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50% of men in their 50s experience symptoms of BPH

One of the real joys of being an aging male is the opportunity to get up more at night to urinate! And learning where all the rest areas or nice gas stations are on the way to the beach. And trying not to pee on your shoes. Or down your leg. And, for you golfers, letting the young men “pee through” in public restrooms.

Let’s face it, there are many things about getting older that aren’t so good, and BPH is one of them. BPH (Benign Prostatic Hypertrophy) is the natural enlargement in a man’s prostate that occurs in most men beginning in their late 40’s. Symptoms usually don’t become too bothersome for most until the late 50’s or 60’s and some men are never bothered. When men develop the typical symptoms of BPH (frequency and/or urgency of urination, getting up multiple times at night to urinate, weak stream, dribbling at the end of the stream, stopping and starting and difficulty starting the stream, uncontrolled urination before reaching the bathroom), many are concerned that this may represent prostate cancer. In the vast majority of cases, these symptoms do not signal cancer, but this shouldn’t be ruled out.

BPH symptoms develop as the prostate partially blocks the flow of urine from the bladder. The prostate sits at the base of the bladder and the water channel (the urethra) flows through the middle of the prostate. As the prostate enlarges, it compresses the urethra. This leads to the telltale symptoms.

Treatment options range from doing nothing, if the symptoms are not too bothersome, various medications (both prescription and herbal) to open up the channel, minimally invasive outpatient surgeries to clear the channel and, rarely, robotic removal of the obstructing tissue.

Men who have significant symptoms and seek treatment and get relief often comment, “Man, I should have done this years ago!”

If these symptoms describe you, talk to your doctor about it and improve the quality of your sleep, your day and your life!

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