Skip to content

Men's Health

The Best Treatment for an Enlarged Prostate

Font Size
A
A
A

Each man has a different tolerance for symptoms of benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), also known as an enlarged prostate. If your symptoms are not bothering you greatly -- and you have not developed any urinary complications -- you may choose watchful waiting as your treatment strategy.

This means seeing your doctor once a year -- or sooner if your symptoms change.

Recommended Related to Men

How to Write a Thank-You Note

By Tom Chiarella First you remind the person what you are thanking them for. Then you tell them why. That's it. A good thank-you note is a clear and ruddy piece of prose. There are only two moves involved. First you remind the person what you are thanking them for. Then you tell them why. That's it. You sign off, sure. And you might throw in an extra sentence or two for a laugh or a private joke. But it's mostly a chop-chop exercise: two solid, sincere sentences, each touching...

Read the How to Write a Thank-You Note article > >

Watchful Waiting for an Enlarged Prostate

If you choose watchful waiting in regards to an enlarged prostate, there are things you can do to reduce symptoms:

  • Make simple changes in your habits, like drinking fewer liquids before bedtime -- and drinking less caffeine and alcohol generally.
  • Don't take over-the-counter cold and sinus medicines with decongestants, which can make a prostate problem worse.

Watchful waiting is the least invasive treatment for an enlarged prostate. You avoid the risks and costs of medications, procedures, and surgery. For some men, mild BPH symptoms improve with time. If symptoms become worse, it's time to talk to your doctor about treatment.

An Enlarged Prostate and Prescription Drugs

When enlarged prostate symptoms become more bothersome, drugs may help provide relief. Two types of medications are available to treat moderate BPH. Each works differently in the body, and each has its own side effects.

The two classes of drugs for an enlarged prostate are:

  • Alpha blockers, which relax muscles of the prostate to relieve symptoms.
  • 5-alpha reductase inhibitors, which help shrink the prostate and prevent additional growth.

Men with very enlarged prostates may take both types of drugs, called combination therapy, to reduce the need for surgery. However, men taking combination therapy may experience the side effects of both drugs. Also, the FDA is revising labels on several BPH drugs -- Proscar, Avodart, and Jalyn -- to include a warning that the drugs may be linked to an increased risk of prostate cancer. 

Deciding on Enlarged Prostate Treatment

The choice between watchful waiting and taking medications for an enlarged prostate is something to be discussed with your doctor. Together, you must weigh the risks and benefits of each.

Ask yourself about each treatment option:

  • How much is my quality of life affected right now?
  • How much will it improve?
  • How long will the effects last?
  • Is there a risk that the treatment will cause problems?

Today on WebMD

man coughing
Men shouldn’t ignore.
man swinging in hammock
And how to get out it.
 
shaving tools
On your shaving skills.
muscular man flexing
Four facts that matter.
 
Food Men 10 Foods Boost Male Health
Slideshow
Thoughtful man sitting on bed
Quiz
 
Man taking blood pressure
Slideshow
doctor holding syringe
Slideshow
 

Loaded with tips to help you avoid food allergy triggers.

Loading ...

Sending your email...

This feature is temporarily unavailable. Please try again later.

Thanks!

Now check your email account on your mobile phone to download your new app.

Condom Quiz
Quiz
thumbnail_angry_couple_in_bed
Slideshow
 
man running
Quiz
older couple in bed
Video