Some of the fluid that carries sperm during ejaculation is produced by the prostate, a gland. The prostate gland encircles the urethra, the tube that allows urine to leave the body.

A enlarged prostate indicates that the gland has expanded. As men age, almost all experience prostate enlargement. 

The condition is commonly called BPH benign prostatic hyperplasia or hypertrophy, and enlarged prostate is not cancer and it does not increase your risks of developing prostate cancer

What are the causes of enlarged prostate (BPH)? 

Prostate enlargement's true cause is unknown. The development of the gland and testosterone levels may be affected by elements associated with aging and modifications in the testicular cells. BPH does not occur in men who had their testicles removed when they were young, such as as a result of testicular cancer.

Additionally, if a guy has his testicles removed after developing BPH, his prostate starts to get smaller. It should be noted that this is not a typical prostate enlargement treatment. 

symptoms enlarged prostate

Image Credit: Medfin. A photo of normal prostate Vs Benign prostatic hyperplasia

The truths about enlarged prostate

  • So many men aged 40 years and above have the mild form of enlarged prostate. In men over 80, the illness affects more than 90% of them.
  • Having functional testicles has been the only risk factor for BPH so far.
  • With age, there is a higher chance of acquiring an enlarged prostate.
  • Because BPH is so widespread, it has been asserted that if men live long enough, they will all develop an enlarged prostate.

What are the symptoms of enlarged prostate?

Most of men in fact half of the men with the condition do not develop symptoms. However, if symptoms of enlarged prostate occurs the following are common:

  • Urinary retention described as failure to pass urine.
  • Urination requires an abnormally higher force for urine to come out
  • The urine stream becomes weak and slow 
  • A feel to urinate more often
  • Bladder not fully relieved of urine (Urine is incompletely passed out of the bladder)
  • Painful urination with some bloody look, especially if there is urinary tract infection.
  • Urine delays to come out even if you initiate the urination process.
  • Drizzled pattern of urine as it comes out (urine comes out in drops not full stream)

What are the tests to diagnose prostate enlargement?

Your physician will inquire about your medical background. The prostate gland will also be felt during a digital rectal examination. Other examinations might involve
  • flow of urine
  • Using a post-void residual urine test, you may determine how much urine is still in your bladder after urinating.
  • Studies using pressure-flow to gauge the pressure in your bladder as you urinate
  • A urine test to look for blood or infections
  • urine culture for infection detection
  • Blood test for prostate cancer using prostate-specific antigen (PSA)
  • Cystoscopy
  • Tests for blood urea nitrogen (BUN) and creatinine

You might be asked to complete a questionnaire to indicate how seriously your symptoms are taking a toll on your life. Using this score, your healthcare professional can determine whether your condition is getting worse over time.

What are the Treatments for BPH

How severe your symptoms are and how much they annoy you will determine the course of treatment you receive. Other health issues you might have will also be taken into account by your practitioner.

Options for treatment include "watchful waiting," dietary adjustments, medication, or surgery.

You are more susceptible to developing symptoms if you are over 60. Although many men with an enlarged prostate simply have mild symptoms. Often, self-care measures are sufficient to improve your mood.

You should get a BPH checkup every year to monitor your symptoms and determine whether your treatment needs to be changed.

Patient lifestyle changes 

Do the following if you have mild symptoms of enlarged prostate:

  • When you initially feel the urge, urinate. Additionally, even if you don't feel the need to urinate, schedule regular trips to the restroom.
  • Especially after dinner, stay away from alcohol and caffeine.
  • Reduce taking more fluid at a go. Daily fluid intake should be spread out. Drink nothing two hours before going to bed.
  • Aim to AVOID taking over-the-counter antihistamine or decongestant-containing cold and sinus medications. These medicines may worsen BPH symptoms.
  • Be warm and go for regular exercise. Symptoms could get worse due to the cold and inactivity.
  • Stress reduction. Anxiety and tension can make you urinate more frequently.


Alpha1 Blockers: A group of medications known as alpha-1 blockers is also used to treat high blood pressure. These drugs ease the bladder neck and prostate muscles. This makes urinating simpler. Most persons taking alpha-1 blockers have symptom alleviation within 3 to 7 days after starting the medication.

Dutasteride and Finasteride: The amounts of hormones the prostate produces are reduced by finasteride and dutasteride. These medications also raise urine flow rate, alleviate BPH symptoms, and diminish gland size. Prior to noticing any improvement in your symptoms, you may need to take these medications for three to six months. Impotence and a decline in sex desire are potential side effects.

Antibiotics: Chronic prostatitis (prostate inflammation), which can happen with BPH, can be treated with antibiotics. Some men's BPH symptoms get better after taking an antibiotic course.

On the other hand patients are advised to observe if there are drugs making their symptoms worse.

Surgical operations

For surgery to be used in treatment of enlarged prostate the following are the determining factors:

  • Failure to urinate (urinary retention)
  • Urinary incontinence
  • Severe symptoms that patient is finding it difficult to withstand
  • Repeated episodes of hematuria (blood in urine)
  • When kidney functions are reduced.
  • Stones in the bladder 
  • Repeated infections of the urinary tract
  • If drugs have failed to control the symptoms.

The degree to which your symptoms are present as well as the size and shape of your prostate gland will usually determine which surgical technique is advised. The majority of men who have prostate surgery report improved symptoms and urine flow rates.

The Transurethral Resection of the Prostate (TURP):  The most popular and effective surgical treatment for BPH is transurethral resection of the prostate (TURP). The prostate is piece by piece removed during TURP by introducing a scope through the penis.

The Simple Prostatectomy: The inside of the prostate gland is removed during a simple prostatectomy. Your lower belly is surgically sliced to make the incision. Men with really big prostate glands are the ones who receive this treatment the most frequently.

To eliminate prostate tissue, some less intrusive techniques use heat or a laser. Another less invasive method involves "tacking" the prostate open, which leaves no tissue behind. None have been demonstrated to be superior to TURP. After five or ten years, those who undergo these treatments are more likely to require surgery once more.

These methods, however, might be an option for:
  • Senior citizens
  • men who use blood-thinning medications
  • Men who might otherwise be more likely to need surgery
  • Those who suffer from severe illnesses, such as uncontrolled diabetes, cirrhosis, alcoholism, insanity, or severe lung, renal, or cardiac disease
  • youthful men (while the danger with TURP is not extremely significant, many of the less invasive procedures carry a lower risk for impotence and incontinence than TURP)

What are the complications of enlarged prostate?

Complications of BPH occurs when the condition is chronic and it shows through severe symptoms. The truth is that BPH can re occur even after surgical treatment. 

 The following are the complications of enlarged prostate gland:

  • Damage to kidneys
  • Passing bloody urine
  • A sudden failure to pass urine
  • Urinary tract infections 
  • Kidneys and or bladder stones

What to do if you suspect having enlarged prostate 

Immediately visit the hospital if you see the following symptoms:
  • Abdomen, side, or back discomfort
  • Pee with blood or pus in it
  • Your symptoms have not decreased despite two months of self-care efforts.
  • After urinating, your bladder does not feel quite empty.
  • You regularly take medications such sedatives, diuretics, antihistamines, or antidepressants that can result in urinary issues. Avoid stopping or switching medications without first consulting your doctor.
  • Less urination than normal
  • Cold or fever


Prostatic hyperplasia BPH or enlarged prostate can occur in any man but the age factor plays a very important role in the change of size of a prostate gland. Age 40 years and above has more chances of developing this condition. Urinary retention and general change in your urination process should ring a bell in a man's head. Treatment is available and it does not mean the end of your life just because you have an enlarged prostate gland.