For Significant Others
Your partner’s or spouse’s BPH is your issue too. Why? If your partner has BPH, you feel it too. You might be losing sleep due to his frequent bathroom trips at night. Maybe you are unable to take long trips with your partner because of his BPH symptoms. Maybe you can’t go to the theater or a sports event because he’s worried about embarrassing leakage or a sudden need to use the bathroom in public places. And maybe it’s affecting your sex life.
BPH is a common, treatable condition that occurs in the vast majority of men sooner or later as they age. But left untreated, symptoms of BPH can worsen significantly and lead to complications such as urinary tract infections, urinary incontinence, bladder stones or in rare cases bladder or kidney damage. Early diagnosis and treatment may help prevent this from happening.
And even though BPH is not cancer, many of the symptoms of BPH are similar to those of more serious conditions such as prostate cancer or bladder cancer. So it is important to have your partner talk to a doctor about his BPH symptoms.
Most men with BPH symptoms wait years before seeing a doctor.
There are many reasons for this reluctance. They may be embarrassed to discuss urinary problems with a doctor or they may assume that urinary symptoms are just a natural part of the aging process and that there’s nothing to be done. Further, they may have heard of surgical complications from friends or family or they may have had previous unpleasant reactions to older medical treatments. Finally they may be unaware of currently available treatments.
“Many patients share their personal reasons for satisfaction following Prostiva or CTT… No more hesitancy in public bathrooms, no frequent stopping on car trips. Quick bladder emptying/full stream once again. I can write my name in the snow again.” – J. Randall Beahrs, MD
How to Help the Man in your Life
- Learn all you can about BPH, its diagnosis and treatment.
- Pay attention to symptoms in your loved one. Start talking with him, even if it’s difficult. Get him to see that he owes it to himself and to you to seek medical care.
- Help him prepare so he can feel more in control of the process.
- Offer to go with him to the doctor. It helps to have another person listening and asking questions.
- Understand how BPH treatment may affect his experience of intercourse and be prepared to help work through those changes with him.
Start the Conversation
Your encouragement can be the key to his diagnosis and treatment.
A large study looked at factors that motivated men to see a physician when they experience health issues. The surprising result? The advice of people close to the men was even more important than their own level of discomfort in getting them to the doctor.
In other studies of men with health problems, partners or spouses were more likely to start the process of getting medical help than the men themselves.
Don’t feel shy. You have his best interests at heart. Start the conversation about BPH today.