What Increases Someone’s Risk For BPH?
Although aging is the most common factor associated with BPH, there are a number of other factors that can affect one’s risk of BPH:
- Family history. Research shows that genetics may play a role in the development of BPH. If other men in your family have had BPH, there may be a greater risk of developing the condition.
- Ethnic background. While men of all communities can develop BPH, studies have shown that there is a higher risk of developing BPH for Black and Hispanic men. It is worth noting more research on the correlation between ethnic background and BPH risk is necessary.
- Diabetes. High insulin levels can trigger prostate growth.
- Obesity and inactivity have also been linked to increased risk for BPH. While heart disease, high blood pressure, and erectile dysfunction do not cause BPH, nor are these conditions caused by BPH, these conditions can simultaneously be present.
Is BPH Linked To Prostate Cancer?
BPH is a benign condition, meaning non-cancerous and not linked to cancer. However, if you are experiencing lower urinary tract symptoms and you have not yet been diagnosed with BPH, it is important to seek a professional diagnosis for your symptoms, as prostate cancer can also result in urinary symptoms.
Prostate cancer is one of the most common forms of cancer among men. In the early stages, prostate cancer may not present any signs or symptoms. However, more advanced stages may cause urinary problems such as difficulty urinating, incontinence, reduced strength of the urine stream, blood in the urine or semen, bone pain, unexplained weight loss, or erectile dysfunction.
To screen for prostate cancer, a digital rectal examination (DRE) and a Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA) blood test can be administered by SoHo Men’s Health. If any abnormalities are detected, further tests such as an ultrasound, MRI, or a biopsy may be needed to make a diagnosis. It is important to address any symptoms as soon as possible, as early detection and treatment are essential for the best possible clinical outcome.
What Are Symptoms Of BPH?
The signs and symptoms of BPH may differ from patient to patient, but typically include a strong urge to urinate, frequent urination at night, difficulty initiating urination, a weak or stop-start flow of urine, and dribbling after urination. Less common indications may include urinary tract infections, an inability to empty the bladder, and blood in the urine.
If one’s symptoms of BPH are not severe, it may be possible to manage them with at-home care. It is essential to check in with a doctor on a regular basis to keep track of the symptoms and make sure there are no other issues. However, if there are any complications resulting from BPH, such as an ongoing difficulty urinating, urinary tract infections, bladder stones, kidney damage, or persistent blood in the urine, medical treatment should be sought immediately.
Who Can I Consult For BPH Treatment?
If you are interested in seeking care in New York, consider SoHo Men’s Health, the first men’s health and wellness experience in New York City. SoHo Men’s Health is proud to offer a number of sexual and reproductive health services for men. Call 347-749-1174 to ask about your options for wellness and rejuvenation today.