Benign prostate enlargement (BPE), also known as benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), is a condition that affects older men.
It's particularly common in men over 50 years of age and isn't usually a serious threat to health.
The prostate is a small gland found only in men, located in the pelvis, between the penis and bladder. It's involved in the production of semen.
The prostate produces a thick, white fluid that's made into a thinnerliquid by a protein called prostate-specific antigen (PSA). The liquid is then mixed with sperm, produced by the testicles, to create semen.
If the prostate becomes enlarged, it can place pressure on the bladder and urethra (the tube through which urine passes). This canaffect how you pass urine and may cause:
In some men, the symptoms are mild and don't require treatment. In others, the symptoms can be very troublesome and have a major impact on a person's quality of life.
The risk of prostate cancer is no greater for men with an enlarged prostate than it is for men without anenlarged prostate.
The cause of prostate enlargement is unknown, but most experts agree that it's linked to hormonal changes that occur as a man gets older.
Each question has five possible answers that carry a score, and your overall score indicates the severity of your symptoms.
Your GP will also want to rule out other conditions that cause similar symptoms to prostate enlargement.
You may have a number of standard tests, such as urine tests, plus some more specific tests, such as ablood test that measures PSA.
They block the effects of a hormone called dihydrotestosterone (DHT) on the prostate gland, which can reduce the size of the prostate and improve associated symptoms.
Alpha blockers may also be prescribed. They help to relax your bladder muscles, making it easier to pass urine. Tamsulosin and alfuzosin are two alpha blockers commonly used to treat benign prostate enlargement.
Surgery is usually only recommended for moderate to severe symptoms of benign prostate enlargement that have failed to respond to medication.
Serious complications are rare.
Benign prostate enlargement is a condition associated with ageing and is common in men over 50 years of age.
Around 4 out of 10 men (40%) over 50, and 3 out of 4 men (75%) in their 70s have urinary symptoms caused by an enlarged prostate.
Read about benign prostate enlargement (BPE), also known as benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), which is a common condition that affects men over 50 years of age.
The symptoms of benign prostate enlargement are caused by the enlarged prostate placing pressure on the bladder and urethra (which carries urine from the bladder to the penis).
The exact cause of benign prostate enlargement is unknown, but research suggests that hormones probably play an important role in the condition's development.
To find out whether your prostate gland is enlarged, you'll need to have a few tests. Some tests will be carried out by your GP and others will be carried out by a urologist.
If you have an enlarged prostate, your recommended treatment plan will be determined by how severe your symptoms are.
Benign prostate enlargement can sometimes lead to complications, such as a urinary tract infection (UTI) or acute urinary retention (AUR).