There are a number of ways to treat benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) — an enlarged prostate. The most common consequence of BPH is frequent waking during the night to pee. The simplest thing to try is limiting your intake of liquids — particularly alcoholic liquids — near bedtime. Alcohol stimulates urination and, of course, the extra liquid adds to the load of urine in your bladder.
If that doesn’t work, there are two types of medications that can help:
- Alpha blockers relax the muscles in the prostate and bladder. This can improve urine flow. Alpha blockers do not usually reduce the size of the prostate. They are usually taken as pills once or twice a day, and work almost immediately. Side effects can include headaches, dizziness, light-headedness, fatigue, and changes in the way you ejaculate.
- 5-alpha-reductase inhibitors are pills that can improve urine flow and reduce the size of the prostate. It may take as long as six months to a year, however, for the drugs to work fully. Side effects can include erection problems, low sexual desire, and reduced semen release during ejaculation.