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Prostate Enlargement/BPH Health Center

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Treatment Overview

Benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) cannot be cured, so treatment focuses on reducing your symptoms. Treatment is based on how severe your symptoms are, how much they bother you, and whether you have complications.

Deciding how to treat BPH is greatly influenced by how bothersome your symptoms are. The American Urological Association (AUA) symptom index calculator.gif is an interactive questionnaire that can help you tell how bad your symptoms are and measure how well your treatment is working. This questionnaire ranks the severity of your symptoms on a numerical scale. The higher the number, the more you are bothered by your symptoms. The more your symptoms bother you, the more aggressive you may want to be in your treatment.

Initial treatment

The American Urological Association (AUA) makes the following treatment recommendations for benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) based on how bad your symptoms are.2

  • Symptoms that are mild or that do not bother you (AUA score of 0 to 7) may be best treated by watchful waiting. This means you may make small changes to your lifestyle to control your symptoms. You do not take medicines or have surgery. You have regular checkups to be sure your symptoms are not getting worse.
  • The treatment of moderate to severe symptoms (AUA score of 8 or more) depends on how much you are bothered by them. If the symptoms are not greatly affecting your quality of life, you may choose watchful waiting or treatment with medicine. If the symptoms are bothersome or you want more aggressive treatment, you may be offered surgery or less invasive therapies, such as transurethral microwave therapy (TUMT) or transurethral needle ablation (TUNA).
  • Complications of BPH, such as ongoing inability to urinate, urinary tract infections, bladder stones, kidney damage, or ongoing blood in your urine, should be treated with surgery. You may also want surgery if your symptoms have not been helped with other treatments.

There are some things you can do that may help reduce how much BPH affects your quality of life.

  • Do not try to rush your urination. Try to relax while using the bathroom.
  • Spread your fluid intake throughout the day. Limit fluid intake in the evening if you often wake up at night to urinate.
  • If possible, avoid medicines that make your symptoms worse.
Enlarged Prostate: Should I Take Medicine?

Ongoing treatment

If your symptoms of benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) remain mild and not bothersome, watchful waiting may be your best treatment. With this treatment, you may make small changes to your lifestyle to control your symptoms. You do not take medicines or have surgery. You have regular checkups to be sure your symptoms are not getting worse.

If symptoms get worse or become bothersome, or if you develop complications, you can consider medicine or surgery.

Enlarged Prostate: Should I Take Medicine?
dplink.gif Enlarged Prostate: Should I Have Surgery?

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: March 05, 2012
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.

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