Enlarged Prostate BPH

Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia

An enlarged prostate gland, called BPH (benign prostatic hyperplasia) is a common condition in men who are over 50. Sometimes, an enlarged prostate narrows the urethra, causing the urine flow to slow down or to stop.

Forty percent of men over 50 with an enlarged prostate will have urinary symptoms associated with BPH.


What can I expect at my IPSA prostate consultation?

At your IPSA clinic, you can be seen immediately by our IPSA practitioner. Privacy and confidentiality are paramount in IPSA’s holistic approach to your consultation and treatment: the setting is always conducive, and because we take a person-centred approach, your IPSA physician will take a detailed family history from you, discussing your symptoms with you, so as to properly determine your risk factors.

At your IPSA prostate consultation, the different treatment options that are available to manage an enlarged prostate gland will be fully discussed with you, prior to choosing the best method for managing your enlarged prostate, given your presenting symptoms.

Your IPSA practitioner will refer you immediately for a biopsy if there is any suspicion that you may have prostate cancer. IPSA referrals are always local and rapid, with appointments made to fit in with your schedule.


What causes an enlarged prostate?

  • Age: As you age, your risk for developing an enlarged prostate increases. A large percentage of men over 50 have an enlarged prostate gland, but not all of them will experience symptoms.
  • Hormone levels: The prostate gland can grow when changes occur in the hormone balance in your body as you age.
  • Other factors: Some studies have shown that obese men and men with diabetes may be more at risk of developing an enlarged prostate. Some research also suggests that you may be more at risk of developing an enlarged prostate if either your father or brother have the condition.


How is an enlarged prostate diagnosed?

Your IPSA physician may do an examination and a blood test to diagnose an enlarged prostate.


If my prostate is enlarged, am I more likely to get prostate cancer?

You do not have an increased risk of prostate cancer if you have an enlarged prostate, as an enlarged prostate and prostate cancer begin in different parts of the prostate gland. However, you can sometimes have both an enlarged prostate (BPH) and prostate cancer at the same time.


The most common symptoms of an enlarged prostate/BPH include:

  • Weak urine flow
  • Dribbling urine
  • Difficulty in starting to urinate
  • Needing to rush to the toilet (you may sometimes leak urine before you get to the toilet
  • Blood in your urine
  • Needing to urinate more often (especially during the night)
  • A feeling that your bladder has not quite emptied


Treatment options for BPH/an enlarged prostate

Three main types of treatment exist for an enlarged prostate/BPH:

  • Changes in lifestyle
  • Medicines
  • Surgery


Men’s health: Changes in lifestyle

Making some basic changes to your lifestyle such as drinking less caffeine, less alcohol, and reducing the amount of artificial sweeteners and fizzy drinks that you consume may help to improve the symptoms associated with an enlarged prostate.



If these basic lifestyle changes do not improve your quality of life, then medicines can be used to help to control your symptoms.

The medicines work to reduce your symptoms by:

  • Relaxing the prostate muscles and the muscles around the neck of the bladder, which makes it easier for you to pass urine.
  • Gradually reducing the size of your prostate gland, thus reducing the pressure on your urethra and making it easier for you to urinate.



If the lifestyle changes or medicines do not work to control your symptoms, or if your symptoms are more severe, then your IPSA doctor may suggest surgery as the best option. Several different types of surgery are available, which we can discuss with you whilst you are having your IPSA consultation.
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