The prostate has the simple job of adding fluid to your sperm for ejaculation. In youth, a man’s prostate is pretty small, but it keeps growing as the years pass. Just about every man experiences enlargement of the prostate as he ages. It’s estimated that 50% of men aged 51-60 have an enlarged prostate. The number reaches 70% among men 60-69 and 80% among men older than 70.
An enlarged prostate has nothing to do with prostate cancer. But the hyperplasia can cause uncomfortable urinary symptoms. The prostate wraps around your urethra, a tube that carries urine out of your body. As the prostate grows, it can pinch the urethra, which means you have trouble urinating. You may have a weak flow and an urge to use the bathroom often. Men with an enlarged prostate wake several times during the night to empty their bladder.
These symptoms are uncomfortable and annoying and they negatively affect your quality of life. Experienced urologist W. Cooper Buschemeyer III, MD, at Buschemeyer Urology provides evaluation and treatment for prostate problems, including enlargement.
Here’s how Dr. Buschmeyer can help you deal with an enlarged prostate.
Before assuming you have an enlarged prostate, Dr. Buschmeyer thoroughly evaluates it. He’ll insert a lubricated, gloved finger into your anus to feel for any growth. He may also check your urine flow and evaluate your voiding, meaning you completely release all urine when you go.
He’ll also look for signs of an infection or prostate cancer.
Treating an enlarged prostate
If you have an enlarged prostate, Dr. Buschmeyer customizes treatment according to your symptoms. If you have very mild symptoms, he may suggest lifestyle adjustments that include:
- Minimizing alcohol and caffeine, which can irritate the bladder
- Timing fluid intake and keeping it to a minimum before bedtime
- Limit over-the-counter decongestants and antihistamines that may increase fluid in the bladder
He can also teach you about double voiding. In this process, you empty your bladder, wait a moment, and try to go again without force.
If these lifestyle changes don’t help, Dr. Buschemeyer may recommend medication to help shrink an enlarged prostate and relax your bladder, so you don’t have as much of an urge to go all the time. In cases where your symptoms are unbearable, the doctor can do surgery to remove excess prostate tissue.
Dr. Buschemeyer also may recommend surgery if a man has recurrent blood in the urine or regular urinary tract infections. An enlarged prostate that decreases kidney function, causes bladder stones, or results in urinary incontinence also requires surgical intervention.
Dr. Buschemeyer uses several different techniques to reduce the size of the prostate. Sometimes, surgery can be done with a laser for a less-invasive approach. Several procedures are also done by accessing the prostate through the urethra.
If you’re struggling with symptoms of an enlarged prostate, don’t hesitate to contact our team at Buschemeyer Urology at the Conroe, Willis, or The Woodlands, Texas, offices to get relief. Call or use this website to schedule an appointment.