What your Zoom meeting could be revealing about your prostate

The COVID-19 crisis has revolutionised the way many of us work and more than 75% of professionals believe that remote work is here to stay even after the pandemic.1

While virtual meetings have become a necessity for doing work remotely, they can sometimes get a bit awkward. Be it unexpected interruptions from family members, Zoom-bombing pets, or forgetting the camera is on, there have been a slew of hilarious and often cringeworthy moments, generally taken in good stride. For men who can’t make it through meetings without feeling the urge to use the bathroom multiple times, however, it’s no laughing matter.

If you have had to turn off your camera and duck out due to frequent urinary urgency, you might have an enlarged prostate, also known as benign prostatic hyperplasia, or BPH — a condition that can lead to loss of productivity, depression, and decreased quality of life.2 Add to this the work from home burnout that is so prevalent right now, and it’s understandable if you don’t feel like your normal self.

How enlarged prostate may be restricting your lifestyle

Benign prostatic hyperplasia, or BPH, is a non-cancerous enlargement of the prostate that occurs as men age, affecting over 40% of men in their 50s and over 80% of men in their 70s.3 The enlarged prostate presses on and can block the urethra, causing bothersome urinary symptoms such as the urgency to go, frequent night time urination, and an inability to empty the bladder completely.4 This often means that men are repeatedly in and out of the bathroom and forced to take extreme planning measures just to make it through their daily commitments.

Musician Corey B. said his frequent need to use the restroom began limiting his work since he couldn’t stay on stage for his usual two to three-hour concerts. For anesthesiologist David B., the urgency to go meant he had to limit fluids in order to stay in the operating room through the entirety of a surgery while always knowing where the nearest bathroom was. Tom H., a movie stuntman for over 40 years, described the embarrassment and inconvenience he experienced when having to get up in the middle of a meeting with major studio executives in order to use the bathroom – not a comfortable task for someone used to conquering risks others would rather avoid. Still other men describe the inability to make it through a motorcycle ride or round of golf without the awkward need to find a restroom. Now, for many men, being in the spotlight during back-to-back online meetings is yet another hurdle.

Early intervention may be key to symptom relief and quality of life improvement

BPH can significantly impact quality of life and can cause loss of productivity and even depression.2 Delaying treatment may cause your symptoms to get worse.5

It’s important to consult your urologist to find a treatment that can help you live a more active life with fewer interruptions from urinary symptoms. Depending on the severity of your symptoms, your doctor may recommend the “wait and see” approach, a minimally invasive approach or surgery.

Find out more about the BPH treatment options here.

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