Enlarged Prostate

Dr. Rajalakshmi VK (AIIMS)MBBS

November 28, 2018

March 06, 2020

Enlarged Prostate
Enlarged Prostate

What is enlarged prostate?

The prostate is a small gland found in males, which secretes a fluid into the semen that nourishes the sperms. It is located around the urethra, which is a tube that carries urine. Prostate enlargements is a common condition in males above 50 years of age and is commonly associated with ageing.

This condition is also called benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) since it is non-cancerous. It does not develop into or increase the risk of prostate cancer.

What are its main signs and symptoms?

Prostate enlargement primarily affects urination in males by narrowing the urethra.

  • The frequency of urination increases, with the inability to control the act for any time at all. This is more pronounced at night. (Read more: Frequent urination causes)
  • The urinary stream starts and stops repeatedly, with a feeling of incomplete urination.
  • Pain exists while urinating which could also be accompanied by bleeding.

What are its main causes?

The exact reason for an enlarged prostate is unknown, but it is linked to ageing.

  • Changes in the testicular cells along with a change in levels of the male hormone, testosterone, causes enlargement of the gland.
  • Research shows that men who have their testicles removed due to an underlying pathology do not face the problem of prostate enlargement.
  • This condition is extremely common in men above 75 years of age and is not linked to any risk factors.

How is it diagnosed and treated?

The diagnosis of prostate enlargement is based on the exclusion criteria, along with symptoms and a physical examination.

  • Problems with urination could be due to other problems like kidney disorders, bladder cancer or some blockage in the urethra. All these conditions are first ruled out by the urologist.
  • Your doctor will take a brief history of your symptoms and other medical conditions to diagnose the condition.
  • Physical examination, ultrasound, and blood tests for a specific protein called prostate specific antigen or PSA are the keys to diagnose the cause behind an enlarged prostate.

The treatment depends on the severity of the symptoms. For mild symptoms, no treatment is required.

  • Medicines are prescribed to ease the discomfort during urination. Generally, alpha blockers are the class of drugs used for this purpose.
  • To shrink the prostate, the urologist may prescribe another class of medicines called 5-alpha reductase inhibitors which are usually taken over 6 months.
  • If the symptoms are too severe, a part of the prostate is surgically removed to relieve the pressure around the urethra.

(Read more: Men's sexual problems and solutions)


  1. Science Direct (Elsevier) [Internet]; Benign prostatic hyperplasia
  2. Science Direct (Elsevier) [Internet]; Benign prostatic hyperplasia
  3. H. M. Arrighi, H.A. Guess, E.J. Metter, J.L. Fozard. Symptoms and signs of prostatism as risk factors for prostatectomy. 1990, Volume16, Issue3
  4. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases [internet]: US Department of Health and Human Services; Prostate Enlargement (Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia)
  5. National institute of aging. [internet]: US Department of Health and Human Services; Prostate Problems

Medicines for Enlarged Prostate

Medicines listed below are available for Enlarged Prostate. Please note that you should not take any medicines without doctor consultation. Taking any medicine without doctor's consultation can cause serious problems.

Lab Tests recommended for Enlarged Prostate

Number of tests are available for Enlarged Prostate. We have listed commonly prescribed tests below:

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