An enlarged prostate, known as benign prostatic hyperplasia or BPH, has urinary symptoms because of the gland’s location near the bladder. The prostate gland enlarges for most men as they age.
Symptoms usually begin for men with BPH after age 40. Moderate to severe symptoms are experienced by a third of men by age 60 with about half of men experiencing them by age 80.
Common BPH symptoms generally worsen over time, according to the Mayo Clinic
. These signs include frequency or urgency to urinate, the need to urinate during the night, a weak urine flow, difficulty starting to urinate, straining while urinating, or an inability to empty the bladder completely.
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Less common symptoms include an inability to urinate, blood in the urine, or a urinary tract infection.
The inability to urinate, also called urinary retention, is a severe sign that needs immediate medical attention, cautions the University of Maryland Medical Center
Urinary symptoms could be caused by a urinary tract infection or inflammation of the prostate, known as prostatitis. The symptoms could signal bladder or kidney stones, or cancer of the prostate or bladder. It’s important to see a doctor about these symptoms to find the cause.
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Symptoms of BPH may also include pain after ejaculation or during urination and urine with unusual color or smell, according to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases
Bladder obstruction could be causing urinary retention. This obstruction can lead to other symptoms of BPH, such as urinary tract infections, blood in the urine, and incontinence that may result in urine dribbling out in small amounts.
A blocked urethra may also cause symptoms. An enlarged prostate gland puts pressure on the bladder and presses against the urethra.
BPH is not cancer-related. It can be treated with medications or even surgery to reduce the size of an enlarged prostate. A digital rectal exam can detect BPH and rule out prostate cancer. Doctors ask about a patient’s medical history and a family history of BPH, which increases the risk of developing the condition.
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