How do you keep your prostate healthy?

Prostate health is an important part of overall health for men. The prostate is a walnut-sized gland situated between the bladder and the penis. The urethra, the tube through which urine exits the body, runs through the prostate. One of the prostate’s main functions is producing a fluid that nourishes and protects sperm. For men, the prostate is an important part of both the urinary and reproductive systems.

The prostate is also the organ where the most common form of cancer for men develops. This cancer affects many men and the chances of developing it increase with age. The prostate also grows in size as men age. The rate and side effects of this growth can vary, but the most common symptoms are difficulty urinating and having to urinate frequently.

Given the importance of the prostate’s role and how easily it can develop problems, good prostate health is important. Luckily, there are simple lifestyle changes that can help improve prostate and overall health. These changes start with diet and exercise. There is a great deal of evidence that diet can help determine prostate health as well as cancer risk. It is recommended to have at least five servings of fruits and vegetables a day. Whole-grain bread and pastas are also recommended.

Protein is an important food group and eating the right kinds of protein plays a big role in prostate health. It is recommended to limit the intake of red and processed meats. Healthier sources of protein include fish, chicken, beans and eggs. Like protein, consuming the right fats is important, too. Healthy fats from olive oil, nuts, and avocados are much better than fats from animal byproducts or the trans fats found in fast food.

Sugar, salt and exercise play a role in prostate health as well. Sugary drinks like soda should be limited or cut out completely. Sweets in general should be an occasional treat, not a food group in your diet. Salt intake should be cut down for prostate health and keep in mind that most processed foods are very high in salt content.

Exercise is also important for maintaining good prostate health. There is evidence that regular exercise helps bring down the risk of stroke, heart disease and certain types of cancer.

Small changes to diet and exercise can add up to big health improvements, but there is still more you can do. Another important tool in keeping your prostate healthy is having a good relationship with your urologist. Yearly prostate exams and an open dialogue with a trusted urologist is key to maintaining prostate health and resolving issues early, before they turn into serious health problems. The urologists at St Pete Urology are dedicated to helping you keep your prostate healthy.

What Does the Prostate Gland Do?

The prostate gland is an organ that is part of the male reproductive system. It surrounds the urethra and is located between the bladder and penis. It is relatively small weighing in at a mere three-fourths of an ounce, and can be likened to the size of a walnut or small apricot.

Despite its small size, it does important work for the reproductive system. The primary function of the prostate is to produce and secrete prostate fluid, which is one of the main components of semen. This fluid, which makes up one-third of semen’s volume, contains important enzymes that aid sperm.

The enzymes are referred to as Prostate Specific Antigens (PSA) and help to prevent semen from thickening after ejaculation. The more liquid semen allows sperm to move freely, increasing the chances of its success.

The muscles of the prostate help propel semen. During ejaculation sperm moves from the testicles to the prostate. The prostate then will contract, closing the bladder’s opening to the urethra so the prostate can release the semen through the urethra.

When in good health, the prostate is an important part of the male reproductive system. However, it is prone to a few conditions that are most likely to increase as men age. The most common is enlarging of the prostate. Prostate growth affects virtually all men over age 50. It can cause difficulty urinating and the need for frequent urination. There are medicines that can help treat an enlarged prostate if symptoms get bad enough to warrant treatment.

Another common health issue is prostate cancer. Other than skin cancer, prostate cancer is the most common form of cancer in men. Fortunately, only one in 41 men diagnosed with prostate cancer dies, meaning survival rates are better than in many other forms of cancers. Prostate cancer can be treated with surgery, chemotherapy, radiation and hormone therapy. In some cases, when the cancer is not aggressive or spreading, doctors may recommend leaving the cancer alone and just monitoring it with your urologist.

Given its importance in the human body, good prostate health is important. Having your prostate checked once a year by a urologist should be a part of men’s annual health maintenance as they get older. Having a good relationship with your urologist is important. Urologists like those at St Pete Urology are dedicated to their patients’ best interest and overall health. They are specialists who can help with planning, treatment and any issues that may arise with the prostate. For more information, visit the St Pete Urology website.

BPH: What Is It and What Causes It?

