Search For a Provider Facebook Twitter Instagram YouTube ES View the Patient Toolkit

Conditions: BPH

Causes - BPH

The prostate gland is unique to men. It’s responsible for secreting the major portion of ejaculatory fluid. Seated directly below the bladder and surrounding the urethra, the prostate continues to grow throughout life. As a man ages, the prostate may become so large that it presses on the bladder or urethra, causing problems with urination and, over time, damaging the bladder or kidney or contributing to the development of kidney stones.

When the prostate first starts to enlarge, the bladder muscle can usually push urine through the constricted urethra. As the narrowing continues, though, the bladder muscle may become thicker or weaken. This can cause the man to strain to empty his bladder or to feel an intense urge to urinate when the bladder is only partially full (urgency). A man with severe urgency may get up several times a night to urinate.
 
Men with LUTS and BPH also have been found to be at greater risk for erectile dysfunction (ED), which means they find it difficult to have an erection or to maintain one long enough to have satisfactory sex. The more severe a man’s LUTS, the more severe his ED tends to be.
 
The connection between LUTS, BPH, and ED isn’t entirely clear. In some cases, severe LUTS may represent circulatory abnormalities or changes in nervous system control of the lower urinary tract, which may similarly affect the penis and contribute to ED. Some evidence suggested from animal studies is that the enlarged prostate leads to biochemical changes in the pelvic region affecting the biological function of penile tissue required for erection, linking LUTS, BPH, and ED.

WHEN TO SEE YOUR DOCTOR

If you have any bothersome LUTS or ED, see your doctor to find out whether the problems stem from BPH or something else.

Related Stories