What is BPH?
Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH) is a benign enlargement of the prostate which typically occurs as men age. There are no known risk factors for getting BPH besides getting older. The enlargement of the prostate can cause difficulty with urination. Some common symptoms associated with BPH are slow urinary stream, frequent urination, urinary leakage (incontinence), nocturia (waking up at night to pee), and difficulty starting the urinary flow. These symptoms are not unique to BPH and only a urologist can determine if the condition is truly benign and related to the prostate.
If you present with these symptoms the urologist may perform some of the following tests to evaluate your condition. These tests could include a Digital Rectal Exam (DRE) to evaluate the size and shape of the prostate, a Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA) blood test to evaluate your risk of prostate cancer, and a bladder scan/ultrasound to evaluate how well you empty your bladder. If any of these tests indicate that further evaluation is necessary, a cystoscopy may be used to evaluate the degree of obstruction and a prostate biopsy would be used if the PSA is elevated.
Treatment for this condition can involve either medical therapy or surgical therapy and occasionally both.