Symptoms of Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH)

Symptoms will appear gradually over time. Prostate that has grown enough to create problems with urine flow may cause:

  • Incomplete emptying—a feeling that the bladder is not empty after urinating
  • Frequency—needing to urinate again less than 2 hours after urinating
  • Urgency—urge to urinate is very strong and hard to postpone
  • Nocturia—having to wake and get up out of bed to urinate

Note: Nighttime urination can also be a sign of other medical conditions. See your doctor if it persists.

The Prostate and Surrounding Structures

Breast self-exam, step 3
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Other common symptoms include:

  • Intermittency—urine flow stops and starts during urination
  • Hesitancy—having the urge to urinate, but need to wait until the flow actually starts
  • Weak stream—urine that trickles out rather than flows strongly
  • Straining—having to push or strain in order to urinate
  • Incontinence—leakage of urine, unable to stop flow of urine when needed
  • Hard time starting to urinate
  • Dribbling at end of urination
  • Deep discomfort in the lower belly

Backed-up urine may increase the risk of urinary tract infections (UTIs). BPH may increase the risk of frequent or chronic infections.

Elderly men with dementia may be at risk for a sudden complete blockage of urine flow. It can cause the bladder to stretch and cause lower abdomen to swell. This is the sign of an emergency.

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References:

American Urological Association (AUA) Practice Guidelines Committee. AUA guideline on management of benign prostatic hyperplasia. Available at:
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Accessed September 21, 2020.
Benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH). EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: https://www.dyname.... Accessed September 21, 2020.
Pearson R, Williams PM. Common questions about the diagnosis and management of benign prostatic hyperplasia. Am Fam Physician. 2014;90(11):769-774.
Last reviewed September 2020 by EBSCO Medical Review Board Adrienne Carmack, MD
Last Updated: 11/4/2020

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