As men age, it is normal for the male prostate to gradually swell. When the prostate becomes large enough that it starts to pose a problem for you, it is called benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), more commonly referred to as an enlarged prostate.
Because of its location around the urethra where it attaches to your bladder, BPH can cause many problems ranging from mild urinary inconveniences to very serious bathroom issues or even severe pain and, if left completely untreated, complications can be potentially life-threatening.
Some of the most common symptoms of an enlarged prostate include:
If left untreated BPH can cause:
By the age of 60, roughly half of all men will have BPH. Because it’s so common, these symptoms of BPH are often written off as natural aging processes but BPH can be treated by medication or surgery, especially if caught early.
There are other less common potential conditions that may cause similar symptoms to BPH. These include:
Waking up in the night to go to the bathroom is never fun, but depending on the frequency and severity it can indicate an underlying condition or simply mean that you should cut down on drinking fluids before bed. As we age, it’s normal for nightly urination to increase slightly in frequency. In these cases, your bladder will usually only wake you up one time on a given night. If you find that you’re regularly waking up more often than that, your nightly urination may be the result of an underlying condition. <h2>Causes</h2> There are many reasons that you may be waking up with an urge to urinate. Some of the most common causes of waking up to go to the bathroom include: <h3>Too much fluid intake before bed</h3> Especially if beverages are caffeinated or carbonated, drinking right before bed can mean that your bladder will fill up in the middle of the night. This is because your kidneys will filter the fluid before the night is up. Try to limit your fluids before bed to see if your symptoms begin to go away. If they don’t, one of the other causes may be the culprit and an awareness of other symptoms will help your doctor narrow down the exact cause. <h3>Enlarged prostate (BPH)</h3> The prostate is the gland that is located around the urethra where it attaches to a man’s bladder. As men age, it’s normal for the prostate to swell until, because of its location, it begins to make it difficult to empty their bladders entirely. This is called benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) and by age 60 about half of men have it. The exact cause of BPH is not entirely known, but it is noncancerous and treatable with medication, or with surgery in cases where the prostate isn’t responsive to medication. Other common causes of nighttime urination: <ul> <li>Overactive bladder/neurological issues</li> <li>Undiagnosed/untreated diabetes</li> <li>Blood pressure medications</li> <li>Neurological problems</li> <li>Stress/anxiety</li> </ul> <h2>Treatment</h2> In the case of something like BPH, there isn’t much that you can do on your own to alleviate symptoms and you should contact your urologist or primary care physician if you experience any of the above symptoms. Even so, here are some things that you can try to minimize the effect any urinary condition has on your sleep: <ul> <li>Record a bladder diary and look for trends in how often you pee and when, and share these with your doctor.</li> <li>Reduce fluid intake within 4-6 hours of bedtime to minimize the urine you produce while you sleep.</li> <li>Elevate your legs periodically during the day to distribute any fluid that may be concentrated in your legs up to your kidneys for processing. If you don’t, when you lay down in bed the excess fluid from your legs may enter your bloodstream and be processed into urine at night.</li> <li>Encourage healthy sleep so that you aren’t waking up for an unrelated reason and going to the bathroom out of habit.</li> </ul> Not only can these things help you to manage your symptoms from the comfort of your home, but they also can help you to be more aware of your condition when you talk to your doctor about your symptoms so that you can be given a more precise treatment and return to a healthy sleep cycle that isn’t interrupted by your bladder.read more
As you age, it is normal for your urine stream to gradually weaken. Sometimes, urination becomes uncomfortable or difficult. If your urine stream is weak enough that it does not come out in a continuous flow or it does not seem like it empties your bladder entirely, you may have urinary hesitancy. Urinary hesitancy is not a disease, but a symptom of many underlying conditions that vary in how serious they are and how they are treated. The most common cause of urinary hesitancy is enlarged prostate, also known as benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH). BPH is a non-cancerous enlargement of the male prostate gland that affects about half of all men by the time they’re in their 50s, and 90% of men by the time they’re 80. While BPH is a common explanation for the weakening of your urine stream, there are other more serious possibilities to keep in mind. Some of these more serious causes of urinary hesitancy include: <ul> <li>Your bladder muscles not properly working</li> <li>Tumors blocking your urethra or bladder</li> <li>Side effects of certain medications</li> <li>Kidney stones</li> <li>Nerve damage</li> <li>Nervous system disorders (Parkinson’s, Multiple Sclerosis)</li> <li>Bacterial infections</li> <li>Sexually-transmitted infections</li> <li>Side effects of anesthesia, if you’ve had a recent surgery</li> <li>Psychological causes, such as shy bladder syndrome</li> </ul> <h2>Do I need to seek medical attention?</h2> It is always important to discuss urinary problems with your doctor, but without other symptoms, urinary hesitancy is not something to be too worried about. If there are other symptoms alongside your urinary hesitancy, it may be a good idea to set up an appointment with a urologist. Some symptoms to look out for include: <ul> <li>Fever or body chills</li> <li>Vomiting</li> <li>Tremors/Shakes</li> <li>Pain in your lower back or abdomen</li> </ul> If urinating causes you any pain, if there is blood in your urine, or if your urine is cloudy, you should seek medical attention. These are signs of infections of the urinary tract or prostate and could mean something even more serious.read more
The prostate is the semen-producing gland located below your bladder. An enlarged prostate simply means your prostate has grown larger, and this can cause problems with urination due to the location of the prostate. Although exact causes of enlarged prostate are unknown, aging and testosterone levels are major contributing factors to your likelihood of developing it. Enlarged prostate is often called benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH). By age 60, roughly half of all men will have BPH and by age 85, about 90% of men will have it. Because of how common BPH is, symptoms of BPH can be ignored as natural aging processes. For this reason, many men will never seek treatment even though BPH can be treated with medication. <h2>Symptoms</h2> The most common symptoms of BPH are problems with urination. You may feel the need to pee more frequently, and urinating may not feel as satisfying due to the bladder not emptying entirely. This is due to the pressure an enlarged prostate places on your urethra where it attaches to your bladder. Urine remaining in the bladder for extended periods can increase the risk of urinary tract infections (UTIs) or bladder infections. UTIs can cause pain and more serious bathroom problems, as well as kidney infections if left untreated. <h2>Treatments</h2> Talk to your doctor if you experience any symptoms of BPH as outlined above, or if you have any other concerns around your urination. If your doctor finds that you have BPH, you may be given medication to reduce the size of the prostate. This relieves the symptoms within a few days for most men, and if you do not see improvements after a round of medication your doctor may recommend surgery to remove excess tissue. Enlarged prostate is a common issue faced by most men as they age, but keep in mind that it can cause more serious problems if left untreated, and treatment is a simple way to return your bladder to working order.read more