Often, the possibility of this condition stems from the appearance of erectile dysfunction, and the first step in treating it is to determine the cause.
For this answer, an erectile dysfunction self-test is in order. Take the following simple steps to get a lead on if benign prostatic hyperplasia could be the cause:
1. Abstain from sleeping pills and alcohol two nights before taking the test.
2. Secure 4 to 6 postal stamps around your penis in its rested state.
3. Sleep on your back.
4. Determine if any stamp seals have been broken in the morning due to an erection.
Do this for three consecutive nights. If an erection did not appear to occur, you it is possible that you have erectile dysfunction.
If benign prostatic hyperplasia is found to be the cause of your erection issues, the follow treatments may be used to treat the symptoms:
Alpha blockers, such as silodosin, alfuzosin, tamsulosin and doxazosin, typically work quickly by relaxing muscles in a small prostate. Side effects of alpha blockers include semen retracting into the bladder (a harmless condition) and dizziness. Other medications include:
Popularly known as the Cialis brand, this medication targets prostate enlargement caused by BPH as well as erectile dysfunction.
- 5-Alpha Reductase Inhibitors
Dutasteride and finasteride are some 5-alpha reductase inhibitors that create the hormonal changes that reduce prostate size. Side effects include retroactive ejaculation similar to alpha blockers, and it may take up to six months for effects to show.
Minimally invasive surgery may be necessary for symptoms that do not respond to medication. The following procedures are typically used:
- Transurethral Resection of the Prostate
This procedure increases urine flow to relieve the prostate. A lighted scope is inserted into the urethra, and every part of the urethra is removed except for the outer part. A catheter may also be used to drain the bladder, and results are often almost immediate.
- Transurethral Microwave Thermotherapy
Microwave energy is used to shrink an enlarged prostate gland by inserting an electrode through the urethra to the prostate. Re-treatment is sometimes necessary with this procedure.
- Transurethral Needle Ablation
Radio waves are used to eliminate built up prostate tissue that may be blocking urine in this procedure. This treatment is used for individuals who are prone to bleed, but it oftentimes only partially relieves symptoms.
Laser procedures are typically more effective and non-invasive than standard surgery. The two laser procedures currently used are:
- Ablative Procedures
Urine flow is increased by eliminating excess tissue in the prostate.
- Enucleative Procedures
Tissue is removed from the prostate and examined for biopsy purposes.
An open prostatectomy is typically ordered if bladder damage or a very large prostate is present. During this procedure, an incision is made in the lower abdomen to remove excess tissue from the prostate.
Two experimental treatments, the prostate lift and embolization, are two procedures where the long-term effects are not currently determined. The prostate lift involves the use of tags to compress the sides of the prostate, and embolization involves blocking the blood supply in select areas to decrease prostate size.
Talk to a Urologist
If you are concerned about benign prostatic hyperplasia or want to look into BPH treatments, consult an expert urologist to look into your options. Only they can help determine the best approach based on your unique health needs.