The term Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH) relates to an enlarged prostate which is not cancerous, but which may cause bothersome problems with the waterworks or lower urinary tract symptoms (LUTS) thanks to the resultant obstruction to the flow of urine out of the bladder. It is a very common problem in men, the growth in the prostate probably starting in middle age. It may result in bothersome symptoms in approximately 50 percent of men between the ages of 51 and 60 and up to 90 percent of men over the age of 80.
This video from NHS Choices has all you need to know about the prostate and problems that can arise as men get older
Typical symptoms include;
- Difficulty in passing water,
- Having to go to the toilet frequently or urgently,
- Having to get up several times during the night,
- Dribbling at the end of urinary flow and sometimes incontinence.
The symptoms can impact on quality of life causing embarrassment, tiredness and limitations to the activities one can undertake. Furthermore, it may also result in the sudden and often painful inability to pass urine (acute urinary retention) leading to emergency hospital attendance and the siting of a drainage tube down the water pipe (urethra) into the bladder (a catheter). It is worth noting that this is a much more common disease than prostate cancer which is often symptom free in its early stages.
Information on treatment for LUTS and BPH can be found in the Treatments section or by clicking the links below.