Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia
(BPH, Enlarged Prostate)

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Benign prostatic hyperplasia facts

  • The prostate gland produces a fluid that becomes part of the semen.
  • Benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) involves enlargement of the prostate gland.
  • The prostate enlargement in BPH is not malignant.
  • BPH can impede the flow of urine.
  • Symptoms include frequent urge to urinate, getting up at night to urinate, difficulty urinating and dribbling of urine.
  • The treatment of BPH is usually reserved for men with significant symptoms.
  • Medical and surgical approaches are available to treat BPH.

What is the prostate gland?

The prostate is a small organ about the size of a walnut. It lies below the bladder (where urine is stored) and surrounds the urethra (the tube that carries urine from the bladder). The prostate makes a fluid that helps to nourish sperm as part of the semen (ejaculatory fluid).

Prostate problems are common in men 50 and older. Most can be treated successfully without harming sexual function. A urologist is a specialist in diseases of the urinary system, including diagnosing and treating problems of the prostate gland.

How does the doctor detect prostate enlargement?

A doctor usually can detect an enlarged prostate by rectal exam. The doctor also may examine the urethra, prostate, and bladder using a cytoscope, an instrument that is inserted through the penis or with ultrasound.

What is benign prostatic hyperplasia?

Benign prostatic hyperplasia is nonmalignant (noncancerous)enlargement of the prostate gland, a common occurrence in older men. It is also known as benign prostatic hyperplasia and abbreviated as BPH.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 1/25/2016

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Find out when you should seek medical attention for prostate problems.

Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia: PSA Test

The PSA test is a blood test. The PSA test can be used to suggest the presence of prostate cancer, to monitor its treatment, or assess its recurrence.

The PSA test can also be abnormal with benign enlargement (benign prostatic hyperplasia or BPH), inflammation (prostatis), and infection of the prostate gland.