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Overview

What is benign prostatic hypertrophy?

Benign prostatic hypertrophy (BPH), also known as benign prostatic hyperplasia, is a non-cancerous enlargement of the prostate, a small gland that encircles the urethra in males and produces a fluid that makes up part of semen. As the volume of the prostate increases, it can put pressure on the urethra, causing a slowdown in the urine stream, hesitancy in urinating, a frequent and urgent need to urinate, and sometimes dribbling of urine at the end of the flow. It can also cause urine retention, which can weaken the bladder muscle and increase the risk of developing a urinary tract infection (UTI) or kidney stones. In severe cases of BPH, urine may back up into and damage the kidneys. Rarely, BPH may prevent a man from urinating at all, a situation that requires immediate medical attention. BPH can also affect sexual functioning, leading to reduced sexual ability, painful orgasm, and impotence.

 


Last Review Date: February 4, 2018