Benign prostatic hyperplasia or BPH in short is an enlarged prostate, a walnut-sized part of the male’s reproductive system. As a man ages, his prostate enlarges, sometimes leading to problems related to urinating.
When you experience the following symptoms of BPH, it’s time to visit a urologist:
- Difficulty in starting to urinate
- Dribbling at the end of urination
- Inability to complete the bladder
- Increased frequency of urination at night (Nocturia)
- Urgent or frequent need to urinate
Less common signs and symptoms are:
- Inability to urinate
- Blood in the urine
- Urinary tract infection
Diagnosis of BPH
Urologists specialize in the genitourinary tract: urinary bladder, kidneys, adrenal glands, and male reproductive organs, including male fertility. They are also trained to surgically and medically treat diseases affecting these organs.
When you visit them for a check-up, they will ask about your symptoms, concerns, and the impacts of these issues on the quality of your life daily. They will ask you to fill up a form, which records how much urine you pass, how much liquid you usually drink, how often you have to pee daily, and if you have leakage.
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Tests to Diagnose BPH
Your visit includes several tests to confirm and determine the severity of your BPH. These may include the following:
- Urine test. They will analyze your urine to help identify if other conditions, not BPH, cause your symptoms.
- Blood test. Results can indicate kidney problems.
- Digital rectal exam. Your urologist will insert a finger into the rectum to check for prostate enlargement.
- Prostate-specific antigen (PSA) blood test. PSA is a substance produced primarily by normal prostate cells, which increases when you have an enlarged prostate. But this can also be due to infection, recent procedure, surgery, or prostate cancer.
- Urinary flow test. This test measures the strength and amount of your urine flow. It also helps determine over time if your condition is getting better or worse.
- Postvoid residual volume test. It is done to measure if you can empty your bladder completely. They will insert a catheter into your bladder after urinating to see how much urine is left in your bladder.
- 24-hour voiding diary. This is the recording of the frequency and amount of your urine.
If your condition is more serious, your doctor may recommend the following tests:
- Prostate biopsy
- Transrectal ultrasound
- Urodynamic and pressure-flow studies
Treatment of BPH
There are many available treatments for BPH, like medications, minimally invasive therapies, and surgery. The suitable treatment may depend on a few factors, such as:
- Your age
- The size of your prostate
- Your overall health
- The amount of difficulty or discomfort you’re experiencing
REZUM: A New Therapy for BPH
A minimal invasive transurethral water vapor therapy called REZUM for BPH is using thermal energy for treatment. Short-term results show good outcomes for outpatient-based with a potential for preserving sexual function. In short, it is an effective treatment to reduce symptoms of BPH but doesn’t affect a man’s sexual function.
How REZUM Works
The best thing about REZUM is that you don’t need to undergo continuous therapy because it can be completed in a single visit.
It works by delivering tiny amounts of steam to the enlarged prostate, damaging the cells that cause obstruction. Thus, the overall size of the prostate and the symptoms related to BPH are reduced.