Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia - A Common Condition in Men

Posted Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Did You Know? BPH affects about 50% of U.S. men between ages 51-60

BPH is the Most Common Diagnosis Made by Urologists for Men Ages 45-74

BPH is Not Linked to Prostate Cancer and Does Not Cause Problems in All Men with the Condition

Benign Prostate Hyperplasia (BPH), or enlarged prostate, is a common condition as men get older. An enlarged prostate gland can cause uncomfortable symptoms, but there are several effective treatments. Please use this guide as a resource for knowledge and understanding of BPH causes, symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment. 


The prostate gland is located beneath the bladder. Most men have continued prostate growth over time, and this may eventually enlarge the prostate enough to cause urinary symptoms or significantly block urine flow. It isn’t entirely clear what causes enlargement of the prostate; however, research indicates it may be due to changes in hormone levels. Risk factors include:

  • Aging
  • Family History
  • Diabetes & Heart Disease
  • Obesity


Symptoms vary depending on the severity of the enlargement, and they tend to worsen over time. The most common symptoms include:

  • Urinary frequency
  • Increased urination at night (nocturia)
  • Difficulty starting urination
  • Weak urine stream or stream that stops & starts
  • Inability to completely empty the bladder


After completing a thorough medical history, the Urologist will perform a physical exam to check the size of the prostate and order lab tests. Additional tests may be recommended, such as:

  • Urinary Flow Test – a machine measures the strength and amount of urine flow
  • Postvoid Residual Volume Test – this tests measures whether the bladder is emptied completely
  • Transrectal Ultrasound – imaging of the prostate
  • Cystoscopy – a lighted instrument is inserted into the urethra so the physician can examine the urethra and bladder


A variety of treatment options are available, depending on the progression of the condition, the patient’s age and overall health, and the amount of discomfort the patient is experiencing. Treatment may include medications to relax the bladder and/or shrink the prostate, or in more severe cases, surgical procedures may be required to correct the problem. 

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