Symptoms of BPH

statsOne-third of men will get BPH  by the time they are 50 years old and almost 70% will get this condition by age of 60.

According to the National Association for Continence, around 19 million men suffer from the symptoms of BPH, out of which 14 million men have not been diagnosed and the diagnosed 2 million have not received any treatment.

This is a startling statistic and we need to go ahead and start taking charge of our health today!

Usually if you have mild BPH symptoms, you do not require any medical treatment but if the symptoms are moderate to severe, you should seek some treatment for the condition. In both cases you should most certainly take care of your health to prevent the condition getting worse.

BPH can give rise to disruptive changes over time. For instance, as the detrusor muscles (the ones involved in pushing out the urine) lose their thickness, more collagen is deposited in them making them weaker. Tiny pockets known as diverticulae occur. Over time, the weakness in the muscles and obstruction in the urinary system may aggravate. It may lead to conditions called renal retention (incapacity to urinate) and urine leakage (incontinence).

If renal retention is not treated, it can cause renal failure. Weakness, hypertension, paleness, and palpable kidneys are some of its symptoms.

BPH symptoms may be mild in men having critical prostate enlargement, while the symptoms may be severe when the overgrowth is minor. The International Prostate Symptoms Test and a few other tests are conducted to determine the acuteness of the BPH symptoms and the courses of treatment. Here are some of the most common symptoms of BPH:

Symptoms of BPH

  • Long wait before the urinary stream begins. This happens because of the enlarged prostate. A swollen prostate does not allow the urethra to open wide enough for letting the stream begin right away.
  • Urinary stream is discontinuous, with multiple starts and stops.  The flow of urine is irregular. The stream starts and stops several times. When the bladder muscles find it tedious to keep the urine streaming, they become impaired and weak. The ability to drive the urine out of the bladder in one strong contraction is lost. Instead, the muscles give out feeble, short, pushes that leads to starting and stopping of the urine many times.
  • Weak urine stream. It is quite common for young men and boys to create bubbles in the toilet bowl when their urine stream hits the surface of the water. However, if you have BPH, you will not see yourself doing so as the urine flow is not strong anymore. It happens because the bladder muscles become weaker due to the constant pushing required to drive urine through the tightened prostate.
  • Urine dribbles. In a healthy body, the bladder not only drains faster but also becomes almost empty. It is not difficult to drive out the remaining few drops. However, when the body suffers from BPH, the urinary system is not strong anymore. Not just a few drops but a little more is retained in the bladder or urethra. You believe that you have finished urinating but the process is not over. That is why urine keeps dribbling.
  • Frequent urges to urinate.  Men who suffer from BPH have the urgent need to visit the toilet repeatedly even when the amount of urine that comes out is very little. It is a highly common symptom. Due to BPH, the bladder muscles become enlarged. This condition makes the trigone ultra-sensitive. The trigone is the portion of the bladder that signals the brain that the time of urination has arrived. In other words, the brain receives frequent “gotta go” signals from the trigone. Hence, when you have BPH, you get repeated urge to rush to the toilet expecting a strong stream but you get only a weak one.
  • Unfinished urination. As the bladder muscles become weaker, the bladder gradually loses its capability of emptying completely. Some amount of urine is usually retained in the bladder causing a sensation of wanting to go again. In the progressed stages of BPH, the patient may get the urge to urinate at an interval of 45-60 minutes, or even more frequently.
  • Nocturia or night urination. When you have BPH, you may have the need to urinate two-three times or more at night.
  • Urgency to urinate. Urgency to urinate is felt as the bladder is overburdened and impaired. It becomes highly sensitive and transmits urgent signals to the brain that urination is immediately required.
  • Frequent UTIs (urinary tract infections). Because some urine is always retained in the bladder, the chances of bacterial growth are enhanced. As a result, urinary tract infections occur easily and frequently.
  • Urine leakage. BPH may cause massive damage to the bladder, which results in the condition called incontinence or leakage. The patient loses the ability to control the urine flow.
  • Loss of ability to urinate. The urine flow may stop entirely if the enlargement of the prostate is very acute. This condition leads to critical retention of urine. You should seek medical help urgently if you are experiencing such symptom.

> Learn about BPH causes and risk factors

> Learn more  about treatment options for BPH