As men age, it’s common to experience symptoms related to an enlarged prostate, also known as benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH). These symptoms can include difficulty urinating, weak stream, frequent urination, and the feeling of incomplete bladder emptying. While these symptoms can be frustrating and impact your quality of life, it’s important to remember that effective treatment options are available. The first step towards finding relief is talking to your doctor about your symptoms and exploring treatment options. Here’s a guide to help you prepare for that conversation.
What is BPH?
Benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) is a condition that affects almost all men as they age. As the prostate grows, it can place pressure on the urethra and cause difficulties with urination, such as decreased urine flow and having to go more frequently. Additionally, BPH can result in abdominal pain, back pain, and difficulty sleeping due to constantly needing to go. Fortunately, although symptoms may be bothersome and disruptive, BPH is benign and treatable. It is important for anyone who is experiencing these symptoms not to ignore them but instead talk to a doctor. Talking to a doctor can help find the underlying cause of the issue and possibly lead to treatments that can either reduce or alleviate the symptoms – allowing you to get back to living life with less disruption.
Preparing for the Appointment
By setting aside time before your appointment to get organized, you can create a more comfortable environment for yourself when you visit the doctor. Prior to your appointment, make sure to contact your insurance company so you are aware of what will be covered during your visit. You will also want to document your symptoms and make a list of any questions or concerns you have. This can help ensure that you don’t forget anything important during the appointment. It’s also a good idea to bring any relevant medical information, such as a list of medications you’re currently taking or previous test results. Don’t hesitate to make notes during the consultation and take advantage of this opportunity to learn more about BPH so that you are well-prepared to manage your condition going forward.
Starting the Conversation
Talking with your doctor can be intimidating but it doesn’t have to be. Make sure you come prepared with a list of any troubling symptoms and questions so that you feel free to ask all the necessary information. Don’t be embarrassed – BPH is a common condition, and your doctor is there to help you find relief. Be sure to discuss any impact your symptoms are having on your quality of life, such as interfering with sleep or causing you to avoid social situations. Being open and thorough with your doctor will help give them an accurate picture of your health and allow them to select the best course of treatment for your condition.
Treatment Options for BPH
It can also help to have an idea of what types of treatments are available for BPH. There are several treatment options available for BPH, including medication, minimally invasive treatments, and surgery. Your doctor can explain each option in detail, as well as any potential side effects. At a glance, here are the most common treatment options for BPH:
- Medications: Medications such as alpha blockers, 5-alpha reductase inhibitors and antibiotics can reduce the size of the prostate and improve urine flow.
- Minimally Invasive Techniques: Procedures such as transurethral microwave therapy (TUMT), or prostatic artery embolization (PAE), can help reduce the size of the prostate and reduce symptoms.
- Surgery: If medications and minimally invasive techniques don’t work, surgery may be recommended. The most common type of surgery for BPH is an open prostatectomy.
There is no one-size-fits-all solution for BPH but with careful consideration you will likely find an effective course of treatment to provide relief from your symptoms.
Questions Regarding Treatment Options for BPH
When it comes to treating Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH), asking questions about available options is a smart step. Your doctor can help you understand the risks and benefits of each option, and work with you to find the best treatment plan for your individual needs. It’s also important to address any doubts you may have about treatment effectiveness, as your doctor can provide information about success rates and what to expect during the recovery process. Asking difficult questions about possible side effects, recovery time, success rates for the various treatment plans, potential future complications, cost of the procedure, and how quickly lifestyle changes will become apparent are all important inquiries that should be made when considering treatment options for BPH.
Before you leave your appointment, be sure to discuss a follow-up plan with your doctor. This can include scheduling additional appointments to monitor your symptoms, as well as instructions for when to seek medical attention if your symptoms worsen. It’s important to continue working with your doctor to ensure that you find relief from your symptoms and maintain good prostate health.
BPH can be a difficult condition to deal with, but getting the proper medical attention and guidance is key. Talking to your doctor about BPH symptoms can be uncomfortable, but it’s an important step towards finding relief. By preparing for your appointment, starting the conversation, understanding treatment options, addressing concerns and questions, and making a follow-up plan, you can work with your doctor to find a treatment plan that works for you. Remember, BPH is a common condition and there are effective treatments available – don’t suffer in silence. 1Prostate Center in New York offers wonderful treatment options and specialized care when it comes to dealing with BPH. Take control today, schedule a consultation with us now!