Breaking the Stereotypes of Men With Enlarged Prostates (BPH)
When it comes to men and their enlarged prostates (BPH), these are the stereotypes they face:
Men don’t care about their health.
Men don’t like going to the doctor.
Men ignore their health issues and keep mum about it.
Men would do anything to avoid a digital rectal exam.
Men don’t talk about their prostates.
Only men’s wives care enough to buy their husband a prostate supplement.
Men care more about their cars than their own health.
Although some of these may in fact be true for some individual men, we can’t lose hope that there are men out there who do care about their health and want to improve their BPH condition. Maybe that’s why you’re reading BPH blogs and joining men’s communities to discuss common issues. Although we do need men to do their part and care for their health, men’s health is a community effort, too. If those who live and interact with men don’t know about men’s health problems, it could be difficult to sympathize or offer support.
Enlarged prostate (BPH or benign prostatic hyperplasia) is a health condition that occurs with age and the natural growth of the prostate. As it gets bigger it can make the urethra (tube leading urine out of the body) narrow so it makes urination more difficult. It could also push against the bladder, creating urinary urges at the same time.
What men need to know is that they’re not alone in what they’re feeling. It is highly likely all generations of men have felt and will feel the effects of prostate growth at one point in their lives. As more research goes into the prostate, we may find ways to make the prostate exam less uncomfortable. We may be able to provide more support for men’s mental health and distress during the frustrations of BPH. We may raise awareness so that men can start to prepare earlier in their life to support their prostates. We may create an environment to talk about the prostate in a less stigmatized environment. Many conversations online about the prostate involve adult jokes that may make men shy away from the topic. However, it is important to make the context of health heard and normalized.
If you have seen your doctor and been diagnosed with BPH in the mild stages, you may be able to reduce the negative impact of BPH with healthy nutrition, more physical activity, voiding techniques, water intake during the day, warm baths, and community support from family, friends, and fellow BPH patients. Despite the pandemic, the online community is still offering support for men around the world.
Are you guilty of these stereotypes? Perhaps it’s time to reconsider some of these habits so you can better manage your BPH and live a better quality of life!