Two surveys sponsored by NeoTract Interventional Urology were recently deployed to more than 1,000 men and 1,000 women over the age of 50 in the United States with the aim of measuring the impact of a frequently undiagnosed men’s health issue on couples, as well as to ascertain the reasons why men may not be seeking treatment. The results demonstrated that, while men may not be communicating about their symptoms or aware of their impact, the lives of their partners are often affected by them.

Benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), also known as enlarged prostate, is non-cancerous enlargement of the prostate that occurs as men age. The condition, which affects more than 40% of men over 50, is marked by bothersome urinary symptoms that can cause loss of productivity, depression, interrupted sleep, and decreased quality of life.

When women were asked about their partners’ urinary symptoms, 43% said they were aware that their significant other was experiencing symptoms of benign prostatic hyperplasia. The most common symptom identified, by far, was getting up in the night to urinate. Of the women whose partners were experiencing symptoms, 42% said those symptoms affect their lives in at least one way. The biggest impact occurred at night, with 64% saying their partners’ symptoms affected their sleep. Nearly one-third said symptoms influenced social life and vacations, and 39% said their relationship with their significant other was impacted.

The majority of men surveyed were experiencing benign prostatic hyperplasia symptoms, and also identified sleep as the main issue:

  • 55% said they were experiencing at least one symptom of BPH, 46% were experiencing multiple symptoms
  • Of those experiencing symptoms, 68% said those symptoms affect their life in some way. The most common complaint was sleep (affecting 56%), followed by travel, social life, and work.
  • More than one-third were not aware these symptoms were signs of a treatable condition, rather than just a result of aging.
  • The survey also found that while 82% of men said they regularly wake up at least once in the night to urinate, the majority said the nighttime waking did not bother their significant other (82%). In contrast, the impact on sleep was the top issue for women whose significant others experienced symptoms, suggesting that men may not be aware of the effect their symptoms have on those around them.

“When it comes to prostate issues, men are typically reluctant to speak with a doctor about their symptoms,” says David Sussman, DO, FACOS, a urologist with Delaware Valley Urology in New Jersey, and paid consultant of NeoTract. “For those who have seen a doctor, the BPH treatments most often discussed have long been associated with sexual dysfunction, making the symptoms sometimes more appealing to live with than the treatment options. But a new treatment, called the UroLift System, offers effective symptom relief with minimal side effects, preserves prostate tissue and does not cause sexual dysfunction. It’s a rapid, minimally invasive procedure that can be performed right in the urologist’s office, making it an appealing option for men who have been hesitant to seek treatment.”

Ana Fadich, vice president of Men’s Health Network, says, “We hope this new data sparks a dialogue between men and their partners on the impact of BPH on each other’s lives, and that it encourages more men to speak with their doctor about symptoms they are experiencing. BPH only becomes more and more common as men age, so early intervention can really make a difference in quality of life and long-term health, both for men and their loved ones.”