Now Reading
BENIGN PROSTATE ENLARGEMENT: Causes, Symptoms and Diagnosis

BENIGN PROSTATE ENLARGEMENT: Causes, Symptoms and Diagnosis

enlarged prostrate

Our bodies inevitably change as we grow older. There are some things about our bodies that are just more likely to happen when a person is older than when a person is younger. In men, benign prostate enlargement is one of such health concerns. Almost suddenly, the elderly male soon experiences a change from sleeping soundly at night, to waking up several times to empty his bladder, and sometimes never feeling relieved enough from urinating as compared to before. Benign prostate enlargement is common and all elderly men worldwide are at risk.


Benign prostate enlargement or hyperplasia(BPH) is a condition in men in which the prostate gland is enlarged, but not cancerous. 

The prostate is a walnut-shaped gland that is part of the male reproductive system. The main function of the prostate is to make a fluid that goes into semen. Prostate fluid is essential for a man’s fertility.

In BPH, as the prostate enlarges, it presses against the urethra(which carries urine out of the body and also carries semen in males). Because of this, urine may not be passed out totally from the bladder. The bladder(where urine is stored)  also becomes thicker and may eventually become weaker. The combined effect on the bladder and urethra makes the person unable to completely empty the bladder, resulting in many other problems


The cause of benign prostatic hyperplasia is not well understood; however, it occurs mainly in older men. Benign prostatic hyperplasia does not develop in men whose testicles were removed before puberty. For this reason, some researchers believe factors related to aging and the testicles may cause benign prostatic hyperplasia.

There are however some factors that make it more likely for a person to have benign prostate hypertrophy. These factors include:

  1. Age: The most common risk factor for BPH is aging. As men age, the prostate grows larger. The risk of developing BPH becomes greater for men over the age of 50. Also, most men over the age of 80, will have BPH, although some may not experience symptoms.
  1. Ethnic Background: BPH can affect men of all ethnic backgrounds. However, a study in the Journal of Urology found that the risk of having BPH was higher in black and Hispanic men than in white men. The reason for the increased risk might have to do with genetic differences.
  1. Family History: If another male in your immediate family, such as your father or brother, have been diagnosed with BPH, there is a greater likelihood that you will also develop symptoms.
  1. Obesity: The higher a man’s BMI (body mass index) the greater the circumference of his waistline, the greater the risk for him developing BPH. 
  2. Diabetes: Having diabetes increases the risk of developing BPH, and is one of the possible causes of BPH. 
  3. An Inactive Lifestyle: A lack of exercise may increase your chances of developing BPH, possibly because exercise helps fight obesity, reduces inflammation, type 2 diabetes risk, insulin resistance, and other risk factors associated with BPH.


Benign prostate hyperplasia is very common.

Globally, benign prostatic hyperplasia affects about 210 million males as of 2010 (6% of the population). As many as 14 million men in the United States have symptoms of BPH.

It occurs as commonly in white and African-American men. However, BPH tends to be more severe and progressive in African-American men.

 There are about 1.5 million cases yearly in Nigeria.


The symptoms of an enlarged prostate can include:

  1. A weak or slow urinary stream
  2. A feeling of incomplete bladder emptying
  3. Difficulty starting urination
  4. Frequent urination
  5. Urgency to urinate
  6. Getting up frequently at night to urinate
  7. A urinary stream that starts and stops
  8. Straining to urinate
  9. Continued dribbling of urine
  10. Returning to urinate again minutes after finishing

When the bladder does not empty completely, a person is at risk of developing urinary tract infections and other serious problems, like bladder stones, blood in the urine, inability to hold urine, and an inability to urinate.


Your doctor will start by asking detailed questions about your symptoms and doing a physical exam. This initial exam is likely to include:

  • A digital rectal exam. The doctor inserts a finger into the rectum to check your prostate for enlargement.
  • Urine test. Analyzing a sample of your urine can help rule out an infection or other conditions that can cause similar symptoms.
  • Blood test. The results can indicate kidney problems.
  • Prostate-specific antigen (PSA) blood test. PSA is a substance produced in your prostate. PSA levels increase when you have an enlarged prostate. However, elevated PSA levels can also be due to recent procedures, infection, surgery or prostate cancer.

Your doctor will find out if you have benign prostate hypertrophy based on these.


A wide variety of treatments are available for enlarged prostate, including medication, minimally invasive therapies and surgery. The best treatment choice for you depends on several factors, including:

  • The size of your prostate
  • Your age
  • Your overall health
  • The amount of discomfort or bother you are experiencing

If your symptoms are tolerable, you might decide to postpone treatment and simply monitor your symptoms. For some men, symptoms can ease without treatment.

  • Medication: Medication is the most common treatment for mild to moderate symptoms of prostate enlargement. The options include:
  • Minimally invasive or surgical therapy
  • Follow-up care: Your follow-up care will depend on the specific technique used for your treatment


  1. Change Your Lifestyle

Certain lifestyle changes may help to relieve symptoms of BPH like, eating a diet low in saturated and trans-fats, avoiding caffeine and also limiting the amount of fluids you drink in the evening.

  1. Reduce Stress

Relaxation has many physical benefits and it’s also helpful for managing the symptoms of BPH. 

  1. Enrich Your Diet With Fruits and Vegetables

The substances that prevent inflammation like vitamins, fiber, minerals, and antioxidants are available in vegetables and fruits.

  1. Avoid Medications That Can Aggravate Symptoms

If you’re taking prescription and over-the-counter medications such as antihistamines and decongestants, you should take the time to speak to your doctor about them as many of them have been found to aggravate the symptoms of BPH.

  1. Maintain A Healthy Weight.

Benign prostate enlargement is not a cancerous condition and does not result in cancer, it should not raise too much alarm. But if you have symptoms, it is important to have it checked as soon as possible in order to stop the progression of the disease.

What's Your Reaction?
In Love
Not Sure
View Comments (0)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

© 2021 MyCoverGenius. All Rights Reserved.