BPH – Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia:
Causes & Symptoms
The prostate is a part of the male reproductive system. The prostate is about the size of a large walnut and is located below the bladder. The prostate goes around a tube called the urethra, and the urethra carries urine from the bladder and out through the penis. When the prostate enlarges, it squeezes down on the urethra or the tube in the penis through which urine flows. In some men, the obstruction can lead to poor bladder emptying which, in turn, can cause urinary infections, bladder stones and less commonly kidney damage. Symptoms of an enlarging prostate may include:
- A slow or interrupted urine stream
- Trouble starting the urine stream
- Urgent desire to urinate
- More frequent daytime or nighttime voiding
Some men experience blood in the urine because of BPH. Some men may see blood into the urine after vigorous exercise or sexual activity. Use of blood thinners poses a small risk of causing urinary bleeding from a large prostate. Bloody urine has many other sources, so don’t assume this is BPH. Speak to a urologist about getting a proper evaluation. Although prostate enlargement is not a direct risk of getting prostate cancer, it can elevate the blood test used to screen for prostate cancer, called the Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA) blood test. If you have an elevated PSA, your urologist will try to sort out whether it is due to BPH, prostate cancer or other sources (refer to Elevated PSA blood test).