Benign prostatic hyperplasia

Benign prostatic hyperplasia is more commonly known as enlargement of the prostate gland; this condition is common, especially amongst men aged over 60, with an estimated 60 percent of men over the age of 60 having some degree of prostate enlargement.

Causes of benign prostatic hyperplasia

The cause of prostate enlargement is unknown but experts believe that hormones have a large part to play. Research into the causes of benign prostatic hyperplasia is ongoing.

Symptoms of prostate enlargement

Symptoms of prostate enlargement are associated with pressure being placed on the bladder and the urethra by the enlarged prostate gland. Common symptoms include:

  • Pain during urination
  • Weak flow of urine
  • Need to urinate quickly
  • Sudden need to urinate
  • Not feeling like you’ve emptied the bladder (even after going to the toilet regularly)
  • Disturbed sleep (due to having to get up regularly to go to the toilet)
  • Blood in the urine

Treating benign prostatic hyperplasia

In many cases, a policy of watchful waiting will be adopted by the GP; this involves carefully monitoring the patient but not offering treatment. If symptoms persist or symptoms are moderate to severe to begin with, treatment will be offered. Treatments include bladder training (this is designed to increase the length of time between urinating) and medication; medication can be used to relax the muscles in the bladder to make urination easier and decrease the size of the prostate gland.

Guide to Urinary Problems

Urinary problems

Acute urinary retention

Benign prostatic hyperplasia


Prostate problems


Urinary incontinence

Urinary tract infection