What is prostate fibrosis and how to deal with it
The prostate gland is the most vulnerable organ of the male genitourinary system. Fibrosis of the prostate is a disease in which glandular tissue is partially replaced by connective tissue. As a result of this process, the organ loses its functions, the man develops infertility. This disease is also called prostate sclerosis.
Reasons for the development of pathology
Fibrosis is quite common. It can affect various organs. The prostate suffers from it for the following reasons:
- inflammatory process (chronic prostatitis with a bacterial nature);
- complications after surgery or injury;
- chronic allergies;
- infections of the reproductive system;
- hormonal imbalance;
- excess or excessive amount of sexual intercourse;
- weakening of the immune system.
Doctors note that most often fibrosis develops due to prolonged inflammation of the prostate gland. With atherosclerosis, it occurs due to stagnation of blood, which negatively affects the functions of the organ and provokes an inflammatory process. In order to avoid sclerotic changes, a man is recommended to have a regular sex life, avoiding long periods of abstinence that affect the hormonal background.
Why is prostate fibrosis dangerous?
Most often, the proliferation of connective tissue is observed in middle-aged men – 40-50 years. They are at risk, since by this age their sexual life is declining, hormonal problems are observed, and previously untreated prostatitis leads to large-scale inflammation. The danger of sclerosis is that it can cause impotence and prostate cancer.
Another terrible consequence is the impossibility of conception, but middle-aged men are skeptical about it, since by the time the disease develops they already have children. With fibrous tissue growth, infertility means that the prostate has ceased to secrete a secret. It does not fulfill its functions.
First of all, prostate sclerosis is divided into several types, according to the histology of the disease:
- Cystic – connective tissue forms tumors.
- Focal fibrosis of the prostate gland is always accompanied by hyperplasia. Connective tissue occupies a separate area, causing an increase in the organ.
- Cirrhosis – with it, the prostate tissues partially die off. It can be combined with prostatitis or proceed without it.
- Periurethral fibrosis of the prostate gland is always accompanied by severe pain, compression of the nerves. Even after eliminating the cause of pain in the pelvic muscles, the patient is not left alone. Any touch to them causes an acute attack of discomfort.
- Atrophic sclerosis of the parenchyma – the germination of connective tissue only in the upper shell, which causes its compaction.
You can also classify the disease according to the stages of development, regardless of the signs that the patient may notice in himself.
- At the first stage, the disease manifests itself only as a disorder of urination. At this stage, the prognosis of doctors is positive.
- On the second – urine hardly moves through the ureters, which is accompanied by acute pain.
- On the third there are frequent nocturnal urges to empty the bladder. At this stage, the disease affects other organs of the genitourinary system.
- At the fourth stage, the connective tissue extends to neighboring organs: kidneys, ureter, seminal canals, bladder. They also form scars.
Doctors recommend timely examination so that for the treatment of sclerosis it is enough to take a course of drug therapy.
How is it different from an adenoma?
Men, noticing that they have problems with urination, most often believe that the cause of this was an adenoma. This diagnosis really scares them. However, the causes of adenoma are different. It is an independent current disease, and not a complication of prostatitis.
The difference between sclerosis and adenoma is that with the latter pathology, the gland itself grows. A tumor is formed from its epithelial cells. It is of good quality. Now you need to understand the mechanics of the appearance of fibrosis, covering the prostate gland – what is it and how does such a disease differ?
With prolonged inflammation, which precedes the onset of pathology, a connective tissue appears in the organ, which is formed from epithelial cells that have entered the gland with the bloodstream. Its growth is an attempt by the immune system to keep the organ intact.
Symptoms of prostate sclerosis and diagnosis of the disease
For a long time, the disease does not give specific symptoms, which complicates the diagnosis. Another problem is the signs of the disease, which can be observed in other diseases of the genitourinary system:
- pulling or sharp pains in the lower abdomen, groin, lower back;
- pain during emptying of the bladder;
- impaired urination: delays, incontinence, discomfort;
- delayed ejaculation or early ejaculation;
- the presence of blood in the urine or semen;
- decrease in sexual desire;
- signs of poisoning of the body: weakness, headaches.
With such symptoms, urologists use differential diagnostics, designed to exclude diseases similar in symptoms. It includes the following studies:
- palpation of the gland through the rectum;
- prostatography ;
- computed and magnetic resonance imaging;
- ureteroscopy ;
- laboratory methods: urine, blood tests, semen analysis ;
- studies of the bladder and urethra: urethrography and cystography.
Ultrasound is carried out mainly transrectal , as in this case it is possible to better visualize the prostate. This approach allows you to set its size, shape and location.
An important parameter determined during ultrasound of the prostate gland with fibrosis is echogenicity (permeability of the organ by waves coming from the sensor). It allows you to establish the location of the connective tissue and determine the density of the parenchyma. It is important not only to establish the boundaries of the organ, but also to assess their condition; during the inflammatory process, they may look blurry.
