An enlarged prostate, also known as benign prostate enlargement (BPE) is a common condition that most often affects men who are over the age of 50.
What is enlarged prostate?
The prostate gland is located between the bladder and the penis. If the prostate grows larger than normal, it can press on the urethra, causing it to narrow.
Having an enlarged prostate does not mean that you have an increased risk of getting prostate cancer, but it is possible that you can have an enlarged prostate and prostate cancer simultaneously.
What are the symptoms of enlarged prostate?
If you have an enlarged prostate, you might not always experience any symptoms, but if you do, they may include:
- Inability to fully empty your bladder
- Needing to urinate more often than usual, particularly at night
- Feeling an abrupt urgency to urinate
- Dribbling after urinating
- Problems starting urinating
- Having to strain during urination
- A slow, delayed or weakened urinary stream
- Bloody urine
- Pain during urination
What causes enlarged prostate?
The exact cause of an enlarged prostate isn’t known, but it is believed to be related to:
- Older age
- Hormonal imbalances
- Family medical history
How is enlarged prostate diagnosed?
If you experience any of the symptoms listed above, you should speak to your consultant.
At your appointment, your consultant will inquire about your symptoms and your lifestyle (e.g. how much alcohol or other fluids you consume).
They may also recommend that you undergo:
- A physical examination
- Blood tests
- Urine tests
- Pad tests
- Bladder pressure tests
- A cystoscopy
It’s also possible that your consultant will ask that you keep a bladder diary for a few days where you record the amount of fluids you’re drinking and how often you need to urinate.
How is enlarged prostate treated?
There are three main options for treating an enlarged prostate:
- Lifestyle alterations
You and your consultant can discuss which treatment type would be best for you.
If you’re unsure what treatment you should go for, or the above treatments don’t work for you, our team of expert specialists are here to help.