I have an enlarged prostate. How does this affect incontinence?

For men, an enlarged prostate is a common cause of incontinence. As men age, the risk of developing an enlarged prostate, also known as Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH), and Prostate Cancer increases. Warning signs of BPH and Prostate Cancer include urinary symptoms. Pay attention to changes in the frequency of urination, especially at night, and hesitancy and dribbling during urination. Men over 40 with increased risk of developing these conditions should schedule annual prostate exams. Risk factors include family history and a diet that is low in fiber, but high in fat and red meat. Additionally, African Americans are typically at higher risk.

The good news: an enlarged prostate can be treated with a variety of medications and surgery. If you experience urinary incontinence or changes in urination, consult your doctor or healthcare provider as soon as possible. You'll want to discuss your symptoms and treatment options, which may include:

  • Alpha Blockers: Medications that relax the muscles surrounding the prostate and bladder, allowing urine to flow more easily.
  • 5-Alpha Reductase Inhibitors: These medications shrink the prostate by reducing DHT levels, which can produce results in about three months. 
  • TURP Surgery: Transurethral Resection of the Prostate is a standard procedure for removing the core of the prostate, which presses on the urethra.
  • TUIP Surgery: Transurethral Incision of the Prostate is a procedure that reduces pressure placed on the urethra through strategically placed incisions. 
  • Laser Prostatectomy: There are several types of laser surgery that vary in technical difficulty. You should discuss laser surgery options in detail with your physician. 
  • Transurethral Thermotherapy: This treatment uses microwave energy to heat prostate tissue.
  • Transurethral Electro-Vaporation: A treatment that vaporizes and clots prostate tissue to eliminate bleeding or absorption, relieving  pressure placed on the urethra. "
 

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Source: Prevail eNurse Team.

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