Enlarged Prostate Causes, Symptoms, and Treatments

Prostate is a small sized gland that is essential in male’s reproductive process. This gland secretes necessary nutrients during the ejaculation to help sperms survive inside the vagina as they swim toward the egg. Prostate wraps around above the male urethra, an important part of the urinary system. Enlarged prostate can cause a number of health issues and complications and you should find professional helps immediately.


Enlarged prostate can happen due to a number of reasons:

Benign Prostate Hyperplasia

It is the most likely cause of enlarged prostate on men. As boys begin to enter puberty, the testosterone production starts and the prostate gland is activated. At the age of 20, the growth stops, however, at around 40, prostate experiences another growth spurt, which is indicated by an increase on the number of cells. Hyperplasia occurs in almost all men as they reach certain age. The cause of hyperplasia is still unknown, but it is suspected to be caused by hormonal changes.


It is the prostate gland inflammation and the exact cause is also unknown. Prostatitis is suspected to be caused by bacterial infection on skin or the intestinal tract. Due to its close working relationship and proximity, prostate can be inflamed when an infection occurs in urethra. An inflamed and irritated prostate may swell, which leads to enlarged prostate.

Prostate Cancer

It is yet another cause of enlarged prostate. Cancer is essentially an uncontrollable growth of cells and can make the prostate to grow beyond its normal size. However, like many cancer types, it’s difficult to pinpoint the real cause of cancer. Risk factors for prostate cancer include poor diet and genetic reasons. Men above 55 years old are also more likely to have prostate cancer.


Whatever the cause, the key point in ensuring quick recovery is early treatment, it is therefore very important to detect the symptoms of this disease as soon as you can. The symptoms of enlarged prostate are all too familiar on many men as they age. The prostate surrounds a tube that allows the urine to go out and when the gland enlarges, it can squeeze the tube. This often causes urination problem at night. According to the American Urological Association, there are two categories of enlarged prostate symptoms: irritative and obstructive. Seven symptoms of enlarged prostate are commonly known by the medical community, they help doctors to determine the severity of the condition and the best treatment options. Those symptoms are:

  • The inability to completely empty the bladder
  • The tendency to urinate again shortly after urinating
  • The urine can’t come out in a steady stream
  • A very strong urge to urinate
  • The urine comes out in a weak stream
  • The need to strain when urinating
  • Get up a few times during the night to urinate

Despite the apparent similarities of the above symptoms, they can be narrowed down to a couple of categories.

Irritative symptoms cause changes in the urination habit, for example, sufferers need to urinate frequently, have very strong urge to urinate and forced to urinate a few times during bedtime. Some patients may experience a burning sensation.

Obstructive symptoms hinder the urine flow, for example sufferer may have weak urine flow or need to strain when urinating.

Some of the above conditions can be very severe and significantly impact the quality of lives on many men. About 40% sufferers reported that their conditions get better although the prostate stays enlarged. As a matter of fact, only 15% percent men who have enlarged prostate experience the above symptoms.


People who have enlarged prostate must undergo a number of medical treatments. There are many options that patients can use to treat their condition.

Drug Therapy

The FDA approved six medications to relieve symptoms of enlarged prostate:

  • Dutasteride (Avodart)
  • Alfuzosin (Uroxatral)
  • Terazosin (Hytrin)
  • Doxazosin (Cardura)
  • Tamsulosin (Flomax)
  • Finasteride (Proscar)

Based on the severity of the condition, the doctor may prescribe more than one drug for a patient.

Minimally Invasive Therapy

Unfortunately, some people don’t respond well to the drug therapy and the doctor may decide to perform a minimally invasive procedure, such as:

Transurethal needle ablation (TUNA): It works by delivering low level of energy through a couple of needles to eliminate the enlarged prostate tissue. The risk of damaging the urethra with heat damage is relatively minimal.

Transurethal microwave thermotherapy (TUMT): It sends high-frequency electromagnetic energy through a catheter to gradually eliminate the excess prostate tissue.

Water induced thermotherapy: The doctor uses a catheter that contains special balloon, heated water is used to destroy the excess prostate tissue.

High-intensity focused ultrasound: The method is not yet approved by the FDA, it uses ultrasound waves to eliminate prostate tissue.

Surgical Treatments

When the minimally invasive treatments are considered to be insufficient due to the severity of the condition, doctors will consider the direct removal of the excess prostate tissue to be the last and the best option available. Those methods are:

• TURP (Transurethal resection of the prostate): The doctor removes the excess prostate tissue through the urethra piece by piece, as the result no external incision is required.

• Open surgery: When TURP is not possible due to a number of reasons, such as a very large prostate and another restrictive disease, open surgery is preformed.

• Laser surgery: A relatively safer and newer method, with less risk of complications. However, it may not work well on people with severe situations. Laser surgery is less painful.

Alternative Treatments

If you’re lucky to start the treatment when the condition is still at an early stage, you need to opt for making necessary changes in lifestyle to avoid using prescription drugs or undergoing a surgery.

Diet Changes

You should avoid foods that contain tyramines, as they increase the risk of enlarged prostate. See a doctor or nutritionist to know whether your food pattern increases the risk of enlarged prostate.

Removing External Triggers

Some anecdotal evidences show that citral found in household cleaning products can increase the risk of enlarged prostate. Check your cleaning products in your house and see whether they contain risky substances and toxins.

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