What is BPH?

Learn About Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH)

What is Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH)?

Benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) is an enlarged prostate gland. Normally the size of a walnut, the prostate gland sits below the bladder and surrounds the urethra (the tube that moves urine from the bladder out of the body).

BPH is not cancer and it does not raise your risk for prostate cancer.

Who is at risk?

The likelihood of developing an enlarged prostate increases with age. More than 50% of all men in their 60s and as many as 90% aged 70-89 years old have some symptoms of BPH.

What does the research say?

⦁ The risk of BPH increases with age after 40, with more than 50% of men in their 60s reporting prostate problems1
⦁ Black and Hispanic men are at a higher risk2
⦁ BPH runs in the family. Men with male relatives who have enlarged prostates are more at risk for developing symptoms1
⦁ Conditions associated with heart disease, like diabetes, are also linked to BPH1
⦁ Obesity increases the risk of BPH, while exercise has been shown to lower your risk3

What is BPH
What is BPH

Understand the Signs & Symptoms of BPH

Common Symptoms

When you have benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), the prostate gland gets bigger and may compress the urethra (the tube that carries urine from the bladder and then out of the body). As this happens, the bladder wall becomes thickened and irritable, and begins to contract even when it contains small amounts of urine. The enlarged prostate can also push up against the bladder.

BPH can lead to problems associated with lower urinary tract symptoms that may include:

⦁ An urgent need to urinate
⦁ Increased frequency of urination—especially at night (nocturia)
⦁ Inability to urinate or straining while urinating
⦁ Weak urine stream
⦁ A urine stream that starts and stops (intermittence)
⦁ Unable to empty your bladder completely
⦁ Dribbling at the end of urinating

If you’re experiencing symptoms of BPH—or are finding they interfere with normal sleeping patterns, daily activities, or maintaining your quality of life—contact your primary care physician or urologist immediately.

Left untreated, BPH could lead to health complications such as kidney stones, infection, lack of bladder control (neurogenic bladder), and complete bladder outlet obstruction or blockage.

If you and your healthcare provider determine that you have benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), it’s a good idea to discuss the various treatment options available, including prostatic artery embolization (PAE).

Take Charge

Stop coping with BPH and start living.

Once you’ve been diagnosed with benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), your next question is likely, “Which treatment should I pursue?” The answer to this question can be quite tricky, especially because there are several different treatments available. If you’re feeling a bit confused about your diagnosis and are unsure what to do, you’re not alone! Here are a few steps to take to start working through your options and take control.

⦁ Empower yourself with information

Understanding your treatment options is key and will help you determine the best option for your unique situation. Conducting your own independent research and talking to other men who have been on this journey can be a good first step in learning what to prepare for and what to expect.

⦁ Talk to your doctor

At 1Prostate Center, we can help you to find a solution tailored specifically for you.

It’s time to reclaim your life and take control!

Learn More About Prostatic Artery Embolization (PAE)


  1. Patel, N. D., & Parsons, J. K. (2014). Epidemiology and etiology of benign prostatic hyperplasia and bladder outlet obstruction. Indian Journal of Urology, 30(2): 170-176. doi:  10.4103/0970-1591.126900
  2. Krista, A. R., Arnold, K. B., Schenk, J. M., Neuhouser, M. L., Weiss, N., Goodman, P., Antvelink, C. M., Penson, D. F., & Thompson, I. M. (2007). Race/ethnicity, obesity, health related behaviors and the risk of symptomatic benign prostatic hyperplasia: results from the prostate cancer prevention trial. The Journal of Urology, 177(4): 1395-1400.
  3. Parsons, J. K., Sarma, A. V., McVary, K., & Wei, J. T. (2013). Obesity and benign prostatic hyperplasia: clinical connections, emerging etiological paradigms and future directions. The Journal of Urology, 189(1): S102-S106. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.juro.2012.11.029

© Merit Medical, Used With Permission.