One of the most common men's health issues associated with aging is an enlarged prostate. If you're noticing bothersome issues with urination, your prostate could be the problem.
Trust UC San Diego Health to comprehensively evaluate and treat any symptoms caused by your enlarged prostate because we offer the region's only truly comprehensive men's sexual and reproductive health services through all stages of your life. Our urology services are repeatedly ranked among the nation's best by U.S. News & World Report.
What Is Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH)?
The prostate is a small gland in your reproductive system that produces fluid in your semen. As you age, changes in your hormone balance cause your prostate to grow.
Your urethra, the tube that carries urine from your bladder out of your body, runs through the center of your prostate gland. If your prostate becomes too big, it may squeeze or block urine flow, causing a variety of problems with urination. This condition is called benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) or an enlarged prostate.
BPH is very common in men over 50. It is not a cancerous condition or a risk factor for cancer, but it can affect your quality of life.
When to See a Doctor
You should see a doctor if you are experiencing any problems with urination. Common symptoms of an enlarged prostate include frequent urination, incontinence, difficulty starting and stopping urination, nighttime waking to urinate (nocturia) and pressure or pain while urinating.
Your primary care physician can diagnose and prescribe medications to treat mild BPH. If medications do not alleviate your symptoms, you should consider seeing a men’s health specialist for comprehensive evaluation and treatment.
Evaluation and Tests
Your men's health specialist at UC San Diego Health conducts a comprehensive evaluation when you come to us with concerns about an enlarged prostate, including cancer screening, to offer you the most effective treatment plan. Your provider will ask detailed questions about your symptoms, past health issues and any medications you take, as some can worsen BPH symptoms.
You will also have a physical exam, including a digital rectal exam, and a urine test. Because symptoms of prostate cancer and an enlarged prostate are similar, we usually recommend a prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test to rule out prostate cancer. If needed, you may also have:
- Ultrasound imaging to see how much urine is left in your bladder after you urinate
- A urinary flow test to measure the strength of your stream
- Cystoscopy to see inside the bladder and rule out other conditions, such as bladder stones, that could block normal urine flow
Comprehensive BPH Care
Your care team will personalize your treatment plan based on the severity of your symptoms, the shape and size of your prostate, the spot where the enlargement interferes with urination, and your sexual and overall health, including the risk of bleeding.
Your UC San Diego Health urologist will carefully listen to your concerns and preferences and discuss the best treatments for you.
We offer medical therapy, nonsurgical approaches and surgical interventions — including minimally invasive robotically assisted surgery and open surgery — to provide a full range of treatment options.