What is Benign Prostatic Hypertrophy (BPH)? 

The prostate gland is part of the male reproductive system. It is generally around the size of a walnut. The urethra (bladder tube) passes through the prostate as it leads from the bladder to the outside of the body. 

As a man gets older his prostate will often become enlarged – this is referred to as Benign Prostatic Hypertrophy or BPH. There does not appear to be a link between BPH and the development of prostate cancer.

93591988Issues with an enlarged prostate can arise when the enlargement causes pressure on the urethra. This can then affect the flow of urine and can cause other issues such as: 

  • slow, dribbling stream of urine (weak stream), or spraying of urine 
  • urine flow that may stop and start (intermittency) 
  • hesitancy – finding it takes a little bit of time to get the flow of urine started 
  • nocturia (waking at night to pass urine)
  • urgency
  • feeling that the bladder has not emptied properly 
  • needing to strain to empty the bladder
  • frequency 
  • recurrent Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs)

What can be done for BPH

The first step is to see your doctor and let them know your symptoms. You may like to complete the International Prostate Symptom Score (IPSS) and take the form with you to your appointment. The IPSS provides information on your symptoms and their severity. This information and can assist your doctor in assessing what treatment options may suit you best. A copy of the 8 question IPSS can be found here

Your doctor may recommend that you see a specialist doctor -a urologist- for further tests of your bladder function. Treatment options include medication and surgery. 

Please contact us for more information. 

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Testimonial image:

Kylie – parent of a child that wets the bed 

Kylie rang our service as she was concerned about her five-year-old daughter, Mia, who was wetting the bed. Kylie had tried limiting Mia’s drinks in the late afternoon and evening and was also getting up at night to wake Mia and take her to the toilet.

Our advisor explained that it may take children until they around 5 ½ years old before they gain bladder control during sleep. Kylie was advised to encourage Mia to drink well throughout the day and was cautioned against cutting out drinks in the afternoon and early evening. Kylie was discouraged from waking Mia at night to take her to the toilet. Kylie was provided with information on obtaining a referral from Mia’s doctor to a bedwetting clinic if Mia continues to wet the bed past 5 ½ years of age.

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Anastasiya’s story

“As a mum of two young children, I have experienced the joys of two pregnancies and postpartum recoveries. I was shocked after the birth of my first child to discover that my pelvic floor muscles had become weak. I sought advice from Bladder and Bowel Health Australia and learnt the importance of exercising these muscles. This knowledge helped, and because I was better informed second time around, I have now fully restored the dignity of my body and truly enjoyed the changes - and my motherhood. Thank you, Bladder and Bowel Health Australia, for informing young families about bladder and bowel health issues.” 

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Doreen – carer of her husband who has dementia 

Doreen was becoming exhausted caring for her husband Tom, who has dementia. Tom was not always making it to the toilet on time and needed his trousers to be changed several times a day. Every day Doreen was also washing bedlinen and the four towels that Tom was laying on at night as he was soaking through his pull-up pants. 

Tom was receiving a high-level Home Care Package, and Doreen was able to arrange with their provider for some of Tom’s package to be allocated to funding continence assessment and management.  

Our advisor went to Tom’s home and conducted a thorough continence assessment. A continence management plan was developed with input from Doreen, and appropriate incontinence aids and linen protection were organised. Doreen is relieved that Tom’s incontinence has reduced, and her washing load has lessened. Doreen is now confident that she can continue caring for Tom in their home. 

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Gary – experiencing leakage after his recent prostate surgery 

Gary met with one of our Bladder and Bowel Health advisors, as he was concerned about his urine leakage that was persisting after his radical prostatectomy five weeks earlier.   

Gary discussed his concerns with the advisor and was reassured that he was making good progress towards regaining bladder control. This reinforced the information he had received from his urologist. Gary was encouraged to switch to a smaller incontinence pad rather than continuing to wear the pull- up incontinence pants he had worn since his surgery. The advisor arranged some smaller pads for him to trial and provided details on where he could buy them close to his home. 

Gary was encouraged to drink plenty of fluid (particularly water) and to increase his fruit and vegetable intake to avoid constipation. Gary was uncertain if his pelvic floor muscles were working properly and he was referred to a pelvic floor physiotherapist. Gary left the clinic in a brighter frame of mind, confident that he was improving and had clear strategies to further support his recovery.