Enlarged prostate, or benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), is a common condition in men over 50. It can cause a variety of urinary problems, such as difficulty urinating, sudden splashes, and weak flow. Fortunately, there are several treatments available to help manage the symptoms of an enlarged prostate. In this article, we'll discuss the most effective treatments for enlarged prostate and how to choose the right one for you. The reference standard for treating BPH is surgical treatment using transurethral resection of the prostate (TURP).
TURP is the most effective treatment for most cases of BPH. It involves removing part of the prostate through the urethra. This procedure reduces urinary frequency, facilitates urination, and reduces weak flow. However, it does not solve the problem of incomplete emptying of the bladder. Medication is another option for treating an enlarged prostate.
Alpha-blockers are usually the first type of medication offered to you, unless your prostate is very large. Alpha-blockers work by relaxing the muscles in the bladder and prostate, which helps to improve urine flow. Most men who take alpha-blockers find that their symptoms improve within a few weeks of treatment. If your symptoms haven't improved after about four to six weeks, your doctor may suggest that you try a higher dose or a different treatment. Another type of medication used to treat an enlarged prostate is 5-alpha reductase inhibitors.
These drugs reduce the size of the prostate by blocking hormones that stimulate prostate growth. Dutasteride (Avodart) and finasteride (Proscar) are two types of 5-alpha reductase inhibitors. You'll usually have to wait three to six months for symptoms to ease with 5-alpha reductase inhibitors. According to an article published in Current Drug Targets, taking a combination of an alpha blocker and a 5-alpha reductase inhibitor provides greater symptom relief than taking either of these drugs alone. Combination therapy is often recommended when an alpha blocker or 5-alpha reductase inhibitor don't work on their own.
The most common combinations prescribed by doctors are finasteride and doxazosin or dutasteride and tamsulosin (Jalyn). The combination of dutasteride and tamsulosin comes as two drugs combined in a single tablet. If drug treatment isn't enough to alleviate BPH symptoms, there are minimally invasive surgery options available. These procedures include transurethral microwave thermotherapy (TUMT). During this outpatient procedure, microwaves destroy prostate tissue with heat.
This reduces urinary frequency, facilitates urination, and reduces weak flow. The Food and Drug Administration has not approved any herbal medications for the treatment of an enlarged prostate. However, some herbal treatments, such as beta-sitosterol extracts, pygeum and rye grass, have been suggested to be useful in reducing symptoms of prostate enlargement. At this time, there is no evidence that acupuncture or homeopathy can help control the symptoms of an enlarged prostate. Mayo Clinic specialists are trained in a wide range of cutting-edge technologies to treat prostate enlargement. These include medications such as alpha blockers and 5-alpha reductase inhibitors, minimally invasive surgery options such as transurethral microwave thermotherapy (TUMT), and other treatments such as herbal remedies. When deciding on a treatment plan for an enlarged prostate, it's important to talk to your doctor about all your options. Your doctor can help you decide which treatment is best for you based on your individual needs and preferences.