What Are the Symptoms of BPH?

As they age, some men may notice that they have trouble peeing. You might find it hard to start going, or perhaps the stream starts and stops several times.

These are just two possible signs of benign prostatic hyperplasia, called BPH, which is an enlarged prostate.

This gland, which grows during early puberty and then again around age 25, becomes enlarged in many men. It can pinch your urethra, the tube that carries urine from your bladder through your penis. Your bladder walls may also grow thicker.

This is the most common prostate problem in men 50 and older. It’s good to know the symptoms of BPH because you might want to talk with your doctor.

What Should I Watch Out For?

Symptoms of BPH fall into 2 categories. Those caused by pressure on your urethra are called obstructive. The others start in your bladder.

Some of the obstructive symptoms include:

  • Trouble starting to urinate
  • You have to strain or push when you pee
  • The stream is weak
  • You have to stop and restart several times
  • Pee dribbles out at the end

If BPH causes changes in your bladder, it may include these signs:

  • You suddenly feel a strong need to urinate. Doctors call this “urgency.”
  • You have to pee more than 8 times a day. This is called “frequency.”
  • Even after you go, you feel as though your bladder is not empty.
  • You wake up often in the night to relieve yourself. This is called “nocturia.”

Complications

If you don’t get treatment for prostate problems, your bladder can become irritated because urine is backing up rather than being released.

Your symptoms may start to cause more issues in your day-to-day life. For instance, it may be tough for you to control your bladder. You might wet the bed at night or not be able to get to the bathroom quickly enough when the urgent need to go strikes.

You also could develop an infection in your urinary tract or get bladder stones.

Some symptoms of BPH are not as common, and they could signal that your condition is more complicated or advanced. Those signs include:

  • Burning or pain when you pee
  • Blood in your urine
  • You can’t go at all because your urethra is blocked. Get emergency treatment right away if this happens.

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When Should I Call a Doctor?

Your symptoms may not bother you too much. But it’s important to talk over any urinary problems with your doctor.

It’s hard to predict how BPH will play out, and you can’t assume that the problem will get better on its own. Your doctor also will want to rule out things that cause similar problems.

Some symptoms need quick medical attention. If you have any of these, call your doctor right away or head to an emergency room:

  • You can’t urinate at all.
  • You have to pee frequently, it’s painful, and you have fever and chills.
  • You have blood in your urine.
  • You feel a great deal of pain in your lower belly and urinary tract.
WebMD Medical Reference Reviewed by Laura J. Martin, MD on October 04, 2016

Sources

SOURCES:

National Institutes of Health: National Institute of Diabetes, Digestive and Kidney Diseases -- Prostate Enlargement: Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia.

Cleveland Clinic: Diseases and Conditions -- Benign Prostatic Enlargement (BPH).

Johns Hopkins Medicine Health Library: Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia.

Mayo Clinic: Diseases and Conditions -- Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH).

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