The condition of enlarged prostate occurs due to the enlargement of a man’s prostate gland, with the passage in time. Also known as benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), it is more common in men over the age of 60. Some cases might have symptoms and others may be symptomless. Although the causes are relatively unknown, it is evident that BPH is not a form of cancer, neither does it cause cancer.
The prostate is located below the bladder and is responsible for producing the fluid needed by semen. The growth of the prostate tissue that is associated with benign prostatic hyperplasia begins near the inner prostate which is a tissue ring around the urethra. Its growth is generally inward.
It is of common knowledge that in males, the urine originates from the bladder and flows through the urethra. BPH is a condition where the prostate experiences a benign i.e. non cancerous enlargement which leads to blockage of urine flow through the urethra (the urinary duct). The resultant enlargement, caused due to the gradual multiplication of cells, subjects the urethra to extra pressure. Further narrowing of the urethra causes more contraction of the bladder, resulting in the urine being forcefully pushed out of the body.
With time, the condition leads to the bladder muscles gradually becoming thicker, stronger and oversensitive. Contraction occurs even due to the presence of small amounts of urine, giving rise to frequent needs of urination. At one point, the bladder muscle is unable to overcome the effects of the narrowed urethra. Due to this, urine does not pass properly and the urethra is not emptied.
Some of the common symptoms of enlarged prostate include:
1. Frequent urination
2. Urgency to urinate
3. Difficulty during urination
4. A slow or weak urinary stream
5. Requirement of extra effort to urinate
6. Interrupted sleep due to need of urination
Sometimes, when the bladder is not emptied completely, a risk of urinary tract infections develops. Some other serious problems which can be a result of enlarged prostate include blood in urine, bladder stones as well as acute urinary retention (inability to urinate). In some rare cases, kidney and/or bladder damage might also result from such a condition.