Enlarged Prostates (BPH)

What is the prostate?

The prostate is the gland which sits immediately below the bladder and surrounds the urethra, the tube which drains urine and semen from the body. The prostates role is to make half of the semen, so none of us would be conceived naturally without the prostate! The prostate grows as a man ages. The prostate is the size of a walnut when a man is twenty years old but on average grows to about the size of a plum by the time he reaches seventy.  In some men it may grow to the size of a small orange.

About enlarged prostates

Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH) is a non-cancerous growth of the prostate which causes it to enlarge and can lead to urinary problems. An enlarged prostate is not a threat to a man's health and also does not increase the risk of developing cancer. An enlarged prostate can put pressure on and block the urethra to cause symptoms such as:

-       Urgent/ frequent need to urinate both day and night

-       A weak or slow urinary stream

-       Difficulty fully emptying the bladder

-       Difficulty or delay in starting urination

-       A urinary stream that starts and stops

The reasons why enlarged prostates occur are not fully understood, but BPH symptoms are very common with over 25% of men in their 50’s,  and 60% of men aged 60 and over experiencing these symptoms (NHS, 2013). For some, the symptoms will be mild and not require treatment, however for others the symptoms may have a significant impact on their quality of life.

Treatment options