Can an Enlarged Prostate Be Cured?
An enlarged prostate—also referred to as benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH)—is a common condition among men as they grow older. It is characterized by the natural enlargement of the prostate, a small gland situated between the bladder and penis. The urethra, or the tube that carries urine from the bladder to the penis, is surrounded by the prostate, and often becomes squeezed and compressed as a result of prostate enlargement. This can cause a weakened urine stream and related issues like a frequent urge to urinate and difficulty sleeping through the night.
Prostate enlargement tends to come with age. While it’s difficult to completely reverse an enlarged prostate, there are several treatments that can relieve symptoms, reduce the size of the prostate and help restore normal urine flow. In fact, many men with prostate enlargement are able to achieve a positive quality of life with non-surgical treatments.
Enlarged Prostate Treatment Options
A “watchful waiting” approach is taken in many BPH cases. Some men find that their symptoms are mild and resolve without treatment. However, when symptoms are disruptive or don’t improve over time, one or more of the following treatment options may be recommended.
Medication is often the first step of enlarged prostate treatment. There are multiple drugs that can help reduce BPH symptoms, including:
- 5-alpha reductase inhibitors that help shrink the prostate
- Alpha blockers that relax prostate muscle fibers and bladder neck muscles
- Phosphodiesterase 5 inhibitors, which are primarily prescribed to address erectile dysfunction, may help increase urine flow
There are several lifestyle factors that can contribute to or worsen prostate enlargement. For example, living a sedentary lifestyle can increase urinary retention, so many physicians recommend for patients to engage in routine exercise. Other common recommendations include:
- Limiting alcohol and caffeine consumption
- Reducing liquid consumption before bedtime
- Using the bathroom at scheduled times, even when the bladder is empty
- Losing excess weight
- Avoiding the use of decongestants and antihistamines, if possible
If prostate enlargement symptoms are disruptive or don’t respond to conservative approaches, surgery may be recommended. There are many minimally invasive procedures and surgical therapies available that can provide significant relief to men with prostate enlargement.
Our Approach to Urology & Enlarged Prostate Treatment
At Tufts Medical Center Community Care, our patients benefit from the world-class expertise of seasoned urologists, internal medicine physicians and other experts who frequently treat prostate conditions. If you would like to speak with a specialist regarding your symptoms or prostate enlargement treatment options, contact our friendly staff today. We will be happy to schedule you an in-person appointment at one of our easily accessible locations throughout north suburban Boston, or you can consult with our professionals virtually through our convenient telemedicine services.