The most common cause of prostate enlargement is benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), a condition that commonly occurs as men age. Other causes of prostate enlargement are prostate cancer and prostatitis, an inflammation of the prostate gland that may or may not be caused by an infection. Having an exam is the best way to understand what might be causing your prostate to be enlarged.
An enlarged prostate can cause different symptoms, depending on the cause. Common symptoms of enlarged prostate include:
increased need to urinate, though only small amounts of urine may pass
difficulty starting urination
being unable to empty the bladder completely
weak or interrupted urine stream
increased need to urinate at night
straining while urinating
When an enlarged prostate is caused by an infection, it can also cause pain during urination and pain or aching in the lower back.
In men with BPH, one of the primary risks is the development of urinary tract infections, including bladder and kidney infections, as the prostate begins to block more and more of the flow of urine. Urinary stones are also more common in men with enlarged prostates. When an enlarged prostate is caused by infection, the infection can eventually spread to other organs if not treated.
Treatment of BPH depends on the size of your prostate, your age and overall health, and the severity of your symptoms. Options include medications to shrink the prostate and relax the bladder muscles, minimally invasive procedures to remove or reduce the size of the prostate, laser therapy and surgical removal of the prostate. Prostatitis is treated with antibiotics, and sometimes surgery to repair damage from advanced prostatitis.
Leonard W. Liang, M.D., is a provider for Medicare and most major insurance plans, and provides insurance billing. You are responsible for co-payments or charges that are not covered by your insurance. If you have questions regarding billing or which insurance plans we accept, please contact us. Questions regarding insurance coverage and benefits should be directed to your employer or insurance company.
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