BPH is the abbreviation for benign prostatic hyperplasia, also called prostate gland enlargement, a condition commonly found in men as they age. Enlarged prostate glands can cause serious urinary issues such as blocked urine flow, urinary tract issues and kidney problems. The treatments for BPH include medications and minimally invasive surgery.

The most common symptom is an urgent and frequent need to urinate. These may be accompanied by a difficulty beginning urination, a weak and interrupting stream, extended dribbles at the end of urination, or an inability to completely empty the bladder during urination. Urinary tract infections and bloody urine are other less common symptoms.

It is important to note that the size of the prostate does not necessarily correlate to the enlargement of the prostate. For instance, some men may have prostates that are only slightly enlarged and still suffer from symptoms worse than men with far greater enlarged prostates.

The prostate gland is found just below the bladder, and the tube that allows urine to exit the body runs directly through it. This is why urine flow is affected when the prostate enlarges. The primary cause of BPH is not fully known, but it may be related to changing sex hormone levels in men as they age.

The main risk factor for BPH is aging. Although BPH rarely affects men under 40, one-third of men between the ages of 40 and 60 experience it. And half of men experience it by age 80. Family history also plays a role in your chances of developing these problems. Men with a blood relative with BPH are more likely to develop it themselves. Diabetes, heart disease and obesity all increase the risk factors as well, while exercise helps lower them.

There are several complications that can result from BPH. The most common one is the inability to urinate, which may require a catheter if severe enough. Urinary tract infections can occur as well. Bladder stones and bladder damage may occur when the bladder cannot be fully emptied, which is more likely to happen to someone with BPH. Kidney damage is another complication that occurs when pressure that has built up in the bladder directly damages the kidneys.

Although common, BPH is a serious condition that can negatively affect quality of life and well being. But with many treatment options available, men can find relief by promptly seeking medical help. The doctors at St Pete Urology specialize in treating these issues and improving the lives of men as they age. For more information, visit the St Pete Urology website or make an appointment for a consultation.

How to tell if your prostate is enlarged?

The prostate gland is an integral part of the male reproductive system. It secretes seminal fluid, which nourishes sperm as they grow and facilitates their transportation during ejaculation. It is located between the bladder and the rectum and surrounds the base of the urethra. Due to its location next to key parts of the urinary system, the health of the prostate gland tends to have a direct impact on the health of a man’s urinary system.

The prostate gland grows larger as a man ages. While this gradual enlargement is normal, by the time a majority of men turn 50, the prostate has reached a size where it may start to affect the normal functioning of the urinary organs near it. It is at this point that a man is said to have an enlarged prostate, or clinically speaking, benign prostate hyperplasia (BPH).

Signs and Symptoms of an Enlarged Prostate

An enlarged prostate presses, pinches or causes a blockage in the urethra. The urethra carries urine from the bladder to outside the body. The direct effects of an enlarged prostate are manifested by difficulty in the discharge of urine. These difficulties could be in the form of:

1. Frequent and sudden urges to discharge urine;

2. Difficulty starting a urine stream;

3. Weak urine stream; and

4. Dribbling urine.

If left untreated, the effects of an enlarged prostate can cause the following complications:

1. Acute Urine retention. This is a complete inability to pass urine. Medical attention must be sought immediately if this occurs;

2. Urinary tract infections;

3. Blood in the urine;

4. Pain when passing urine; and

5. Pain in the lower abdomen.

Sometimes an enlarged prostate does not produce symptoms. When this occurs in some men, it may not even be possible to diagnose the condition because it gives them no trouble at all.

The key to diagnosing and treating an enlarged prostate lies with frequent prostate monitoring by a qualified urologist. Men approaching age 50 should get tested or at least keep a watch out for any of the symptoms listed above. The good news is there are many successful treatment options for the condition. Our specialists at St Pete Urology are experienced and well qualified to help with any questions, concerns and treatment. If you think you may have an enlarged prostate, or are experiencing any problems, by all means contact us. For more information, visit the St Pete Urology website.

What causes the prostate to enlarge?

