Medically Reviewed by Dr. David Costa Navarro
What is the prostate
The prostate is a gland located below the male bladder, the function of which is to produce prostate fluid, an important component of the seminal fluid which contributes to ensuring the vitality and motility of the spermatozoa.
Benign prostatic hypertrophy (or hyperplasia) (IPB) is a benign enlargement of the prostate that usually occurs at 50 years of age. It is estimated that it is present in half of patients over 50 and in ¾ of those over 80. In people who suffer from this disorder, the size of the prostate, with advancing age, can even exceed two or three times the normal size up to the size of a small mandarin.
The causes of the disease are unknown; however, the factors involved are likely to be numerous. Given the correlation with advancing age, it seems reasonable to hypothesize that the change in the hormonal structure (andropause) plays an important role in favoring the changes in the structure of the gland that underlie its enlargement. The increase in the volume of the prostate tends to compress the stretch of urethra that passes through the gland, reducing its size.
The first symptom of benign prostatic hypertrophy that the patient experiences is almost always the difficulty in urinating (especially starting urination). The growth of the gland, in fact, which increasingly tightens the urethra, involves an excess of work for the bladder to expel the urine. Over time, the bladder weakens and loses efficiency. Incomplete emptying involves the persistence of a urinary residue in the bladder which facilitates the onset of infections or the formation of stones. Alongside the difficulty in initiating urination, the other symptoms almost always present are: the decrease in the strength of the urinary stream and intermittent (jerky) urination. These symptoms are a consequence of obstruction of the urethra, while others, such as the feeling of not emptying the bladder, the urgent need to urinate, the need to urinate often during the day (pollakiuria) and at night (nocturia) and terminal dripping (after finishing urinating, a few drops of urine continue to come out) are irritative. The picture can be complicated by episodes of acute urine retention.