This article was last reviewed on
This article waslast modified on 6 October 2023.


Benign prostatic hypertrophy (BPH), also known as benign prostatic hyperplasia and benign prostate enlargement (BPE), is a non-cancerous enlargement of the prostate that frequently results in a slow urine stream, a build up of urine in the bladder, and often a frequent and urgent need to pass urine. It is a very common condition in men over 50, with one quarter of men over 65 having some symptoms. The name refers to an increase in size of the inner portion of the prostate gland. Unlike prostate cancer, which usually forms in the outer portion of the prostate, untreated BPH is mainly an inconvenience and usually not a life-threatening disease.

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About BPH
  • Test

    The Prostate-Specific Antigen blood test (PSA) and rectal examination can help the early detection of BPH. Urinalysis may be performed to identify other conditions such as infections and diabetes. Creatinine may also be measured to see if kidney function has been affected.

  • Treatment

    If BPH is left untreated, urine can back up into the kidneys, leading to kidney damage and failure, and weakening of the bladder muscle so that it is not strong enough to expel all the urine.

    Treatment options for BPH include lifestyle changes, surgery and medicine to reduce the amount of tissue and increase the flow of urine.