Although the exact trigger of BPH (Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia) is not fully known and may vary from one man to another, there are risk factors that contribute to the condition. Benign prostate enlargement means your prostate grows in size without being cancerous. As the prostate swells and becomes bigger, it presses on your urethra and bladder and may cause a number of urinary and bladder function problems. The known contributing factors to prostate enlargement are age, hormones, stress levels and diet.

1. Age

Your age is a risk factor and not a cause of BPH. Prostate growth is considered a normal part of aging. In fact, the prostate usually goes through two major periods of growth as a man ages. During early puberty, the prostate doubles in size. Then from the age of 25 the gland enters a second phase of growth and continues to increase in size for the rest of his life. It’s typically during this second growth phase that benign prostatic hyperplasia occurs. About 50 percent of men over the age of 50 have BPH, while up to 90 percent of men over 80 years old have the condition.

2. Hormones

Hormones have a major role in triggering BPH. For instance, testosterone — the male sex hormone responsible for sexual development, muscle mass, deep male voice and libido — is converted to DHT (dihydrotestosterone) when it is in excess in the body. DHT is a useful hormone in adolescents because it ensures normal growth and development of sexual organs, including the prostate. But the production of excess quantities of DHT results in problems such as aggression and acne in adolescents. In older men, excess production of DHT causes the prostate to continue to grow and enlarge. If left unchecked, this could lead to an enlarged prostate and other problems associated with the gland.

3. Diet

Prostate enlargement is a more common problem in Western countries such as the U.S. and UK, but occurs in lower rates in Asian countries like Singapore and Japan because of dietary reasons. A typical Western diet contains simple carbohydrates, refined sugar, meat, dairy and unhealthy fats, while traditional Asian and Eastern diets are often richer in complex carbohydrates, vegetables and healthy soya-based proteins. The dietary differences are therefore critical for the varied incidences of BPH in the Western and Eastern countries.

The regular consumption of red meat escalates the risk of developing BPH by 38 percent, and regular dairy intake not only contributes to joint pain and hay fever through inflammation, but also inflames the prostate and accelerates the enlargement process. On the other hand, consuming 4 or more vegetable servings a day decreases the risk of BPH by 32 percent, and regular intake of soya reduces the chances of having an enlarged prostate. Likewise, zinc, commonly found in seeds and nuts and often missing in typical Western diets, is critical for a healthy prostate.

Poor diets lacking in fiber can cause constipation, which badly affects the prostate. The prostate is located very close to the bowels. If toxins remain in the bowels for a long time they start to leak into the surrounding tissues and into the prostate. When that happens, inflammation and pain may occur in the prostate. Similarly, the pressure caused by constipated bowels on both the bladder and prostate can worsen BPH symptoms.

4. Stress levels

Prolonged repeated exposure to stress, such as men who have high-pressure jobs, who commute frequently or who are rarely relaxed, can lead to or worsen BPH. For men already suffering the symptoms of an enlarged prostate, stress leads to inflammation of the prostate and worsens the symptoms. It also causes muscular tension, which results in further restriction of bladder function. Increased exposure to stress quickly depletes the body of nutrients and one of the most frequently stress exhausted nutrients is zinc, which is vital for prostate health. Repeated high stress levels also lead to increased secretion of testosterone and DHT hormones, which contribute to the growth of the prostate.

So what’s your role in preventing BPH?

You can’t do anything about your age, but you can do something about your lifestyle and diet to boost the health of your prostate. Start by avoiding or cutting down on dairy and meat, add lots of vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds and whole grains to your nutrition regimen, and try including soya products like miso, tofu and tempeh in your diet. Initially that may be difficult if you are used to consuming meat and dairy-heavy meals. But by incorporating tasty, plant-based substitutes such as tofu, three-bean curry, mushroom risotto and vegetable satay, you can quickly get used to meals without meat and dairy. Take steps to reduce your stress levels by dealing with the underlying causes of your stress. Take a stress remedy, practice mindfulness or see a counselor — whatever works best for you.

For more information on prevention, diagnosis and treatment of BPH, visit the “St Pete Urology” site.

