THE PHYSICAL SIGNS OF BPH
You’ve noticed changes in his behavior, but he won’t talk about them. The changes include frequent trips to the bathroom in the middle of the night, urine stains on his pants, and the sudden need to return to the bathroom shortly after urinating. All may be signs of an enlarged prostate (BPH).
BPH symptoms vary and depend on the severity of the condition. However, some common symptoms include:
- Dribbling after urination (stains on pants)
- A frequent need to urinate, sometimes every 2 hours or less
- Pain or burning during urination
- Waking at night to urinate
- A repeated, sudden, or uncontrollable urge to urinate
- Pushing or straining to begin urination
- A weak urinary stream
- A feeling that the bladder does not empty during urination
If you suspect that a loved one may be suffering from similar symptoms, urge him to see a doctor.
If he does have BPH, treatment options are available that can help him improve his quality of life. And if he has something more serious such as prostate cancer which has some similar symptoms to BPH early detection is a key to successful treatment.
While an enlarged prostate (BPH) does not directly affect the mechanics of sexual function, it is common for erectile dysfunction, reduced interest in sex, and abnormal ejaculations to coexist with BPH. Studies show that the more severe the urinary symptoms, the more significant the sexual problems tend to be.
It’s important to note, however, that sexual problems frequently appear in older men who don’t have BPH. They may be the natural result of the aging process or of other medical conditions such as vascular disease, diabetes or depression.
Traditional surgery for BPH (known as prostatectomy or TURP) can occasionally result in long-term difficulties getting or maintaining an erection (impotence). Also, medications (pills) for BPH can cause abnormal ejaculations, decreased sex drive, and impotence. These side effects often go away once the pills are stopped.
It is good to know that office-based minimally invasive treatments (MITs) for BPH have low rates of sexual side effects.
Sexual Function and BPH
Men who have a sexual problem related to BPH or the treatment of BPH may be unwilling to talk about the problem. But talking about a sexual problem and facing it together is often the first step to a long-term solution for a couple. If necessary, seek help from a doctor, counselor, or therapist.
Dr. Shore is a clinical urologist and principle investigator of the Prolieve® System, who specializes in prostate disease and has performed more than 200 office-based minimally invasive treatments for the symptoms of BPH. This article is based on Dr. Shore’s clinical experiences and opinions. Dr. Shore is a paid consultant of Boston Scientific.
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.