Enlarged Prostate Facts

Enlarged Prostate

What Is An Enlarged Prostate?

As men age, the prostate grows. In some men, the prostate can get bigger without squeezing urethra closed. In other men, the prostate can grow into the urethra, making the opening narrower. When this happens, the bladder has to work harder to get urine out.

Unfortunately, the bladder becomes more irritable when it works harder—meaning it does not tolerate holding urine well. In extreme cases, the prostate may grow into the bladder, creating a ball valve that closes off and completely stops the stream of urine trying to leave the bladder.

There are several symptoms of an enlarged prostate, some of which may indicate an obstruction while others point to bladder irritability.

Signs And Symptoms Of An Enlarged Prostate

There are several symptoms of an enlarged prostate, some of which may indicate an obstruction while others point to bladder irritability. If you are experiencing the following symptoms, contact your doctor to assess your needs.
 
Symptoms indicating an obstruction:
  • A weak urine stream
  • An intermittent urine stream
  • Straining to urinate
  • Inability to empty the bladder
Common irritative symptoms: 
  • Frequent urination
  • Urgent need to urinate
  • Waking up at night to urinate (nocturia)
  • Leakage when you have the urge to urinate

Who Is More Likely At Risk For Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia?

Men with the following factors are more likely to develop an enlarged prostate:

  • Age 40 years and older
  • Family history of benign prostatic hyperplasia
  • Medical conditions such as obesity, heart and circulatory disease, and type 2 diabetes
  • Lack of physical exercise
  • Erectile dysfunction