Understanding BPH

What is the Prostate?

The prostate is a small gland that is about the size of a walnut. It is a male reproductive organ that produces semen, the fluid that transports sperm during ejaculation. The prostate is located below the bladder and surrounds  the urethra, the tube that runs through the prostate and carries urine out of the body. 

Normal -Enlarged Prostate -2


What is BPH?

Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH), also known as enlarged prostate, is a common, benign (not cancerous) condition in older men in which the prostate gland enlarges. An enlarged prostate can squeeze the urethra and cause difficulty with urination.


What Causes an Enlarged Prostate?

BPH is usually considered a normal part of the aging process and is influenced by changes in the body’s levels of the male hormone testosterone. In some cases, an enlarged prostate may also be genetic. More than half of men age 50 and older and 90 percent of men age 80 and older have BPH.


Symptoms of an Enlarged Prostate

Some men with an enlarged prostate exhibit no symptoms at all while many others experience urinary symptoms that can range from mild to severe. 

Common symptoms of BPH include:

  • Recurring, sudden need to urinate
  • Increasingly frequent urination, especially at night
  • Weak or interrupted urine stream
  • Difficulty starting urination
  • Urine leakage (urinary incontinence)
  • Inability to completely empty the bladder


Treatment Options for BPH

Frequently Asked Questions

Learn more about BPH symptoms, causes, and diagnosis on Chesapeake Urology's Men's Personal Health website.