A sink with leaky or stopped-up pipes can be fixed with a wrench and a little elbow grease, but if your body is experiencing some plumbing problems of its own, you might not be able to fix it by yourself. As men age, some people begin running to the bathroom more often or experiencing other demanding and inconvenient bathroom habits. A common cause for “leaky or stopped-up pipes” is BPH (benign prostatic hyperplasia), which is an enlarged prostate. The good news is that this is an issue that can be detected and treated by your doctor.
To understand BPH, it is important to know that the prostate is part of a man’s reproductive system. The prostate is normally about the size of a walnut. It completely surrounds the urethra, which is the tube that carries semen and urine out through the penis.
What does the prostate do? Its primary job is to produce fluid for semen. During ejaculation, sperm from the testicles and fluid from the prostate simultaneously move through the urethra.
BPH is simply a term used to describe an enlarged prostate. As a man ages, the prostate goes through two main growth periods. The first occurs early in puberty, and the second starts around age 25 and continues during most of a man’s life. As you age, an enlarging prostate may be inevitable. However, as your prostate gets bigger it can start pushing on neighboring body parts, which can then make you experience some uncomfortable urinary issues.
How common is BPH? About half of men between the ages of 51 and 60 have an enlarged prostate, and that rises to up to 90 percent of men over the age of 80. And even though an enlarged prostate can happen at the same time as some cancers, it does not cause nor lead to cancer.