GreenLight PVP Laser, a Great Treatment Option for BPH

Photo-selective Vaporization of Prostate (PVP) is increasingly becoming a popular method of treating benign prostatic enlargement (enlarged prostate or BPH). Using a combination of a high-powered laser beam and fiber optics to vaporize overgrowths of cells in the prostate, PVP helps to shrink the prostate gland quickly and accurately and swiftly relieves symptoms of Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia. The GreenLight Laser PVP is an alternative to the more common TURP (Transurethral Resection of Prostate). While the PVP procedure offers equal effectiveness in improving BPH symptoms, it’s simpler, has minimal short-term side effects, and offers quicker symptom relief, comfort and ease of urine flow.

How Is The Procedure Performed?

Conducted as an outpatient procedure by a urologist trained in the technique, the GreenLight Laser PVP requires nerve-blocking, spinal or general anesthesia along with sedation. During the procedure, the urologist inserts a cystoscope (tube supplied with light) via the urethra into the prostate, then runs a thin fiber through the cystoscope and places it in the urethra just adjacent to the obstruction. The urologist directs the laser at the prostate with intense pulses of light radiating from the ends of the fiber that are absorbed by blood.

As the blood absorbs light its temperature increases rapidly, heating up and vaporizing nearby cells. The surgeon continues to apply the laser light to destroy tissue overgrowth and reduce restriction on the urethra. The tissue that’s evaporated seals the blood vessels and reduces bleeding. The procedure takes roughly 40-60 minutes and a temporary catheter is usually inserted to help drain urine from the bladder.

So what are the benefits of Laser PVP?

  1. Minimal bleeding.
  2. Patients return home the same day.
  3. Return to normal activities in 2-3 days with caution.
  4. Only about 30 percent of patients require a post-op catheter.
  5. Return to strenuous activities in 4-6 weeks.
  6. Complications are rare, but quite mild if they occur.
  7. No post-operative impotence.
  8. PVP has not been associated with erectile dysfunction.
  9. Less likely to cause retrograde ejaculation.
  10. Lasting improvement in urine flow.
  11. Urinary obstruction is less likely with PVP.

Recovery after GreenLight Laser PVP

After laser PVP, patients remain in a recovery area where they are observed and prepared for discharge, typically within a few hours. If a temporary catheter is inserted, it’s usually removed 2-3 days after treatment, but may be left for a longer period in men who have had very severe symptoms or suffered prior bladder damage. During the first week following the procedure, a slight burning and discomfort may be experienced when urinating and small amounts of blood may occur in urine. While a dramatic improvement of symptoms and urine flow occurs within 1-2 days after the procedure, patients may still experience frequency and a sudden urge to pass urine for some time after treatment since the urethra is still adjusting to changes. And those with multiple health problems may not realize improvement that quickly.

Many men resume normal activities three days or so after laser PVP, but it’s recommended that they refrain from heavy lifting, pushing, strenuous exercise and vibrating equipment for at least 2 weeks because such activities may aggravate the urogenital area and cause bleeding. Sexual activity should be avoided for 2-3 weeks and only resumed when the patient is really comfortable doing so. It’s crucial to take things slowly and realize that it’ll take a while to get everything back to normal, including sexual desire. At times, retrograde ejaculation or reduced volume may occur, but these do not affect sexual pleasure or orgasm.

Is Laser PVP Safe?

The GreenLight Laser PVP is a significant improvement on the other minimally-invasive procedures used to treat BPH. It accurately vaporizes the overgrowth of the prostate gland without damaging any surrounding tissues and vessels. High-powered energy beams are delivered through a very thin laser fiber resulting in safe and precise vaporization of the overgrown tissue that’s blocking normal urine flow. As the high-pulsed laser removes the tissue causing blockage, it coagulates blood vessels and minimizes bleeding. Compared to other options for treating BPH, the GreenLight Laser PVP is much safer, simpler, faster, more precise and more effective. And most importantly, it allows quicker recovery than the other treatment options.

How does laser PVP compare with TURP?

