The type of treatment needed for prostate enlargement depends on the severity of the signs and symptoms being experienced. Bleeding from the urinary system, serious or frequent urine infections that can cause more lasting damage, discomfort or lifestyle problems may all indicate that active medical intervention is required. We summarize just some of the treatment options on offer:
Medication treatment prostate enlargement
There are two types of medication that help to control the symptoms of an enlarged prostate, they are alpha blockers and finasteride Proscar, Propecia. Alpha blockers are effective in about 75% of men. They work by relaxing the muscles at the neck of the bladder making urination easier. The FDA has approved three types: doxazosin Cardura; tamsulosin Flomax and terazosin Hytrin. You should see improvements within one or two days. Side effects can include dizziness, tiredness, and in some, a low blood pressure when you stand up and impotence.
Finasteride actually shrinks the prostate gland and is found to be most effective in men whose prostate is significantly enlarged. It can take a long time for the drug to show improvement in symptoms - up to a year for complete results. Side effects can include a reduced libido, impotence and a reduced semen release during ejaculation. Finasteride also has the side effect of hair growth and is also sometimes used for treating male pattern baldness.
Herbal Alternatives for prostate enlargement
Saw palmetto Serenoa repens has been widely tested and results are promising. It is thought to work by preventing testosterone from breaking down into another form of the hormone associated with prostate tissue growth. In 1998, researchers at the Department of Veterans Affairs reviewed more than a dozen studies involving saw palmetto. It found saw palmetto to be as effective as finasteride in reducing the size of an enlarged prostate and produce fewer side effects. The herbal alternative does work slowly with improvement in urinary symptoms within 1 to 3 months. If after that time there is no improvement then the herb should be discontinued. Additional research is required to determine the appropriate daily dosage of the supplement, its long-term effectiveness.
Many conventional drugs have a herbal basis, so just because we associate herbs with health does not mean they are necessarily better for you. Also remember, as with many herbal products, saw palmetto may suppress PSA prostate specific antigen levels in your blood and can interfere with the effectiveness of the PSA test so it is important to tell your doctor before having a PSA test.
Heat therapies for prostate enlargement
Heat, delivered through the urethra and using a local anaesthetic, can be used to reduce the size of the prostate. Usually carried out on an out-patient basis, results should be quick and recovery from the procedure a few days. Types of heat therapy available are Electro vaporization, microwave therapy or laser therapy.
Surgical Options for prostate enlargement
Surgical intervention is now less common because of alternative effective and less invasive therapies. Surgery is often the most effective long term option for difficult to manage or more serious complications resulting from a enlarged prostate. There are a number of surgical procedures for it, transurethral resection of the prostate, transurethral incision of the prostate or Open Prostatectomy. All these procedures require hospital in-patient care, a general anaesthetic and time off work.Side effects can arise from infection, nerve or structural damage and include loss of bladder control, impotence, ejaculation problems.
Other treatment options include prostate stents and balloon dilation, good for men unable to tolerate the other forms of treatment.