Benign Prostatic hypertrophy – BPH (Prostate Enlargement)

Benign prostatic hypertrophy is also called benign prostatic hyperplasia.

As men age, their hormones can change and testosterone is converted into a more potent form called Dihydrotestosterone (DHT).

DHT causes an overproduction of prostate cells, therefore causing enlargement of the prostate. This is one of the most common problems experienced amongst men. As men age, this problem becomes more prevalent. Although this can be diagnosed from about the age of 30 sometimes, by the age of 85 approximately 90% of men may have this condition.

What is the prostate Gland?

The prostate gland is a vital part of the male reproductive system. Ot is located under the bladder. Its function is to produce a fluid that carries and nourishes the sperm. (This liquid can constitute up to one third of volume of semen).

Why an enlarged prostate is a problem?

As the gland enlarges, it can start pressing on the urethra. The bladder outlet gets obstructed increasing urinary frequency and urgency.

This causes symptoms such as intermittent flow, reduced force and frequent visits to the bathroom, both during the day and during the night, awaking the person to visit the bathroom.

More serious complications

An enlarged prostate without treatment can cause obstruction of urinary flow and can result in serious health complications including acute urinary retention (which can lead to kidney failure), recurrent urinary tract infection, bladder stones and blood in the urine.

What factors contribute to an enlarged prostate?

Except for the age factor, there are some factors that can contribute to an enlarged prostate such as:

Urinary tract infections

Sexually transmitted diseases of the past, such as gonorrhoea or chlamydia

Excessive alcohol consumption


Aetiology / Risk factors

Factors that can contribute to the incidence of BPH/prostatitis include

  • Recent urinary tract infection
  • Prior sexually transmitted disease, such as gonorrhoea or Chlamydia.
  • Smoking
  • Excess alcohol consumption
  • Structural abnormalities of the urinary tract

Symptoms of an enlarged prostate

Some of the symptoms are as follows:

  • Difficulty starting urine stream
  • Decreased strength and force of the stream
  • Dribbling after urination
  • Incomplete bladder emptying
  • Sexual dysfunction

Some things that may help:

Of course a visit to a health professional is best, however here are some ideas to help you temporarily.

  • The herb Saw Palmetto is very popular that may assist in an enlarged prostate.
  • Zinc is an important nutrient for enlarged prostate
  • Stop smoking
  • Reduce alcohol intake
  • Reduce stare levels
  • Deal with any urinary infections
  • Avoid soft drinks and sugary drinks in general\
  • Lose weight if you are over weight
  • Avoid coffee

There are many causes of an enlarged prostate, not possible to cover here in detail. It is always advisable to get professional help.