Previously, effective BPH treatment required open prostatectomy — a major abdominal operation that needed a longer hospital stay and several months for recovery. But with the availability of instruments for accessing the prostate via the urethra instead of through the abdomen, TURP (transurethral resection of prostate) became the preferred treatment as it offered more safety, efficiency and effectiveness. However, there was still need for a better treatment that could offer quicker results, shorter recovery times and fewer long-term side-effects. The GreenLight Laser PVP has proven an improvement on TURP by being less invasive, delivering more immediate results and providing shorter recovery periods.

At St Pete Urology, we recommend transurethral vaporization procedures, most commonly the PVP GreenLight Laser and HoLAP (Holmium Laser Ablation), as alternatives for the previous gold standard TURP (Transurethral Resection of Prostate) because they are minimally-invasive outpatient operations with lower risks, durable results, safe use on large glands and patients on blood thinners, and high patient satisfaction. We perform the PVP GreenLight Laser on patients eligible for TURP, but discuss all the treatment options with our patients before we make a choice. For more information on treatment and care for BPH, visit the “St Pete Urology” site.

Early Signs of an Enlarged Prostate

As you grow older, your prostate also grows and swells. But if it becomes very large, it can lead to a condition called BPH (benign prostatic hyperplasia), which simply means your prostate has grown too large though not cancerous. Usually called an enlarged prostate, BPH is a frequent condition in men, especially those in their 50s or older. It is primarily caused by excess DHT, an extremely powerful form of testosterone which triggers aggressive multiplication of prostate cells. Recent studies also indicate that excessive estrogen in the body plays a role in the overgrowth of the prostate.

How can you know that you have an enlarged prostate?

Located right next to the bladder, the prostate is a tiny, walnut-sized gland that’s vital for the normal functioning of the male reproductive system. It is wrapped around the urethra (the tube that takes urine away from the bladder) and significantly influences how the urethra transports both sperm and semen. As the prostate grows and swells, it puts a lot of pressure on the bladder and can obstruct urine flow through the urethra, resulting in various urinary issues.

If you have an enlarged prostate, you will:

  1. Find it difficult to urinate.
  2. Experience dribbling after urinating.
  3. Feel the need to urinate frequently, often at night.

The early warning signs of BPH include:

1. Weak or slow urination

As your prostate enlarges, it puts pressure on your urethra and bladder, interrupting urine flow, resulting in either a weak flow or a prolonged stay in the bathroom. This is a very early and most common sign of BPH, and you’ve probably heard older men joke about how long they take to urinate. So when you have an enlarged prostate, urine does not exit normally and the resulting stream is quite weak.

2. Leaking of urine

Those embarrassing wet spots on your pants may just be the warning that you have an enlarged prostate. Why? Because a swollen prostate not only makes it difficult to urinate, but also makes it harder to retain urine in your bladder, resulting in urine leakage. The enlarged prostate also puts a lot of pressure both on your urethra and on your bladder and compromises your normal ability to hold urine.

3. Straining when urinating

Normal urination requires no effort. So if you find yourself groaning and suffering every time you are in the urinal, it may indicate that your prostate is clamping hard on your urethra.

4. Waking up several times at night to urinate

An enlarged prostate also puts extra pressure on the bladder, producing a sensation that the bladder is full even when it really isn’t. Thus waking up often at night to pass urine may indicate that you have BPH.

5. High PSA during a blood test

While prostate-specific antigen is produced in small quantities in men with healthy prostate glands and plays the critical role of liquefying semen by breaking down large seminal proteins, high levels of PSA may indicate that you have an enlarged prostate or prostate cancer. Make sure that you speak with a doctor if a test shows that you have high PSA in your blood.

6. Sexual dysfunction

BPH can trigger erectile dysfunction and difficulty with ejaculation by applying extreme pressure on the urethra (which transports both urine and semen) and reducing your sexual function. So if you are finding it difficult to have an erection or ejaculation, you should see your doctor for an examination to identify the problem. It may just be an enlarged prostate.

How can a urologist help?

When you experience the warning signs, you need to see your doctor to determine if you have an enlarged prostate. If an examination establishes that you have BPH, the urologist will recommend the right treatment. The most common approaches to treating BPH include:

1. Watchful waiting (active surveillance): If during assessment it is found that your symptoms are mild and not very troublesome, the urologist may recommend that you wait for a while before you commence treatment. Your symptoms will be monitored during this period to see if they are getting worse and require intervention. Your doctor will determine how frequent you need to go for checkup. The treatment can be started later if the symptoms worsen.

