Men who have BPH and enlarged prostate symptoms will usually require some form of treatment at some point. However, a number of recent studies have questioned the need for early treatment when the gland is only mildly enlarged. These studies report that early treatment may not be needed because the symptoms of an enlarged prostrate clear up without treatment in as many as one third of all mild cases. Instead of immediate BPH treatment, these studies recommend regular checkups to watch for early problems. If the condition begins to pose a danger to the patient's health or causes a major inconvenience to him, treatment is usually recommended.
Since an enlarged prostate may cause urinary tract infections, a doctor will usually clear up any infection with antibiotics before treating the BPH itself. Although the need for treatment is not usually urgent, doctors generally advise going ahead with treatment once the problems become bothersome or present a health risk.
About half the men with an enlarged prostate eventually have symptoms that are bothersome enough to need treatment. An enlarged prostate cannot be cured, but drugs or surgery can often relieve its symptoms. Also, the symptoms of an enlarged prostate do not always grow worse.
There are three ways to manage an enlarged prostate:
- Watchful waiting (regular follow-up with your doctor)
- Drug therapy
If you have an enlarged prostate, talk with your doctor about which type of treatment is the best choice for you. Your symptoms may change over time, so be sure to tell your doctor about any new changes.
(For more information about the treatment for an enlarged prostate, see the full eMedTV article on Enlarged Prostate Treatment.)