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Do you always have an urgent desire to urinate? Is your pee stream weak or inconsistent? These are the most common indicators of benign prostate enlargement (BPE). This is a typical problem that affects males as they get older. If you believe you may be at risk, take this quick test to learn more about your conditions.
Importance of Having a Healthy Prostate
The prostate is a gland that is only found in men. It's about the size of a walnut or a golf ball, and it's crucial to the male reproductive system. The prostate contributes to the production of the fluid that makes up a portion of the sperm.
The prostate gland is situated in front of the rectum and directly beneath the bladder. It also hugs the upper part of the urethra, a tubular structure responsible for transporting urine from the bladder out of the body. As a result, prostate issues can have an impact on both sexual and urinary functions.
3 Prostate Facts
The enlarged prostate usually causes progressive lower urinary tract symptoms as a man ages. In some people, the prostate enlarges dramatically, eventually weighing more than 500 g; this is known as giant prostatic hyperplasia (GPH).
Common signs and symptoms of BPE:
The severity of symptoms in men with prostate gland enlargement varies, but they tend to worsen over time. The size of your prostate does not always indicate the severity of your symptoms. Some men with mildly enlarged prostates may experience significant symptoms, whereas others with severely enlarged prostates may experience only minor urinary symptoms. The following are some of the most common signs and symptoms of BPE:
Frequent or urgent need to urinate
Increased frequency of urination at night (nocturia)
Difficulty starting urination
Weak urine stream or a stream that stops and starts
Dribbling at the end of urination
Inability to completely empty the bladder
Urinary tract infection
Inability to urinate
Blood in the urine
Do You Have an Enlarged Prostate?
A urologist will perform a digital rectal examination to determine the size and consistency of the prostate to diagnose BPE. You will be asked to complete a questionnaire about your symptoms, known as an International Prostate Symptom Score, or IPSS for short. This allows your doctor to better understand the severity of your symptoms.
If you scored “8” or more it is suggested that you discuss your prostate condition with a healthcare provider
*The International Prostate Symptom Score (IPSS) can be utilized to measure the severity of lower urinary tract symptoms. It is a validated, reproducible scoring system to assess disease severity and response to therapy.
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Rees J, Bultitude M, Challacombe B. The management of lower urinary tract symptoms in men. BMJ. 2014;348:g3861. Abstract
Barry M, Roehrborn C. Management of benign prostatic hyperplasia. Ann Rev Med. 1997 Feb;48:77-189.