2. Medications: Your urologist may recommend medicines for shrinking the prostate gland or to relax the muscles around the gland in order to reduce or relieve symptoms. Make sure to speak with your doctor about possible side effects of these medicines.

3. Surgery: If medicines fail, the urologist may suggest that you undergo surgery to help improve urine flow. Different types of surgical procedures can be used, so talk to your doctor about the right option for you and about the risks involved. After surgery, regular medical checkups are very important.

4. Other treatments: To reduce the extra prostate tissue and relieve urinary problems associated with BPH, treatments such as microwaves, lasers or radio waves may be considered.

Want to know more about the health issues associated with the prostate, their diagnosis and treatment? Or you suspect that you have a prostate problem and want to speak to a knowledgeable and experienced urologist? Get all the information and help you need today by visiting the “St Pete Urology” site.

What is BPH

Benign Prostatic Enlargement (BPH) is an age-related, non-cancerous growth of the prostate. BPH is a common condition, particularly in older men. In fact, almost every man will suffer from the symptoms of the condition at some point after the age of 40; with more than 70 percent of men over 60 having symptoms of BPH while 90 percent of men over 85 years have the condition. As the prostate gets larger, it presses hard on the urethra causing urethra blockage and bothersome urinary symptoms. However, BPH is not cancer and does not make a man more likely to get prostate cancer.

Phases of prostate growth

Located in front of the rectum and between the penis and the bladder, the prostate is a small, walnut-sized gland that secretes the prostatic fluid, one of the key components of semen. Typically, the prostate goes through two major growth phases during a man’s lifetime. The first growth phase takes place during puberty when the prostate usually doubles in size. Beyond puberty, often at around the age of 25, the prostate begins to grow again and continues to do so for the rest of life in many men. This continuous growth is what leads to BPH and makes the condition quite frequent in older men. BPH does not occur in men until the second phase of prostate growth when the gland begins to press on the urethra and causes urinary problems.

Causes of BPH

As a man gets older, the balance between self-proliferation of cells and cell-death becomes harder to maintain due to changes in hormone levels (androgens), cell-to-cell communication (cell signaling pathways) and growth factors. The cells of the prostate multiply rapidly and form microscopic nodules, which then continue to grow. The abnormal and uncontrolled increase in the number of prostate cells is called hyperplasia. The microscopic nodules increase in mass and volume, resulting in an enlarged prostate. This abnormal growth occurs in the transitional zone around the urethra and is characterized by increase in size without becoming cancerous.

Symptoms of BPH

As the prostate increases in size, it begins to squeeze more tightly on the urethra. This makes it difficult for the bladder to fully compensate for the resulting pressure and reduces its ability to empty completely. Urine flow problems may result, including:

  1. Difficulty starting urination.
  2. Dribbling of urine, often after urinating.
  3. Weak urine stream (peeing in stops and starts).

As the urethra is squeezed by the enlarged prostate, it becomes difficult for the bladder to push out urine. Over time, the bladder muscles are weakened as they push harder to empty urine. This in turn makes it more difficult for the bladder to empty, resulting in:

  1. Frequency, urinating too often, typically eight or more times per day.
  2. Incontinence, lack of control over when to pass urine.
  3. Urgency, sudden need to urinate.
  4. Nocturia, waking up several times each night to pass urine.
  5. Urinary retention, a sense that you are not fully emptying your bladder.
  6. Urine leakage.

In some cases, BPH may lead to backing up and stagnation of urine, which may in turn result in bladder stones, recurring urinary tract infections, bladder divericulae and kidney or bladder damage. The condition also may lead to a sudden inability to pass urine (acute urinary retention), a very painful medical emergency requiring urgent drainage.

When Should You See a Doctor?

