As a man ages, his prostate enlarges, and sometimes it can squeeze his urethra, which is the tube that urine flows through. When this happens and there is no cancer in the prostate, the most common cause is benign prostatic hyperplasia, or BPH.
BPH affects half of men 70-79 years old and 90% of men older than age 80. It is marked by bothersome lower urinary tract symptoms, including:
- Difficulty starting urine stream
- Straining to urinate
- Waking multiple times at night to urinate
- Feeling the need to urinate every 2 hours during the day
- Needing to start and stop stream several times until bladder is emptied
- A feeling of incomplete emptying
- Inability to delay urination once the urge arises, known as urgency
- Pain while urinating
- Weakness of stream
BPH Treatment Options
At the University of Michigan Urology clinic, we treat patients individually, so type and timing varies for each patient. Typically, treatment is recommended if the urinary symptoms of BPH are moderate to severe, or if they have become bothersome to the patient. BPH can be treated through a variety of medical therapies which are meant to prevent the prostate and bladder from contracting, shrink the prostate to allow urine to flow more easily, or relax your muscles. Depending on your treatment plan, they can be administered individually or as a combination.
If medicine isn’t the best option, then surgery is an option. We offer patients the latest in minimally invasive surgery including the use of lasers to help with removal of excess tissue around or near the prostate.