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Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia


Dr. Reynolds
One of the most common prostate conditions, especially in men over the age of 50, is benign prostatic hyperplasia, or BPH. Dr. Patel, can you tell us about this condition?

Dr. Patel
Sure, Dr. Reynolds. BPH is a condition in which the prostate gland is enlarged, but not cancerous. Other terms you might hear to describe this condition are benign prostatic hypertrophy, benign prostatic obstruction, or simply enlarged prostate.

Because the urethra runs through the middle of the prostate, enlargement of the prostate can cause pressure on the urethra and on the opening of the bladder, which can lead to urinary problems, including:

  • Frequent urges to urinate
  • Weak urine stream
  • Breaks in the urine stream
  • A need to strain during urination
  • A sensation of incomplete bladder emptying, and
  • Dribbling

If symptoms are mild and do not affect a man's quality of life, his provider may suggest watchful waiting. Men with mild symptoms may feel that treatment is a greater inconvenience than their symptoms, in which case watchful waiting may be the appropriate course of action. However, if symptoms are more severe, treatment with lifestyle changes, medications, or surgery may be necessary.