When you have benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), the prostate gland gets bigger and may compress the urethra (the tube that carries urine from the bladder and then out of the body). As this happens, the bladder wall becomes thickened, irritable, and begins to contract even when it contains small amounts of urine. The enlarged prostate can also push up against the bladder.
BPH can lead to lower urinary tract symptoms such as:
- An urgent need to urinate
- Increased frequency of urination—especially at night (nocturia)
- Inability to urinate or straining while urinating
- Weak urine stream
- A urine stream that starts and stops (intermittently)
- Unable to empty your bladder completely
- Dribbling at the end of urinating
If you’re experiencing symptoms of BPH—and are finding they interfere with normal sleeping patterns, daily activities, or maintaining your quality of life—contact your interventional radiologist.
Left untreated, BPH could lead to health complications such as kidney stones, infection, lack of bladder control (neurogenic bladder), and complete bladder outlet obstruction or blockage.
If you and your healthcare provider determine that you have benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), it’s a good idea to discuss the various treatment options available, including prostatic artery embolization (PAE).