2021-11-24 18:30


Do You Have an Enlarged Prostate?


Prostate enlargement

Prostate enlargement, or Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH), affects most men as they age and it could affect your quality of life if not managed right.

However, did you know that for most men, their prostate grows larger as they get older? Its a part of ageing, but after a certain point, the enlarged prostate leads to a condition called benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH).

Its not the most well-known body part, but the prostate is a walnut-sized gland found at the base of the bladder and surrounds part of the urethra C the tube that channels urine and semen out of your penis. 

The prostate is part of the male reproductive system and produces the seminal fluid that a man ejaculates. As men grow older, the prostate grows in size; and as it grows, it squeezes the urethra and causes a range of symptoms. 

Dont panic because BPH is a common condition, especially in older men, and thus, there are plenty of treatment options for it.

Symptoms of an enlarged prostate

As a man ages, the prostate grows larger and starts to pinch the urethra which causes problems with your urine flow. Urinary symptoms include:

-Weak urine stream

-Frequent urination

-Waking up at night to go to the bathroom, which affects quality of sleep

-Feeling like the bladder isnt fully emptied

-Extra effort needed to start urine flow

-Incontinence or urine leakage

-Blood in the urine

Complications which could arise from unmanaged BPH include blood in the urinary tract and urinary obstruction which may prevent urine from being passed. This may lead to:

-Urinary tract infections

-Urinary stones

-Kidney damage

Such urinary symptoms may sometimes be due to diseases other than BPH, such as infections, bladder stones and cancers of the prostate or bladder. As such, urinary symptoms should not be regarded as a normal part of growing older, and should be evaluated by a doctor to exclude more sinister conditions.

How is BPH diagnosed?

To diagnose BPH, a urologist will perform a digital rectal examinationDRE where the size and consistency of the prostate is determined. You will be asked to fill up a questionnaire regarding your symptoms, called an International Prostate Symptom Score or IPSS in short. This helps your doctor better understand the severity of your symptoms.

The IPSS questionnaire will ask about the severity of symptoms such as:

-Incomplete emptying




-Weak stream



It is advised that anyone with a score of more than 8/35 should see a urologist for an evaluation.

Your urologist will perform a urine test called a Uroflowmetry test, to find out how fast urine is passed and how much urine is left behind. Following that, an ultrasound is done to check the bladder to see how well the bladder is emptied, as well as check the size of the prostate. A blood test may also be required to check for kidney problems and assess the risk of prostate cancer.

How is BPH treated?

Lifestyle changes

For men with mild symptoms, your doctor may recommend the following lifestyle changes:

-Do exercises to strengthen the pelvic floor muscles for better urinary control

-Reduce the amount of fluids being consumed, especially before going out or bedtime

-Drink less coffee, tea and alcohol


For men with more significant symptoms, doctors may prescribe medication. There are 2 main types of medication.

Alpha blockers C These have a quick acting effect on relaxing the smooth muscles around the prostate and bladder neck, easing the obstruction. These medications may cause dizziness as a side effect by lowering your blood pressure. Other side effects include a blocked nose, or reduced volume of ejaculation.

5-alpha reductase inhibitors (5-ARIs) C These drugs stop the prostate from growing and cause it to shrink. However, these medications take a longer time to work, so patients will have to wait for as long as 6 months to a year until symptoms improve. They work best when combined with alpha blockers, which can provide more immediate relief.

There are few side effects with 5-ARIs, but they may reduce your libido and weaken your erections. Unfortunately, these sides effects may not always be reversible when you stop taking the medication.

While both classes of drugs are effective, they do need to be taken on a long-term basis to treat BPH.


If medication does not provide sufficient relief from bothersome urinary symptoms, or if a patient cannot tolerate the side effects, or does not want to rely on long-term BPH medication, there are many surgical options available for a longstanding solution.

Recently, 3 new minimally invasive surgical treatments (MIST) for BPH have become available in Singapore. These MIST have the following advantages over the previous standard surgery of TURP (Transurethral Resection of Prostate). Firstly, it helps preserve a patients preservation of sexual function. Secondly, they do not require hospital admission, and general anaesthesia/spinal anaesthesia. Thirdly, they reduce the changes of complications and allow patients to return to normal activity earlier.

Article reviewed by Dr Sanwei Guo, Urologist at ParkwayHealth.

For more information or to make an appointment, please call 400-819-6622.


  1. (December 2018) What Is BPH? Retrieved on 5 November 2020 from https://www.webmd.com/men/prostate-enlargement-bph/what-is-bph#1

  2. (July 2017) What Do You Want to Know About Enlarged Prostate? Retrieved on 29 October 2020 from https://www.healthline.com/health/enlarged-prostate

  3. (May 2019) Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH). Retrieved on 29 October 2020 from https://www.urologyhealth.org/urology-a-z/b/benign-prostatic-hyperplasia-(bph)

ParkwayHealth China

ParkwayHealth is a member of Parkway Pantai Group. ParkwayPantai is Asias Leading Healthcare Provider, part of IHH Healthcare, one of the largest healthcare providers in the world by market capitalization. Its operates 80 hospitals with more than 15,000 beds in 10 countries.

ParkwayHealth first arrived in China in 2004. In 2006, ParkwayHealth opened its first medical center in Shanghai, bringing world-renowned quality healthcare to China. Through the acquisition of World Link Group in 2007, ParkwayHealth becomes Shanghai's largest foreign-owned medical network. 

ParkwayHealth China is a leading international healthcare provider. With a team of nearly 100 internationally trained physicians, we now operate 10 medical facilities conveniently located in Shanghai, Suzhou, Chengdu and Hong Kong offering more than 40 specialties. We work closely with the best local hospitals with which we share our knowledge and expertise to ensure the best services possible to our patients. We have established direct billing services with over 50 insurance companies. We provide both outpatient and inpatient care for adults and children. Our services include: Family Medicine, Adult Medicine, Pediatrics, Gynecology, Dentistry, Cardiology, ENT, Gastroenterology, Ophthalmology, Dermatology, General Surgery, Orthopedics & Sports Medicine, Urology, Beauty & Skin Care, Psychiatry, Traditional Chinese Medicine & Acupuncture, Osteopathy, etc.

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