As men get older, a walnut-sized gland that lies underneath the bladder, called the prostate, tends to enlarge. Your prostate produces semen, which mixes with sperm when you ejaculate.
Your urethra — the tube you use to urinate — runs straight from your bladder through the center of your prostate. If your prostate enlarges, it can put pressure on your urethra and interfere with the flow of urine.
Alex Lesani, MD, a caring and experienced urologist in Las Vegas, Nevada, diagnoses and treats enlarged prostates, also known as benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH). About 8% of men have BPH in their forties, 50% have developed it by their 60s, and 80% have it in their 90s.
How do you know if you have BPH? Following are some of the telltale signs.
Nocturia is urinating several times a night, which can interrupt and even shorten your sleep. Nocturia becomes increasingly common in men as they age, usually because of BPH.
When your prostate enlarges, it squeezes the urethra. Your bladder has to contract harder to push the urine through the narrower opening. Eventually, your bladder weakens from the extra force and loses its ability to hold urine throughout the night.
Nocturia prevents you from getting the deep, restful sleep you need to function at your peak. You may feel fatigued during the day, have trouble concentrating, or even feel depressed.
If you’re having trouble holding urine at night, you’re probably experiencing the same difficulty during the day. You might even be wary of leaving your home or office for extended periods because you’re afraid you won’t be able to get to a bathroom in time. Urinating too frequently also trains your bladder to evacuate before it’s full.
If you find yourself standing in front of the urinal for more than a few seconds before you start to urinate, it also may be a sign of BPH. A weakened bladder and narrower urethra combine to slow down the flow of urine. You might find yourself straining to push the urine out.
You also may notice that your urine dribbles weakly rather than gushes and that voiding your bladder takes a lot longer than it did when you were younger. A common BPH symptom is a urine stream that stops, starts, and stutters.
In addition, you might feel that you can’t fully empty your bladder. That sensation can create an increased sense of urgency so that you’re just not comfortable being far from a bathroom.
If you don’t treat your BPH, the constant strain on your bladder can irritate the bladder lining. You may develop a urinary tract infection (UTI) or other troubling symptoms, including blood in your urine.
Some men with untreated BPH get to the point where they can’t empty their bladder at all. If that happens to you, go to the emergency room right away.
Getting evaluated and treated for BPH gives you relief and helps you gain control of your urination again. During your consultation, Dr. Lesani thoroughly examines you and makes sure that your urinary symptoms aren’t a sign of another, more serious condition, such as prostate cancer.
To get relief from the urinary problems caused by BPH, contact Dr. Lesani today. You can phone our friendly office staff at 702-470-2579 or use the online booking form.