Benign prostatic hyperplasia: unpleasant but there is nothing to fear


The growth of the prostate is natural condition in man. It often creates difficulty in urinating, sleeping and have satisfactory sexual performance. Fortunately, it is also a problem that is not life threatening and greatly improved with appropriate therapy directed by urologists.

One of the great missions regarding disclosure of medical issues is to ensure that the men are more conscious of their health care and when their age exceeds 40, it is increasingly important to go to periodic review and tests to detect in time the emergence of a problem and give prompt relief.

Benign prostatic hyperplasia is a disease of the prostate (gland located below the bladder) that few men know but, at the same time, is very common in people 40 years or older and it affects the functioning of their sexual urinary systems (responsible for removing urine) and, therefore decreasing considerably their quality of life.

Natural problem

Prostate has the structure and the size of a walnut that lies below the bladder and wraps like a belt to the urethra or tube used to drain urine. Although all the functions performed by this gland are unknown, it is known that it contributes decisively to male fertility, as it secretes substances that protect sperm from the acidity that is in the urinary tubes by traveling abroad, plus that gives them nutrients at the time of ejaculation.

However, this segment of the genitourinary system is subject to suffer from various diseases, I feel the most important three: infection (prostatitis), cancer and benign prostatic hyperplasia.

Prostatitis can occur regardless of age, ie, the young suffer both men and older adults, and should receive attention with antibiotics, like any other infection. Prostate cancer is one of the two most common tumor diseases in man, along with the colon, and is why it has been very informative and diffusion medical means.

With regard to benign prostatic hyperplasia, it is nothing but the increased number of cells in this gland, which causes it to grow and therefore, multiple symptoms are generated in the patient, most notable are the frequency of urination, not to mention that it is uncomfortable, burning generates and, in advanced stages, favors the emergence of frequent urinary tract infections.

Although this disease is manifested after 40 years, the urologist says that the growth of the prostate is natural and, in fact, if we analyze a portion of the prostate tissues of males over 30 years, we would find that all suffer to a greater or lesser degree with growth of prostate tissue, but do not experience problems.

It also ensures that due to this natural question, almost half of those of the male gender with 50 years of age may develop symptoms of prostate growth, and that over 80 years the percentage of affected could reach just under 90%.

But benign prostatic hyperplasia is a completely independent of prostate cancer problem, is a result of natural growth of the gland. A natural process that is completely benign and independent of cancer or infections. Nor has to do with a habit, so that there is no evidence of higher (or lower) prostate growth in people with high or low sexual activity with one or more partners, or have begun to have intimate relationships at an early age. There is also no relationship with alcohol, tobacco or some food.

It should be understood that this health problem depends on factors that can not prevent men: the presence of male hormones which are those that stimulate cell growth.

Deterioration in living standards

The prostate growth generates two types of symptoms:

  • Obstructive. They manifested by lack of strength and urination volume (you can even present an intermittent stream), plus the inability to remove the entire contents of the bladder, so despite the effort there is no complete evacuation.
  • irritative. Because urine output generates burning and, in more severe cases, bleeding caused by urinating efforts.

But the problems do not end there. The specialists point out that prostate symptoms are directly related to the sexual performance. It has been observed that the more severe the symptoms of benign prostatic hyperplasia, the lower performance in intimate relationships, both decreased sexual desire (libido) and by physical problems and the presence of less quality and duration erections. It has been reported that 7% of people with this problem have painful ejaculation.

It also directly affects patients’ life from very different points of view, perhaps even unimaginable. Men do not do daily activities once they were common or change their way of doing them because they have the need to urinate at inopportune moments; stop going to the movies or social gatherings, or when they go to public places have to search for a nearby place to the door to go fast and meet their need. In addition, persons with benign prostatic hyperplasia even change their schedules and customs, so that, for example, you have to reschedule your trip for work, looking for gas stations on your way, and if you play sports you have to conform to certain duration or suspend the departure of untimely manner.

The need to urinate can awake you several times at a night, causing lack of sleep and all the consequences: spend the day in a bad mood, tired, with headache and performing underperforming in activities.

Is there some treatment?

A patient manifesting any symptoms of this disease should be referred to the specialist to undergo an evaluation, which consists of realization of a history in which personal or prostate problems in the family, and a review of how the problem affects both in everyday life and what are the most common symptoms. The patient also performs a test based on the assessment scale international prostate symptom questionnaire, so that he assess his situation.

After studies of urine and blood test is performed to measure the level of a protein, prostate specific antigen, which increases as the gland grows. This is an index or diagnostic method that has become popular because it helps us to assess the possible presence of prostate cancer, but also allows to know the degree of benign prostate growth.

Another important part of treatment is the famous digital rectal examination, on which there is great discussion, comments and jokes, but is very useful because it allows to evaluate not only the size of the prostate, but consistency, conformation and mobility. This information, along with the tests described above, can help us detect prostate hyperplasia or cancer is important that men become aware of this study.

The treatment of benign prostatic hyperplasia was formerly only surgery, but now says the urologist, there are two large families of drugs that allow adequately treat patients:

  • alpha-adrenergic blockers – relax the muscles in the prostate and favor the presence of adequate urinary flow, so as to allow almost complete recovery of the activity of the gland and improve sexual performance, although affecting a greater or lesser degree blood pressure. In particular alfuzosin and tamsulosin have been drugs more effective in this group and with fewer side effects.
  • inhibitors of 5-alpha reductase (finasteride, dutasteride) – used mainly in severe cases, its main effect is to reduce the size of the prostate to improve urinary flow; the only drawback is that some men who use it (5% to 8%) observe a decrease in the quality of erection or ejaculation.

None of these treatments is effective immediately. Patients must spend a few weeks before they see an improvement.

Male consciousness

To conclude, the specialist draws attention to the fact that men must increase their awareness of prostate diseases to reach levels not only correcting problems, but prevention. Men are more reluctant to go to medical evaluation because their attitude towards life is different. They have formed a society where men must adopt certain attitudes to life and ways to socially perform and therefore no rejection, to the periodic review of their health.

Women have had an impressive value in the management of prostate pathology because in many cases thay are those who lead the husband to valuation, and that happens because they have greater awareness of what is prevention.

Women are also affected by the quality of life by the sufferings of men, as they also wake up at night when their partners get up to go pee, come impaired sexual activity because partners do not want to have sex and reduce their erectile ability, or because they are limited in their social interaction.

If a person has a history of prostate cancer (parent or grandparent) must go from 40 years to urologist and perform annually, a prostate-specific antigen and a digital rectal exam, plus after 45 years it is recommended to visit the specialist every 6 months. If there is no history of prostate cancer he can begin testing at age 45 with an annual evaluation, and from the 50, six months.