With prostate fibrosis, treatment always begins with conservative measures. In the early stages, they are enough to eliminate the disease, and in the later stages, medications and other measures of influence can stop the growth of connective tissue and prepare the patient for surgery.
The most effective method of treatment is a complex effect. With it, drug therapy is combined with other methods of restoring the functioning of the organ. Even if complex measures do not help, an operation is prescribed.
At an early stage, in most cases, fibrous prostatitis is treated only with medications and ancillary methods. The therapy is based on individually selected drugs from the groups:
- non-steroidal anti-inflammatory;
Since fibrosis of the organ leads to a violation of blood microcirculation, agents are prescribed that help restore it. Also, doctors often use herbal preparations that help in the treatment of prostatitis and its complications.
With periurethral fibrosis, as well as in the later stages of other types of this disease, surgical treatment is most often performed. The operation is indicated for the following changes in the body:
- urinary retention;
- residual urine in the bladder, accompanied by the formation of stones;
- difficulty in the flow of urine in the upper part of the urethra;
- purulent complications;
- reflux of urine due to reflux into the seminal vesicles;
- development of renal failure.
The operation can be carried out in several ways. Most often in modern surgery, a laser or an endoscopic apparatus is used. Cavity interventions are carried out with large-scale lesions, when other organs are affected or it is not possible to get into the focus in other ways. According to indications, removal is carried out:
- fibroids, scars, cysts (with focal or cystic pathology);
- pieces of fibrous tissue through the urethra;
- prostate through the bladder;
- glands with subsequent restoration of the patency of part of the urethra;
- seminal vesicles;
- prostate simultaneously with seminal vesicles (with a paraurethral form of the disease).
Additionally, crushing with a laser or a water hammer method of stones in the kidneys or bladder can be carried out. Before performing an intervention, a more complete diagnostic cycle is required. If the doctor has not previously prescribed an MRI or prostatography , then they will be performed before the intervention. These examinations will allow the surgeon to have the most information about the operated area. With the help of detailed diagnostics, the method of intervention is selected.
To quickly get rid of violations of the functioning of the prostate, you need to be treated comprehensively. To enhance the effect of other types of therapy, doctors prescribe auxiliary procedures. First of all, they recommend doing a prostate massage. This is not the most pleasant procedure for many men, but after 10-15 sessions, you can notice a significant improvement in well-being. This can be achieved by stimulating metabolic processes in the body.
Another auxiliary method is regular physiotherapy sessions. One of the most effective methods of influencing prostate tissue is shock wave therapy. The waves emanating from the apparatus destroy the fibrous tissue and prevent its further growth. Additionally, electromagnetic stimulation of the prostate can be used.
How to use folk remedies?
Traditional medicine is used only simultaneously with conservative treatment, they cannot replace drug therapy or surgery. Before using them, you need to consult with the attending urologist. The following popular recipes will be useful:
- regular consumption of pumpkin seeds;
- taking decoctions: hazel, chamomile, burdock, parsley or wormwood;
- daily drink tea with honey (buckwheat or meadow).
Treatment with decoctions and infusions should last no more than two weeks. Plant materials for them do not need to be collected on their own, now you can find ready-made fees in any pharmacy at a low price. It can accompany antibiotic therapy, enhancing their effect. Decoctions have powerful anti-inflammatory properties, so they can also be used to treat the root cause of fibrosis – prostatitis.
Germination of connective tissue in the prostate gland is not considered a life-threatening disease. However, it can greatly degrade its quality. Complications develop with untimely access to a urologist. Many men are afraid to go to doctors because of unpleasant manipulations, but only specialists can cure this disease.
Sclerosis of the prostate threatens with a stable violation of reproductive functions. It can be not only infertility, but also impotence. The second danger is the germination of connective tissue in organs that are located next to the prostate gland. This can lead to a violation of their functions, including serious violations of urination, the formation of conglomerates, insufficiency of kidney function.
The formation of large fibroids can be prevented if prostatitis is treated in a timely manner. If this is not done, then over time the chronic disease is complicated by fibrotic changes in the prostate gland – you already know what it is and how dangerous such a disease is. Possible complications are strong reasons to take enough measures to prevent the disease. Moreover, they are simple.
Another important preventive measure is an annual examination by a local urologist. This doctor will help detect prostatitis at an early stage and prevent the development of fibrosis. Also, men should improve their sex life and not use hormonal drugs without the advice of a doctor.
Detection of fibrotic changes at an early stage not only can prevent the complications of this disease, but also greatly facilitates treatment. At the slightest suspicion of improper functioning of the genitourinary system, you should consult a doctor. All measures prescribed by him for the diagnosis and treatment of pathology must be strictly adhered to, despite the fact that some manipulations may be unpleasant for you.