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What are the symptoms of BPH?

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Quick Answer

The symptoms of benign prostatic hyperplasia, or BPH, include urinary frequency, urinary urgency and nocturia, or frequent voiding at night, according to Merck Manuals. Since BPH often causes urethral blockage and bladder outlet obstruction, BPH commonly manifests through changes in an individual’s urinary pattern.

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Full Answer

BPH is the non-cancerous enlargement of the prostate gland, states the National Kidney and Urologic Diseases Information Clearinghouse. As of late 2014, the exact cause of BPH is unknown. BPH is fairly common in older men, and factors related to aging and testosterone production are believed to contribute to its development.

BPH also causes other urinary problems, including urinary hesitancy, urinary incontinence, bladder distention, postvoid dribbling and weak urine stream. Patients may also experience hematuria, or bloody urine. Complications of BPH include recurrent UTIs, kidney stones and severe bladder dysfunction, states Merck Manuals.

Doctors generally diagnose BPH through urinalysis, physical assessment and medical history evaluation. Because of its proximity to the rectal wall, the prostate can easily be examined through digital rectal examination. Doctors sometimes order a prostate-specific antigen test to rule out cancer, explains WebMD.

Lifestyle changes, such as reducing fluid intake, exercising pelvic floor muscles and avoiding caffeinated beverages, are often recommended to alleviate bothersome symptoms. Doctors also prescribe medications that inhibit or limit prostate growth, states the National Kidney and Urologic Diseases Information Clearinghouse. When medications and other treatment modes prove ineffective, surgery is sometimes advised. Surgical procedures for BPH include transurethral needle ablation, high-intensity focused ultrasound and prostatic stent insertion.

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