Can I Prevent BPH?

Medically Reviewed by Nazia Q Bandukwala, DO on November 29, 2022
3 min read

Men with BPH have a larger-than-normal prostate. Some 9 in 10 men will have it by the time they’re in their 80s. Even with those chances, you still might ask: Are there things I can do to prevent it?

The short answer is no. For most men, the prostate gland is just going to grow, and it might lead to benign prostatic hyperplasia, as it’s formally known.

But it still helps to know when you’d want to see your doctor, what makes you more likely to get it, and how you can keep the symptoms at bay.

Growth of this gland, which is just below the bladder, is typical. But problems when you pee aren’t. Even if you don’t think it’s a big deal, it’s worth getting checked out if you have common BPH symptoms, such as:

  • Dribbling when you finish peeing
  • A hard time starting a stream
  • Having to pee a lot -- 8 or more times a day
  • Waking up several times a night to pee
  • A weak urine stream or you pee in stops and starts

Some problems with urine flow can be more serious. See your doctor or go to the emergency room right away if you:

  • Can’t pee at all
  • Feel intense pain or discomfort in your lower belly
  • Have blood in your pee
  • Keep needing to pee right away, it hurts to pee, and you have fever and chills

You may have a greater chance of an enlarged prostate based on your:

  • Age. BPH is more common the older you get and doesn’t usually affect men younger than 40.
  • Family history. If your dad or your brothers have the condition, you have a higher chance of getting it, too.
  • Ethnicity. This affects black and white men more often than Asian men. Black men may get symptoms at a younger age.

Some health conditions can also raise the odds you’ll get BPH, such as:

If you use beta blockers -- a type of medication used to treat conditions such as high blood pressure and migraines -- you may be more likely to get BPH.

Lifestyle changes can’t prevent BPH, but they may still be good for your prostate. For starters, exercise and a heart-healthy diet can help manage your weight, which is great for your prostate. Exercise can also help your bladder empty at a normal rate.

  • To control symptoms, it may help to:
  • Avoid or limit how you use decongestants and antihistamines during colds and allergy outbreaks as they tighten the muscles that control urine flow and make it harder to pee
  • Do exercises to strengthen your pelvic floor muscles
  • Limit how much caffeine and alcohol you take in; they make you pee more and can irritate your bladder
  • Lower the amount of fluids you drink, especially before you go out or go to bed
  • Pee when you first feel the urge because it’s easier on your bladder
  • Stay warm. Cold can make it feel more urgent to pee.