The prostate is a walnut-sized gland located between the bladder and the penis & commonly becomes larger in older men. This prostate gland enlargement is also called benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) and it is one of the most common problem for men over 50. Although many treatment options are available to treat BPH, you can assess yourself the severity simply by following these 7 questions.
(These are standard questions included in IPSS-International Prostate Symptom Score)
Give scores as follows, if the answer is 0-Not at all
1-Less than 1 time in 5
2-Less than half the time
3-About half the time
4-More than half the time
5-Almost always In the past month.
Now answer these 7
1. Incomplete Emptying
How often have you had the sensation of not emptying your bladder?
How often have you had to urinate less than every two hours?
How often have you found you stopped and started again several times when you urinated?
How often have you found it difficult to postpone urination?
5. Weak Stream
How often have you had a weak urinary stream?
How often have you had to strain to start urination?
How many times did you typically get up at night to urinate?
Calculate the total.
If,your total is
0-7 mildly symptomatic
8-19 moderately symptomatic
20-35 severely symptomatic
However, it would be a good starting point for you to meet a doctor, depends on how it affects your routine life.
This additional question will make you to decide,
If you were to spend the rest of your life with your urinary condition just the way it is now, how would you feel about that?
Mostly Satisfied -2
Mostly Dissatisfied -4
Depending on the severity & quality of life due to urinary symptoms, you need to seek medical care. You can use these questions to assess the improvement following treatment also.
However, please keep in mind that prostate cancers also common with elderly, so it is advisable to seek medical care in elderly men.
Dr. Yapa Wijeratne