Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH)
The prostate is a walnut-sized gland below the bladder. It surrounds the urethra, which allows urine to pass out of the bladder. The main purpose of the prostate is to make fluids that carry sperm. At about the age of 45, the prostate begins to slowly enlarge. This continues for the rest of a man's life.
The enlarged prostate may squeeze the urethra, causing problems with urination. This enlargement is also called benign prostatic hypertrophy or more commonly,"BPH." BPH is a very common condition in men. More than half of all men over age 50 have symptomatic BPH and by age 80, it affects about 80%. It is often associated with erectile dysfunction and/or ejaculatory problems.
Symptoms of BPH include:
- Waking up several times during the night to urinate
- Having a greater urge to urinate and difficulty postponing it
- Difficulty or pain in starting urination
- A weak urine flow
- A feeling of not completely emptying the bladder
- Changes in sexual performance and pleasurability
BPH is rarely life threatening, but it can greatly affect your quality of life. It should not be confused with cancer of the prostate which is a different disease and is frequently without symptoms. BPH symptoms can be measured with a set of questions known as an AUA symptom score. You can find these questions by clicking here.
When symptoms start to interfere with your daily life, it's time to consider your treatment options and to talk with a urologist about the best one for you.
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