Prostate Enlargement

Symptoms of benign prostate enlargement include needing to pee more than usual and finding it hard to empty your bladder.

It's not clear what causes benign prostate enlargement. It's thought to be linked to hormone changes that happen as you get older.

Benign prostate enlargement may not need treatment if it's mild. If it's more severe, you may need medicine or surgery to make your prostate smaller.

The prostate is a small gland, located in the pelvis, between the penis and bladder.

If the prostate becomes enlarged, it can place pressure on the bladder and the urethra, which is the tube that urine passes through.

This can affect how you pee and may cause:  

  • difficulty starting to pee
  • a frequent need to pee
  • difficulty fully emptying your bladder
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In some men, the symptoms are mild and do not need treatment. In others, they can be very troublesome.

The cause of prostate enlargement is unknown, but it's believed to be linked to hormonal changes as a man gets older.

The balance of hormones in your body changes as you get older and this may cause your prostate gland to grow.

Treatment for an enlarged prostate will depend on how severe your symptoms are.

If you have mild symptoms, you do not usually need immediate treatment, but you'll have regular prostate check-ups.

You'll probably also be advised to make lifestyle changes, such as:

Medicine to reduce the size of the prostate and relax your bladder may be recommended to treat moderate to severe symptoms of an enlarged prostate.

Surgery is usually only recommended for moderate to severe symptoms that have not responded to medicine.


Page last reviewed: 10-02-2020
Next review due:10-02-2023

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