The three main types of treatment for BPH include watchful waiting, drug therapy, and surgery. Some men with mild, non-bothersome symptoms often choose watchful waiting as their treatment approach. This includes getting annual checkups to monitor their condition. However, those with moderate or severe symptoms may opt for drug therapy or surgery. If you have an enlarged prostate, talk with your healthcare provider about which type of treatment is the best choice for you.
Treating BPH: An Overview
About half the men with an enlarged prostate -- also known as benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) -- eventually have symptoms that are bothersome enough to require BPH treatment. BPH cannot be cured, but drugs or surgery can often relieve its symptoms. Also, BPH symptoms do not always grow worse.
There are three BPH treatment options:
- Watchful waiting (regular follow-up with your doctor)
- Drug therapy
If you have an enlarged prostate, talk with your healthcare provider about which type of BPH treatment is the best choice for you. Your symptoms may change over time, so be sure to tell your healthcare provider about any new changes.
Men with mild, non-bothersome symptoms of BPH often choose watchful waiting as their treatment approach.
Watchful waiting means getting annual checkups. The checkups can include digital rectal exams and other tests. BPH treatment is started only if the symptoms become too much of a problem. If you choose to live with enlarged prostate symptoms, these simple steps can help:
- Limit drinking in the evening, especially drinks with alcohol or caffeine
- Empty the bladder all the way when you urinate
- Use the restroom often -- don't go for long periods without urinating.
Some medications can make BPH symptoms worse, so talk with your doctor or pharmacist about any medicines you are taking, such as:
- Over-the-counter cold and cough medicines (especially antihistamines)
- Blood pressure medicine.