If you are diagnosed with Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH) it means that you have a swollen prostate. The prostate gland surrounds the urethra and produces the fluid which carries the sperm during ejaculation so a swollen prostate can cause discomfort and other problems especially with the urinary tract.
Almost all men will experience a swollen prostate as they age. There is no known cause as to why the prostate should become swollen other than the aging process.
Should you find that you are experiencing symptoms such as difficulty in urinating, dribbling after urinating, strong and sudden urges to urinate, difficulty in emptying the bladder completely, incontinence, blood in the urine or pain when urinating, there is the possibility that you have a swollen prostate and should visit your health provider.
Your health provider will take a complete medical history and then will perform a digital rectal exam. After which he may then perform other tests such as a post-void residual test, a urinalysis, a urine culture or a cystoscopy.
The health provider may also run a prostate-specific (PSA) test. This is a blood test that screens for the possibility of prostate cancer. The results of a PSA come back in number form and a lower number is better than a higher number. But before having this test, tell your health provider what medications you are taking as some medications artificially lower the levels of PSA.
Should the PSA come back at a higher level, it does not necessarily mean that cancer is present but your health provider will probably arrange for a biopsy of the prostate gland just to be on the safe side. As is known from all the prostate cancer news, early diagnosis is crucial for recovery.
A swollen prostate can be treated in various ways. Should cancer be ruled out then your health care provider might look at treating you with alpha-blockers. These relax the muscles at the neck of the bladder which makes urinating easier.
Or he may use finasteride which shrinks the prostate gland. This has been shown to be really effective in men with a significantly swollen prostate.
Another way that your health provider may treat your swollen prostate is to use heat therapy. This is done under a local aneasthetic and as an out- patient.
If the swollen prostate is causing complications or is difficult to manage then another option is to have the prostate gland removed. This can be done as a transurethral resection, an open prostatectomy or a transurethral incision of the prostate. Any of these procedures will require admission to hospital and will be performed under a general anaesthetic.
A swollen prostate can also be treated with a balloon dilation or a prostate stent.