Enlarged Prostate Symptoms

BPH Symptoms

Enlarged prostate symptoms are sometimes a sign of BPH.

BPH stands for benign prostatic hyperplasia (pronounced "be-NINE prah-STAT-ik HY-per-PLAY-zha"). Benign means not cancerous, and hyperplasia means too much growth. The result is that the prostate becomes enlarged. Having BPH symptoms does not mean you have cancer nor does it mean you will get cancer. BPH is not linked to prostate cancer and does not increase the chances of getting prostate cancer. But BPH symptoms and prostate cancer symptoms can be similar.

BPH symptoms can start as early as 40 years of age and can include some of the following symptoms:

Difficulty beginning a urine stream or making just a dribble 

The urge to pass urine frequently, especially during the night 

The feeling that the bladder has not been fully emptied 

Sudden or strong urges to urinate 

A decrease in the force of the urine stream 

Frequently stopping and starting several times while urinating 

Difficulty or straining to urinate 

Untreated, BPH can lead to: 

Bladder damage 

Bladder or kidney infections 

Complete inability to urinate 

Kidney damage 

BPH symptoms affect most men as they get older. It can lead to urinary problems including prostatitis. By age 60, a large percentage of men have some of the signs of BPH. By age 70, almost all men have some enlarged prostate symptoms.

The prostate starts out about the size of a walnut. By the time a man is 40, it may have grown slightly larger, to the size of an apricot. By age 60, it may be the size of a lemon.

As a normal part of aging, the prostate enlarges and can press against the bladder and the urethra. This can slow down or block urine flow. Some men might find it hard to begin a urine stream, even though they have an urge to go. After the urine stream has started, it may start and stop many times before the bladder is empty. Some men feel they have the urge to urinate all the time including waking up with the urge to urinate through out the night.

BPH symptoms may start out mildly but increase in severity over many years. It is recommended that medical help be sought when BPH symptoms first appear as they may be symptoms of something more serious such as prostatitis or even cancer.