As a man ages his prostate enlarges and pinches the urethra. Similar to a clothespin, it squeezes the urethra together. This stricture can, in some cases, be noticed at around the age of 40 and can lead to difficulties when trying to empty one's bladder, namely to the urinary symptoms .
However, the extent of the symptoms is not always determined by the actual size of the prostate. Even small prostate glands can cause considerable symptoms.
The causes of BPH have not been completely ascertained. At the age of 40, men start a phase of their lives that is comparable to menopause in women and which is now described as male menopause (climacteric virile ). At this time, the interaction of the sex hormones changes. The effect of the female hormone oestrogen increases. Today, we know that the male sex hormone testosterone is a major influence on the growth of the prostate gland. Even the female hormone (oestrogen) present in men plays a special role in boosting growth in that inner part of the prostate that encompasses the urethra.
BPH is an illness of mature males. 50% of all men between the ages of 40 and 60 are afflicted with BPH. Among men between the ages of 60 - 80 the number has reached 75% and for men over 80, approximately 90% suffer from symptoms caused by an enlarged prostate. Benign prostate enlargement (BPH) has nothing to do with malignant prostate cancer (prostate carcinoma, prostate ca ). BPH is not a cancerous mutation of the prostate. Malignant prostate cancer is located in the outer zone of the prostate gland, whereas BPH is always a benign enlargement of the inner gland.