by Polsdorfer R

The prostate gland is walnut-sized organ. It sits just under the bladder, in front of the rectum. The prostate surrounds the urethra, the tube that carries urine from the bladder to outside the body. BPH is the growth of the prostate, which has nothing to do with cancer. It is one of the most common health issues for men over 50 years old.

The Prostate Gland
Breast self-exam, step 4
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The prostate grows throughout life. In some men, it grows large enough to cause problems. An enlarged prostate can squeeze the urethra. It narrows the path for urine to flow through. This can change the urge to urinate and frequency. For some men, these problems will be minor.

BPH can also make it hard to fully empty the bladder. Urine in the bladder increases the risk of infection. Sometimes these infections can cause serious illness, especially in older men. Large amounts of retained urine can also back up into the kidneys. This can lead to chronic kidney disease or kidney failure.

What are the risk factors for benign prostatic hyperplasia?What are the symptoms of benign prostatic hyperplasia?How is benign prostatic hyperplasia diagnosed?What are the treatments for benign prostatic hyperplasia?Are there screening tests for benign prostatic hyperplasia?How can I reduce my risk of benign prostatic hyperplasia?What questions should I ask my healthcare provider?Where can I get more information about benign prostatic hyperplasia?


American Urological Association (AUA) Practice Guidelines Committee. AUA guideline on management of benign prostatic hyperplasia. Available at: Accessed September 21, 2020.

Benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH). EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at:  . Accessed September 21, 2020.

Pearson R, Williams PM. Common questions about the diagnosis and management of benign prostatic hyperplasia. Am Fam Physician. 2014;90(11):769-774.

Revision Information

  • Reviewer: EBSCO Medical Review Board Adrienne Carmack, MD
  • Review Date: 09/2020
  • Update Date: 11/03/2020