In some cases, mild benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) symptoms can go away without treatment. However, if the symptoms don't improve, it's important to discuss treatment options with a healthcare provider. Even after surgery, BPH can recur over time. The type of treatment for an enlarged prostate depends on the severity of the symptoms.
If the symptoms are mild, treatment may not be necessary right away. Your doctor may suggest regular checkups to monitor the condition. Men with mild prostate enlargement may not need treatment unless their symptoms are bothersome and affect their quality of life. Medications can help prevent the progression of prostate growth or even reduce its size in some cases.
The degree of prostate enlargement doesn't necessarily correlate with the severity of the symptoms. When the prostate is enlarged, it can press against its anatomical neighbors, particularly the urethra, causing it to narrow. The PSA blood test is used to detect prostate cancer and other prostate diseases such as BPH, but there is still much to learn about how to interpret the results and what action should be taken if the PSA level is high. Men with risk factors for BPH should talk to a healthcare provider about any lower urinary tract symptoms and about the need for regular prostate exams.
If prostate problems return, additional treatment may be necessary, including medications for BPH. Black men and those with a family history of prostate cancer have an increased risk of developing this condition. Although an enlarged prostate isn't usually serious, it can have a significant impact on lifestyle, especially when it causes frequent trips to the bathroom. Transurethral resection of the prostate (TURP) is a common surgery for BPH and is considered the gold standard for treating urethral obstruction due to BPH.
Alpha-blockers work more quickly than finasteride and dutasteride, which are only effective for moderate prostate enlargement. All men will eventually face this problem if they live long enough, although its cause is unknown and thought to be related to hormonal changes as men age. A healthcare provider may use a test to determine if the prostate is enlarged or tender or has any abnormalities that require further testing. If bothersome symptoms are present, medications can reduce the size of the prostate and relax both the bladder and prostate muscles so that you don't feel like you need to go to the bathroom all the time.