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ENCOURAGING A VISIT TO THE DOCTOR

Having a spouse or partner stop worrying is a top reason men seek treatment for BPH. For many men, the symptoms associated with an enlarged prostate (BPH) are difficult to acknowledge and discuss. Men often quietly accommodate the symptoms and allow their quality of life to decline. As a concerned and trusted family member or caregiver, you can be a great help to a loved one with BPH in addressing his condition. Your ability to prompt discussion or provide support is strengthened by learning about BPH. You can also help him make important decisions about treatment.

Many men feel uncomfortable talking about urinary or sexual issues, even with a doctor. So, how can you persuade your loved one to have his prostate checked?

Tips to Encourage Him to Schedule a Doctor’s Visit

  • Reassure him that having urinary problems doesn’t mean he’s “getting old.” Suggest that the symptoms are very likely a treatable medical condition that you have read about BPH. And if his symptoms are related to BPH, inform him that treatment can bring significant relief.
  • Appeal to his enjoyment of well being. Remind him of the satisfaction of a good night’s rest or of having an outing that is without bathroom worries.
  • Make the point that prostate cancer has some of the same symptoms as BPH such as frequent urination, especially at night, and the sudden and strong urge to urinate. And remind him that early detection is a key to successful prostate cancer treatment.
  • Use an event as a motivator for getting him to see the doctor. If it’s near the New Year, he may be willing to go in for a “first-of-the-year checkup.” Or, if a friend or family member has had an illness, allow the event to be a trigger for seeing a doctor.
  • Share a successful similar experience of your own. For example, remind him of how good you felt after being treated for a urinary tract infection.
  • Make a comparison: What if someone he loved was not feeling 100% but chose to ignore the problem? Wouldn’t he want them to see a doctor?
  • Leave him a brochure that explains BPH (available from most urologists), or point him to this Web site where he can learn about the condition on his own time and find a helpfuldiscussion guide to use with his doctor.
  • Encourage him to fill out the American Urological Association (AUA) BPH Symptom Quiz (available from a urologist or on this Web site) for an objective measurement of his symptoms. The results from an independent evaluation might lead him to speak with a doctor.


Helping Him During Treatment

The more you know about BPH, the more you’ll be able to support him during treatment. You may want to begin by learning all you can about the condition and about the various treatment options available. Then, talk to him. Encourage him to open up and tell you specifically how you can help.

  • Does he want you to go with him to the doctor’s office?
  • Does he want your help in understanding and evaluating treatment options?
  • Does he want to discuss his expectations from treatment?

Express Gratitude

Above all else, remind him that you are grateful for his going to the doctor and seeking help. He is taking action to address a problem and improve his quality of life and, as a result, yours.

Disclaimer: This material is provided for information purposes only and is not a substitute for a consultation. You should talk with a urologist regarding your specific symptoms or medical condition.

 

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