What should I do if I have symptoms of benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH)?

Adam Perzin, MD
If you have symptoms of benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) you should realize that the treatment for BPH is about your quality of life.  The symptoms that you may experience are things like a slow urinary stream, frequency, getting up at night, a severe urge to urinate. In the old days, surgery used to be a very common treatment but nowadays with new technology and with some of the new advanced medications, your doctor can address these symptoms with minimal impact on your life.

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Marc B. Garnick, MD
Hematology & Oncology
If you experience symptoms of benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), or enlarged prostate, see your doctor. During an initial evaluation, the doctor will take a medical history. Expect questions about your urinary flow problems, how long the symptoms have been present, and any prior genitourinary surgery or procedures. Most likely, he or she will ask about your health habits and any medications that may have made the symptoms worse. Your doctor may also ask you to complete a questionnaire, such as the American Urological Association Urinary Symptom Score, to help evaluate the severity of your BPH.

An adequate physical exam and diagnostic workup includes a digital rectal examination (DRE) and, if you and your doctor concur, a prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test. It also includes several other laboratory tests, such as a urinalysis. This allows your doctor to rule out bacterial infections and look for untreated diabetes, which can produce frequent urination, particularly at night.

In a sense, your lifestyle will determine how burdensome you find BPH. The symptoms that disrupt the day-to-day activities of one man may have less of an effect on another who perhaps spends much of his day at home. Work with your physician to determine what, if any, treatment is the best choice.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.