What is benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH)?

Benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), sometimes called benign prostatic hypertrophy, is an enlarged prostate gland. The prostate is a gland that surrounds the urethra, which carries urine from the bladder out of the body. You may start to experience benign prostatic hyperplasia symptoms if the prostate becomes larger, squeezing or partially blocking the urethra, causing problems with urination.

What causes benign prostatic hyperplasia?

BPH occurs in more than half of men over the age of 75, due to changes in hormone balance and cell growth. It is not cancer, and does not develop into or cause cancer or erection problems. While the symptoms can be uncomfortable and frustrating, BPH is rarely a serious health concern.

What are benign prostatic hyperplasia treatments?

Most men do not need BPH treatment unless they have related problems such as bladder infections or bladder stones. Medication may reduce the symptoms if these become a real nuisance. There are also steps you can take at home to reduce or control your BPH symptoms:

  • Practice “double voiding.” Urinate as much as you can, relax for a few moments, and then urinate again
  • Avoid caffeine and alcohol, which causes your body to rid itself of water and can make you urinate more often
  • Avoid medications that make urination more difficult, including over-the-counter and prescription antihistamines, decongestants and allergy pills