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Home / Prostate Enlargement (BPH)

Prostate Enlargement (BPH)

Prostate enlargement, otherwise known as benign prostate hyperplasia (BPH), is a condition where a man's prostate grows in size. This enlargement can place pressure on the urethra and cause uncomfortable urinary symptoms.

Thankfully, HealthExpress offers several treatments that reduce the size of the prostate and alleviate symptoms. Learn more, and begin the order process, below.

Dr. Sarah Donald Clinical Lead MBChB MRCGP DFSRH DRCOG (GMC Reg: 6099482)

Available Treatment(s)

Tamsulosin 3.7(3 Reviews)
  • Easy-to-take daily treatment
  • Reduces urinary symptoms
  • Blocks alpha receptors
View Treatments
Prices start from £19.99
Dutasteride
  • Prevents prostate growth
  • Alleviates symptoms
  • Daily treatment
View Treatments
Prices start from £24.99
Combodart
  • Combined effects
  • Relaxes bladder muscles
  • Prevents prostate growth
View Treatments
Prices start from £39.99

What is prostate enlargement?

The prostate is a small gland found in men, located between the bladder and the penis. Its primary function is to aid in the production of semen. If you are experiencing problems with your prostate, it means the gland has either become enlarged (placing pressure on the surrounding urethra) or has become infected.

As you age, the prostate may enlarge. This phenomenon is referred to as ‘benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH)’ or ‘prostate enlargement’. It is not always serious, however, it can lead to uncomfortable symptoms, such as a frequent urge to urinate.

Fortunately, several treatment options can ease symptoms. These include medications, such as Combodart and Tamsulosin, as well as surgery. Your age and symptoms will affect what option is right for you.

To determine the best course of action, you should consult your doctor - they will be able to advise you further.

What causes an enlarged prostate?

The exact cause of prostate enlargement is not known. Many falsely believe it is linked to prostate cancer, or can increase the risk of prostate cancer - though this is incorrect.

Instead, it is believed that the condition is caused by hormonal imbalances that occur as a man ages.

Other risk factors include a family history of BPH, obesity and type-2 diabetes.

However, it is important to rule out other conditions that can present with similar symptoms to prostate enlargement.

These conditions include:

  • prostatitis
  • structural abnormalities in the urethra
  • urinary tract infections (UTIs)
  • complications of past surgeries
  • bladder or kidney stones
  • nerve issues
  • bladder and prostate cancers

You should visit your doctor to rule out any of the above, especially as many of them can be serious.

Please note, if you are unable to pass any urine at all, you should seek immediate medical attention.

What are the symptoms of an enlarged prostate?

Your doctor will first want to determine that you are suffering from BPH.

They may wish to conduct a digital prostate exam, which will involve them inserting a finger into your rectum, so that they can feel for the size and shape of your prostate.

They may also ask you to complete a urine test, to rule out other causes such as UTIs and STIs, and/ or a blood test to rule out prostate cancer.

Other tests may also be conducted, depending on the symptoms and severity of your case, such as scans and biopsies if necessary.

Prostate enlargement typically presents with urinary issues. This is because, as the prostate increases in size, it narrows the width of the urethra, affecting (and in severe cases, impeding) the stream of urine.

In fact, BPH is the most common cause of persistent urinary problems in men.

The most common symptoms include:

  • frequent urination
  • difficulty urinating
  • increased nighttime urination
  • inability to empty the bladder
  • a weak stream of urine (or dribbling)

Less common symptoms include:

  • blood in the urine
  • urinary tract infections

Be aware, the latter two symptoms can also indicate more serious conditions and may require separate treatment. If you experience these, it is important to seek urgent medical care.

What treatment is available for an enlarged prostate?

If left untreated BPH can lead to an increased likelihood of urinary tract infections and other complications, which is why it is important to receive treatment.

Mild to moderate cases of prostate enlargement will usually require medication:

  • Alpha-blockers are the most popular form of medication, as they relax muscles connected to the bladder and prostate. In turn, this makes urination easier. HealthExpress offers the alpha-blocker Tamsulosin.
  • Another option is to counteract the effects of androgens, the hormones that contribute to prostate enlargement. This class of medication is known as 5-alpha reductase inhibitors. The prostate can be effectively shrunk through the long-term use of this medication. Examples of this classification include Finasteride and Dutasteride.
  • Medication can also be combined to take advantage of the specific action of each respective class. For example, HealthExpress offers Combodart, a mixture of tamsulosin and dutasteride.

If medication has little effect, or your symptoms are especially severe, your doctor may recommend you undergo surgery. Of course, all surgery poses risks; however, it is also a very effective treatment.

It will generally involve removing a section of your prostate, or shrinking it entirely. You should discuss surgery with your doctor, as there are many options and all will be affected by your situation.

PDE-5 inhibitors, such as the erectile dysfunction medication Cialis, have also been shown to help in the treatment of BPH.

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