Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia, or Enlarged Prostate


Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia or BPH is a condition caused by the non-cancerous enlarged prostate gland in aging men.

As the prostate enlarges, it can squeeze down on the urethra, causing men to have difficulty urinating.

What are the symptoms of BPH, or an enlarged prostate?

Since the prostate surrounds the urethra just below the bladder, its enlargement can result in symptoms that are irritating or obstructing the bladder. A common symptom is the need to empty the bladder frequently sometimes as often as every two hours or more, especially at night. Another symptom is the sensation that the bladder is not empty, even after urinating. BPH can also cause a weak urinary stream, dribbling of urine, the need to stop and start urinating several times when the bladder is emptied or having to strain to urinate.

How is BPH, or an enlarged prostate diagnosed and treated?

In order to help assess the severity of symptoms, the American Urological Association (AUA) BPH Symptom Score Index was developed. This diagnostic system includes a series of questions about your specific urinary symptoms to determine if your condition is mild or severe. When your urologist evaluates you for possible BPH, the evaluation will typically consist of a thorough medical history, a physical examination (including a DRE), a urinalysis and the use of the AUA BPH Symptom Score Index. Treatment options for BPH include medications, minimally invasive treatments and surgery.

Treatment Options for BPH, or an enlarged prostate:

12 million men in the U.S. are treated for BPH. Here’s a breakdown:

44% do ‘watchful waiting’

55% of men take some kind of medication

1% of men elect to have surgery or some kind of medical procedure to correct the condition.

Treatment options include medications (alpha blockers, 5-alpha reductase inhibitors, combination of an alpha-blocker with a 5-alpha reductase inhibitor, or Phosphodiesterase-5 (PDE-5) inhibitors), thermotherapy (procedure that heats and destroys prostate tissue), laser, TURP (surgical procedure that relieves moderate to severe urinary symptoms) and a newer minimally invasive procedure called UroLift R. Click here for more information about UroLift.

For more information on BPH, please see the Urology Association of America’s booklet. Read More>>