Benign prostate hyperplasia means enlarged prostate gland. The prostate is one of the glands of the male reproductive system. It is positioned underneath the bladder and encircles the urethra (the tube used to void.) The prostate gland in adults remains a constant size until approximately age 40, then begins to enlarge.  When the prostate enlarges, this can cause trouble passing urine. The bladder then has to push harder to overcome the prostate which is providing increased resistance to urine flow. If the blockage continues by the prostate growing the bladder may be unable to empty, leading to a condition called urinary retention.

Signs & Symptoms

Symptoms of BPH?

With BPH, the prostate gets larger. When it is enlarged, it can irritate or block the bladder. As BPH progresses, other symptoms begin to appear.

Symptoms include:

  • Feeling that the bladder is full, even right after urinating
  • Urinating often
  • Feeling that urinating “can’t wait”
  • Weak urine flow
  • Dribbling of urine
  • The need to stop and start urinating several times
  • Trouble starting to urinate
  • The need to push or strain to urinate
  • Getting up at night to urinate more than 2 times
Causes & Diagnosing

Causes and Diagnosing of BPH

Causes of BPH

Men naturally produce testosterone, a male hormone, and small amounts of estrogen, a female hormone. As men age, active testosterone in their blood decreases, which leaves a higher proportion of estrogen. Some scientific studies have shown that benign prostatic hyperplasia may occur because the higher proportion of estrogen inside the prostate, increases cell growth. Another hormone, dihydrotestosterone (DHT) has a well known role in prostate growth As men age, the testosterone levels drop, but they continue to produce and accumulate high levels of DHT in the prostate. DHT encourages prostate cells to grow.

Diagnosing BPH

  • Urinalysis (urine test)
  • PSA blood test to screen for prostate cancer
  • Urinary blood test to screen for bladder cancer
  • Post-void residual volume (PVR) to measure urine left in the bladder after urinating
  • Uroflowmetry to measure how fast urine flows
  • Cystoscopy to look at the urethra or bladder with a scope
  • Urodynamic pressure to test pressure in the bladder during urinating
  • Ultrasound of the prostate
Risk Factors & Prevention

Risk Factors & Prevention for BPH

Risk Factors

  • Aging
  • Family history of BPH

Prevention Strategies

  • Losing weight
  • Eating a healthy diet, with fruits and vegetables
  • Stay active helps weight and hormone levels