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More than half of men over the age of 60 have an enlarged prostate, also called benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH). This condition occurs when a man’s prostate gland grows larger as he ages. If a man has an enlarged prostate, it does not mean he has or will have cancer. It does not cause prostate cancer.

For men, urine flows from the bladder through the urethra. When the prostate is enlarged, it blocks the flow of urine through the urethra. The enlargement puts pressure on the urethra, which can cause some issues with urination.


Some men have symptoms, while others don’t. About one-third of men with an enlarged prostate experience some type of symptom, including:

  • Weak/slow urinary stream
  • Feeling of incomplete bladder emptying
  • Difficulty starting urination
  • Frequent urination
  • Urgency to urinate
  • Getting up frequently during the night to urinate
  • Straining to urinate

Risk Factors & Prevention

Diagnosing an Enlarged Prostate

Depending on the symptoms, a man’s physician will pick different tests, including:

  • Digital rectal exam to check for prostate enlargement
  • Lab tests of urine and blood
  • Ultrasound
  • Urine flow study
  • Cystoscopy (a thin tube inserted in the penis to evaluate the urethra and bladder)