Benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), also known as prostate adenoma is a benign tumor of the prostate gland that usually starts to develop after 40 years of age. Over 20% of men over the age of 50 suffer from this condition and need active treatment.
Adenoma of the prostate is an enlarged gland that originates in the so-called transition zone of the prostate that surrounds the urethra area of the prostate. It’s a situation that causes various urinary disorders. The age and the presence of male hormones are essential for the emergence of this disease. Adenoma of the prostate is composed of muscle fibers that contract by nerve stimulation, which creates an increase in micturition disorders.
In the early stages of pathology, the obstruction is offset by the increase in bladder pressure due to the development of the musculature of its wall. In the second stage, the bladder is overcome by the obstruction and it expands. This results in the accumulation of residual urine in the bladder after urination, in extreme cases it can reach up to 1,000 to 1,500 cm3 of urine. This dilation of the bladder with urine accumulation inside brings infections, stone formation, bladder diverticulitis formation, dilated upper urinary tree (urethras and kidneys) and even chronic renal failure requiring dialysis.
The typical symptoms of this disease can include delay in urination, thin stream of urine, and lack of strength, dribbling of urine after urination, and symptoms such as increased number of nocturnal voids but mainly diurnal, urgency micturition and so on. Many a times there is an acute urinary retention (AUR), which is the inability to urinate accompanied by intense pain in the lower abdomen (lower belly).
Acute retention of urine may be caused by prolonged travel without having urinated regularly, intake of prostate irritants (hot coffee, mate, etc.) and also by taking some kind of drugs or alcohol.
This disease can be treated through medication or surgery. If the patient is above the age of 60, then surgery may not be a viable option due to the risks involved with it. In drug treatment, a series of substances (of plant origin) that act as decongestants for the prostate gland (pygeum africanum, Serenoa repens, etc.) are used. The latest generations of medications are alpha blockers which act by decreasing the contraction, the muscle tone and pressure of the urethra at the prostate, improving urinary stream and sometimes decreasing the amount of urination and residual urine, that remains in the bladder after urination.