What is an enlarged prostate?
The prostate is a walnut-sized gland present in the male reproductive system. The gland consists of two lobes, enclosed in an outer layer of tissue. The prostate is situated in front of the rectum and just beneath the bladder, where urine is stored. An enlarged prostate is a condition where the prostate becomes enlarged due to various reasons, Learn more about what is an enlarged prostate here.
The prostate also surrounds the urethra, the canal through which urine passes out of the body. One of the major roles of prostate gland is to squeeze fluid into the urethra as sperm move about during sexual culmination. In men, urine flows from the bladder through the urethra.
Enlargement of prostate or BPH is a benign enlargement of the prostate that obstruct the flow of urine through the urethra. As the urethra contracts, the bladder has to contract with more force to push urine through the body. With the time, bladder muscle may slowly become stronger, thicker and very sensitive; it begins to contract even when it has small amount of urine, causing a call to urinate frequently. Ultimately, the bladder muscle cannot surmount the result of the narrowed urethra so urine remains in the bladder and it is not fully emptied. This problem has a number of names like enlarged prostate, benign prostate hyperplasia or BPH.
Symptoms of enlarged prostate
There are different symptoms of enlarged prostate, but they are classified into two major categories of enlarged prostate. The first category of enlarged prostate is of obstructive symptoms like Hesitancy, straining while urinating, weak stream of urine, sense of incomplete evacuation of urine. These happen after passing out the urine or when the bladder is empty. Irrigative symptoms form the second category of enlarged prostate and have symptoms like increased frequency of urination, urgency and leakage of urine. These occur during the storage phase of urine or when urine is in the bladder and are due to unrestrained bladder contractions.
These symptoms of enlarged prostate also have two components viz. dynamic and static. The relative involvement of each varies in individuals. The Dynamic Component in enlarged prostate is caused by the increased tone of smooth muscle fibers present in the bladder neck, prostatic urethra, surgical capsule and fibro muscular stroma of the prostate gland. This tone is sustained by the alpha-adrenergic sympathetic receptors. Drugs blocking these receptors calm down these muscles and alleviate dynamic obstruction. Static component is produced by the adenoma whose growth is started and retained by dihydro-testosterone (DHT) derived from testosterone.
Treatment of enlarged prostate
Patients who suffer from enlarged prostate will generally need some kind of treatment at some time. However the need for early treatment when the gland is just mildly enlarged is a cause of debate amongst the doctors. The type of treatment required for prostate enlargement depends on the severity of the signs and symptoms of enlarged prostate experienced by the patient. Bleeding from the urinary system and severe or repeated urine infections that can cause more permanent damage, discomfort or lifestyle troubles may all point to that medical intervention that is required.
The treatment options for prostate enlargement are many types. Medication that are given as help to control the symptoms of an enlarged prostate, are alpha blockers. Alpha blockers are helpful in about 75% of patients. They work by soothing the muscles at the neck of the bladder making urination easier. In severe cases surgical procedures are done.