Frequently Asked Questions about BPH treatment
Can BPH be cured?
No, there is no cure for enlarged prostate (BPH).
However, treatments are available that can offer you significant relief from the
symptoms of BPH.
What are the types of BPH treatments?
Treatments fall into four categories: medications (pills),
office-based minimally invasive treatments (MITs), laser surgery, and traditional
surgery. Another option is watchful waiting. However, this is not a form of treatment.
Instead, no action is taken; you pay attention to your symptoms to see if they worsen
Are there negative side effects associated with certain BPH treatments?
Every treatment for BPH has certain side
effects and risks. These side effects must be evaluated together with the gains
offered by treatment. In many cases, the benefits of symptom relief are greater
than the possible side effects of treatment. Your doctor will explain the advantages
and disadvantages of specific treatment options.
How do I know which BPH treatment is right for me?
Choosing the right treatment is generally based on the severity of your symptoms
and how much they bother you as well as the impact of treatment on your lifestyle.
The American Urological Association (AUA) BPH
Symptom Quiz is a list of questions that can help you determine the severity
of your symptoms. You and your doctor should jointly determine the best treatment
option for you. Once you know your Symptom Quiz score (mild, moderate or severe),
then you can take the BPH
Treatment Review to learn what treatment might best fit your needs.
Will BPH treatments affect my sex life?
In some cases, certain treatments can affect sexual function, including erection
difficulty, decreased sexual desire, and abnormal ejaculation. Pills called 5-alpha
reductase inhibitors commonly cause less semen to be ejaculated and the inability
to get an erection (impotence). Pills called
alpha blockers may cause sexual side effects such as failure to ejaculate,
retrograde (or internal) ejaculation, and less semen to be ejaculated. Traditional
surgery, known as transurethral resection
of the prostate (TURP), may cause the inability to get an erection and
Click here for an article on sexual function
and BPH by Neal D. Shore, MD, Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. Dr. Shore is
a clinical urologist and principle investigator of the
Prolieve Thermodilatation® System, who specializes in prostate
disease and has performed more than 200 office-based
minimally invasive treatments for the symptoms of BPH. This article is based
on Dr. Shore's clinical experiences and opinions. Dr. Shore is a paid consultant
of Boston Scientific.
What if I choose to avoid BPH treatment?
In most cases, treatment is designed to offer relief from the symptoms of
BPH. If your symptoms are mild, not treating them is a reasonable course
of action. However, if you experience complete urinary blockage or you notice blood
in your urine or semen, these may be signs of a more serious condition, and you
should contact your doctor immediately.
Next page: Watchful Waiting
Disclaimer: This material is provided for information purposes only and is not a substitute for a consultation. You should talk with a urologist regarding your specific symptoms or medical condition.