LIFE WITH BPH MAY FEEL LIKE YOU’RE ON A ROLLER COASTER.
Frustration. Anxiety. Coping. Hoping. You are not alone with the constant up and down of searching for a solution that works. The majority of men over 50 will face Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH) at some point. Unfortunately, that’s just the reality of aging for most men.
BPH can be exhausting, even feeling like it’s taking over your life. In spite of all these difficulties, you know your BPH doesn’t define you. And you don’t want to settle by making compromises as to how you live your life.
“I was 50 and a marathon runner. I was not expecting this to happen to me.
BPH affected me in a lot of ways, most powerfully with intimacy and with my confidence.”
BPH RELIEF WITHOUT COMPROMISE
Although the effects of BPH are often characterized as only physical limitations, the mental and emotional drain that can result from living with BPH can be overlooked.
Men who are struggling with BPH want to reclaim their identity and get back to the things they love the most—whether that’s playing golf with friends, traveling with family, or being intimate with their partner.
Life is full of decisions—choosing between treatment side effects and BPH relief shouldn’t be one of them.
What is BPH?
Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH), or an enlarged prostate, is a prostate that has grown to be larger than normal. BPH is not prostate cancer.
A normal prostate is approximately the size of a walnut and sits underneath the bladder, wrapped around the urethra. The prostate is a gland that plays an important role in sexual function.
As the prostate grows and becomes larger than normal, it may:
- Constrict the urethra, making it difficult to urinate
- Apply pressure on the bladder, causing it to weaken and have difficulty emptying
If left untreated, BPH can cause significant health problems, including irreversible bladder or kidney damage, bladder stones, and incontinence.
Urine flows normally from the bladder, through the prostate, and out of the body.
Enlarged Prostate (BPH)
An enlarged prostate makes it difficult to urinate normally.
“The biggest issue was that I was no longer in control of my life. I’m in very good health, and then, boom, all of a sudden, I’m playing defense instead of taking full advantage of the world. I was always thinking ‘what if I’m going to have to go to the bathroom right now’ in the middle of anything. That was a huge weight on my shoulders.”
WHAT CAUSES BPH?
The prostate goes through two phases of growth. The first phase starts in puberty, when the prostate doubles in size and then stops growing. At the end of this first phase of growth, the prostate is the size of a walnut. The second phase starts around the age of 25, when the prostate continues to grow for the rest of a man’s life.
The cause of prostate enlargement is not known.
Signs and Symptoms of BPH
BPH may cause symptoms called Lower Urinary Tract Symptoms (LUTS), which affect the bladder, prostate and urethra and impact your ability to hold urine and empty your bladder.
According to the AUA guidelines, 30% of men over 50 years old will encounter moderate-to-severe LUTS, and 90% of men will experience moderate-to-severe LUTS by the time they are 85 years old, which is likely predominantly caused by BPH. Furthermore, 50% of men between the ages of 51-60 have pathological BPH. 3,4
Two Categories of LUTS Symptoms
Urgency – the need to urinate immediately or urgently
Frequency – the need to urinate more often than normal
Nocturia – the need to urinate frequently at night while sleeping
Incontinence – complete loss of the ability to hold urine
Straining – the need to push or strain to start and complete urinating
Dysuria – pain or stinging when urinating
Hesitancy – difficulty starting to urinate
Weak Stream – gentle or weak stream instead of a strong stream of urine
Intermittency – a urine stream that starts and stops
Retention – complete loss of the ability to empty your bladder
LUTS also impacts quality of life
- Inability to sleep through the night
- Limiting activities due to proximity to the bathroom
- Embarrassment and frustration
- Impact on relationships
- Impact on professional life
- Impact on social activities
- Impact on sexual function – erectile function and/or ejaculatory function
“Who wants to talk about their prostate when out having a beer with their buddies? Not me.
But finding out I wasn’t alone was a huge relief.”
Diagnosing BPH starts with a visit to your doctor (urologist, or primary-care-physician, or internist) who will review your symptoms and run a series of tests.
These tests may include:
- physical examination of your prostate
- review of your symptoms
- series of medical tests that evaluate your ability to store urine in your bladder and your ability to urinate
Your doctor will test you to see if your symptoms are being caused by BPH or something else. If these initial tests confirm that your symptoms are caused by BPH, your doctor will then discuss treatment options with you.
“It’s a roller coaster. It’s full of ups and downs. It’s never consistent. I’ve been on several alpha blockers. Some of them may work. Your life may be doing great, but the drug or that treatment might not be effective anymore. And then you have to find something else that works. Just like a roller coaster.”
- Roehrborn, CG, Rosen, RC. Medical therapy options for aging men with benign prostatic hyperplasia: focus on alfuzosin 10 mg once daily. Clinical Interventions in Aging 2008:3(3).
- Data on file at PROCEPT BioRobotics.
- Foster, HE, et al. Surgical Management of Lower Urinary Tract Symptoms Attributed to Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia: AUA Guideline. Urology. 2018. Vol 200. 612-619.
- Berry et al. Development of Human BPH with Age. Urology 132. 1984.
All surgical treatments have inherent and associated side effects. The most common side effects are mild and transient and may include mild pain or difficulty when urinating, discomfort in the pelvis, blood in the urine, inability to empty the bladder or a frequent and/or urgent need to urinate, and bladder or urinary tract infection. Other risks include ejaculatory dysfunction and a low risk of injury to the urethra or rectum where the devices gain access to the body for treatment. For more information about potential side effects and risks associated with Aquablation therapy for Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH) treatment, speak with your urologist or surgeon. No claim is made that the AquaBeam Robotic System will cure any medical condition, or entirely eliminate the diseased entity. Repeated treatment or alternative therapies may sometimes be required.