Treatment For Enlarged Prostate

NHS

The treatment for an enlarged prostate gland will depend on how badly the symptoms are affecting your qualify of life. The main treatments are:

  • lifestyle changes
  • medicine
  • catheters
  • surgery and other procedures

Lifestyle changes

You might be able to relieve the symptoms by making some simple changes to your lifestyle.

Drink fewer fizzy drinks and less alcohol, caffeine and artificial sweeteners

Fizzy drinks and drinks that contain alcohol, caffeine (such as tea, coffee or cola) and artificial sweeteners can irritate the bladder and make urinary symptoms worse. 

Drinking less fluid in the evening

Try to reduce the amount of fluids you drink in the evening and avoid drinking anything for 2 hours before you go to bed. This might help you avoid getting up in the night. Make sure you're still drinking enough fluid earlier in the day.

Remember to empty your bladder

Remember to go to the toilet before long journeys or when you know you will not be able to reach a toilet easily.

Double voiding

Double voiding involves waiting a few moments after you have finished peeing before trying to go again. It can help you empty your bladder properly. But take care not to strain or push.

Checking your medicines

Check with your doctor whether any medicines you take, such as antidepressants or decongestants, might be making your urinary symptoms worse.

Eating more fibre

Eating more fibre (which is found in fruit, vegetables and wholegrain cereals) can help you avoid constipation, which can put pressure on your bladder and make the symptoms of an enlarged prostate worse.

Using pads or a sheath

Absorbent pads and pants can be worn inside your underwear, or may replace your underwear altogether. These will soak up any leaks.

Urinary sheaths can also help with dribbling. They look like condoms with a tube coming out of the end. The tube connects to a bag that you can strap to your leg under your clothing.

Bladder training

Bladder training is an exercise programme that aims to help you last longer without peeing and hold more pee in your bladder.

You'll be given a target, such as waiting 5 to 15 minutes when you feel the urge to pee. You'll then gradually increase how long you wait.

It's a good idea to use a bladder training chart to record each time you pass urine and the volume of urine passed. You'll also be taught several exercises, such as breathing, relaxation and muscle exercises, to help take your mind off the need to pee.

Over time your target time will be increased, and at the end of the programme you should find you're able to last longer without peeing. Ask your doctor or specialist nurse for more information about any of these lifestyle changes.

Medicines

If lifestyle changes do not help, or are not suitable for you, you may be offered medicine. You may need to take more than 1 type of medicine, particularly if you have a larger prostate.

Alpha blockers

Alpha blockers relax the muscle in your prostate gland and at the base of your bladder, making it easier to pee. Commonly used alpha blockers are tamsulosin and alfuzosin.

Catheters

If you continue to have trouble peeing (a condition called chronic urine retention) and surgery is not suitable for you, you may need a catheter to drain your bladder.

A urinary catheter is a soft tube that carries urine out of the body from the bladder. It can be passed through your penis, or through a small hole made in your tummy, above your pubic bone. You may be recommended a removable catheter, or a catheter that stays in your bladder for a longer period of time.

Surgery and other procedures

Most men with urinary symptoms do not need to have surgery, but it may be an option if other treatments have not worked or give you severe side effects, or your symptoms are severe.

Transurethral resection of the prostate (TURP)

TURP involves removing part of the prostate gland using a device called a resectoscope that's passed through the urethra (the tube through which urine passes out of the body). It's suitable for men who have an enlarged prostate.

Holmium laser (HoLEP)

This treatment uses a laser to remove the portion of the prostate that is blocking the flow of pee. The procedure uses a laser fibre passed along the inside of the urethra, so the surgeon will not need to make a cut in your skin.

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