Symptoms of BPH vary from person to person. Some men with the condition have few or no issues while others experience severe symptoms. Generally, treatment for BPH may be optional when the symptoms are mild and no complications exist. So if the symptoms do not bother you enough to take medications or go through a procedure for it, then you may only need to speak with your doctor to make sure that your symptoms are stable and your bladder empties well. However, if you experience complications such as a burning sensation when urinating, bladder pain when urinating, blood in urine accompanied by chills and fever or nausea and vomiting, acute urinary retention or lower back pain, then you must seek immediate medical attention.

Treatment for BPH

There are many treatment options for BPH. If you are diagnosed with this condition, talk to your doctor to find out the right treatment for you. The most common treatments include medications (such as alpha reductase inhibitors), UroLift System treatment, thermotherapies (using heat energy such as radiofrequency or microwave), laser resection and transurethral resection. The treatment recommended by your doctor will depend on the severity of your symptoms, the extent to which the symptoms affect your life and the presence of other medical disorders.

Looking for the best urology center for safe and effective treatment? At St Pete Urology, we have built a reputation for exceptional and excellent diagnosis and treatment of BPH and other urological conditions using medical and surgical interventions. Through our skillful and experienced urologists, nurses and technicians, we deliver comprehensive, compassionate and patient-centered treatment and care to all our patients. We use state-of-the-art surgical and medical techniques to deliver timely, safe and effective treatment. For more information on the diagnosis and treatment of BPH and other urological disorders, visit the “St Pete Urology” site.

Prostate Enlargement BPH

Prostate enlargement (Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia) is a medical condition characterized by increase in the size of the prostate gland without becoming cancerous. So the prostate grows bigger but the cells do not become cancerous. The prostate is an essential organ in the male reproductive system, secreting the prostate fluid that forms part of semen. In childhood, the prostate is a small, walnut-sized gland and maintains this size up to puberty. During early puberty, the prostate undergoes the first phase of growth which doubles its size. Later on, at about age 25, the prostate starts to undergo a second phase of growth which continues for the rest of a man’s life. It is during this second phase of growth that benign prostatic enlargement (BPH) occurs.

How prostate size varies with age

By the age of 20, average males have a walnut-sized prostate and very few prostate-related health concerns. However, around 40, many men begin to experience issues related to prostate enlargement. By the age of 50, around 50 percent of all men have health concerns related to BPH. And at 60 and beyond, the prostate continues to grow and press against the urethra, reducing the size of the urethra and obstructing the flow of urine. Men in their 60s may experience mild inconvenience or serious lifestyle disruptions such as lack of sleep due to difficult or frequent nighttime urination as pressure is applied on the bladder and urethra by the inflamed prostate. By the age of 80, around 80 percent of men experience symptoms of prostate enlargement. In fact, the symptoms are so common beyond the age of 80 that almost all men will experience them if they live long enough.

Symptoms of prostate enlargement

As the prostate increases in size, it presses against the urethra and causes the size of the urethra to reduce. The narrowing of the urethra causes the bladder to thicken, weaken and lose the ability to empty fully, resulting in urinary retention. The urinary retention in the bladder and the tightening of the urethra causes several urinary tract problems, such as:

  1. Difficulty in starting a urine stream.
  2. Difficulty emptying the bladder.
  3. Urinary urgency, being unable to delay urination.
  4. Urinary frequency, passing urine eight or more times per day.
  5. Nocturia, passing urine during periods of night sleep.
  6. Interrupted or weak urine stream.
  7. Dribbling after passing urine.
  8. Pain during urination or after ejaculation.
  9. Urinary incontinence, accidental loss of urine.
  10. Unusual smell or color of urine.

Treatment of prostate enlargement

The right treatment for benign prostate enlargement varies from patient to patient depending on the severity of the symptoms, the extent to which the symptoms affect a man’s life, presence of other medical conditions and the patient’s preferences. A man may not need treatment for a mild prostate enlargement unless he has bothersome symptoms that are affecting the quality of his life. However, in cases where no treatment is administered, regular checkups are recommended.

If the benign prostatic hyperplasia is causing severe, bothersome symptoms or presents a serious health risk, then the urologist would recommend treatment, such as medications (using alpha blockers, 5-alpha reductase inhibitors, phosphodiesterase-5 inhibitors or combination medications), minimally-invasive procedures (like transurethral needle ablation, transurethral microwave thermotherapy, high-intensity focused ultrasound, transurethral electro-vaporization, water-induced thermotherapy or prostatic stent insertion) and surgery (transurethral resection, laser surgery, transurethral incision or prostatectomy) for long-term treatment.

