Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia
(BPH; Benign Prostatic Hypertrophy; Prostatism; Bladder Outlet Obstruction)
DefinitionBenign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) is an enlargement of the prostate. The prostate is usually a walnut-sized gland located at the neck of the bladder. It surrounds the urethra, a tube that carries urine from the bladder to the outside of the body.An enlarged prostate puts pressure on the urethra and can make it difficult for urine to pass. Eventually, the urethra may become completely closed off.
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CausesThe exact cause of BPH is unknown. It may be related to natural changes in hormone level that occur as men age.The enlargement is not due to cancer.
Risk FactorsBPH is most likely to occur in men aged 50 years or older. Other factors that may increase your chance of having BPH include:
- Metabolic syndrome —A condition marked by elevated blood pressure, cholesterol, blood glucose, and body weight. Excess weight centered around the midsection is of particular concern.
- Lipid disorders
- Diet high in fats and red meat
SymptomsEnlarged prostate itself does not cause symptoms. Symptoms develop when the prostate gland puts enough pressure on the urethra to interfere with the flow of urine.Symptoms usually increase in severity over time and may include:
- Difficulty starting to urinate
- Weak urination stream
- Dribbling at the end of urination
- Sensation of incomplete bladder emptying
- Urge to urinate frequently, especially at night
- Deep discomfort in the lower abdomen
- Urge incontinence —strong, sudden urge to urinate
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