Are you a man age 40 or older who is worried about your risk of prostate enlargement? Would you like a session with some of the best, world-renowned urologists to help you find relief from your prostate enlargement symptoms? At St Pete Urology, we have tailored our urology services to meet the diverse needs of our patients. We have assembled a great team of urologists, nurses and technologists to help us deliver prompt, safe and effective treatment of urological disorders. We use the latest technology and techniques to guarantee utmost convenience, safety, comfort and efficacy of all our procedures. Visit us today for help with your BPH symptoms. For more information on the diagnosis, treatment and care for prostate enlargement, visit the “St Pete Urology” site.

BPH: Can Green Tea Cure It?


For men, living long enough means you are going to have problems with your prostate. While the prostate is typically a small, walnut-sized gland in young males, it undergoes two phases of growth later on in life which often result in urinary problems. The first phase of growth occurs during puberty and usually doubles the size of the gland, while the second phase of growth begins at around 25 and continues for the rest of your life leading to benign prostatic enlargement (benign prostatic hyperplasia or BPH). More than 50 percent of men have BPH by the age of 60 and experience urinary difficulties. Although prescription medications are commonly used to treat BPH, herbal supplements may provide much needed relief during the initial stages of the condition. One such herbal solution is green tea.

Green Tea Ingredients

Green tea is not only the second most popular beverage across the globe, but also a pleasant alternative to soft drinks and coffee. It contains potent polyphenols, catechins with anti-inflammatory, anti-carcinogenic and antioxidant properties. The active ingredients in green tea include gallic acid, caffeic acid, chlorogenic acid and epigallocatechin (EGC), among other polyphenols. The polyphenol known as epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG) is effective in reducing the overproduction of cells common in BPH and in preventing the onset of prostatic enlargement. Other specific polyphenols found in green tea can treat the symptoms and eradicate various causes of BPH, making green tea invaluable for managing the condition alongside lifestyle changes, medications and other interventions.

Can Green Tea Cure BPH?

Green tea contains antioxidants that reduce the levels of dihydrotestosterone (DHT), the hormone that promotes the growth of the prostate. A reduction in the levels of DHT lowers the risk of developing an enlarged prostate. The catechins in green tea regulate the secretion of DHT and PSA, promoting normal prostate size and volume and reducing the risk of BPH. Likewise, the catechins in green tea have demonstrated efficacy in relieving urinary symptoms such as frequent urination, nighttime urination and problems with urinary flow. Improved urine flow, relief of annoying urinary symptoms and reduced prostatic inflammation lead to a higher quality of life. Besides, the catechins in green tea can kill certain viruses and bacteria, reducing the risk of urinary tract infections that may occur in men with enlarged prostate.

Factors Affecting the Efficacy of Green Tea

The strength and effectiveness of green tea depend on the amount of the tea consumed. Studies have shown that men who take large quantities of green tea regularly enjoy more prostate health benefits from the tea than those who take the tea occasionally or in small amounts. The amount of catechins in green tea also depends on where the plants are grown, how the tea leaves are harvested and how the leaves are processed. For instance, Japanese green teas usually have greater quantities of catechins than Chinese teas, with slight differences within specific groups. Remember that the power of green tea comes from the fact that its leaves are not oxidized and are able to retain essential substances such as the catechins that promote both general health and prostate health.

Consult with your doctor before using green tea to improve your prostatic health. Remember that taking herbal supplements without guidance from a qualified health professional may cause problems in your body. At St Pete Urology, we are committed to safe and effective treatment of BPH and other urological issues. We have assembled a team of highly trained and experienced surgeons to help us deliver leading-edge urological care for the best possible outcomes. Our comprehensive, multidisciplinary and patient-centered approach and a dedication to adopting new medical technologies as soon as they are available guarantee state-of-the-art treatment for all our patients. For more information on diagnosis and treatment of BPH, visit the “St Pete Urology” site.