BPH stands for Benign Prostatic Hyerplasia, or in laymen terms, an enlarged prostate gland. The prostate gland is a walnut size organ located right below the bladder that controls the flow of urine and sperm. An enlarged prostate gland is a non-cancerous growth of prostate tissue.

BPH is NOT prostate cancer and having BPH doesn’t mean a man is more or less likely to get prostate cancer.

BPH affects the inner part of the prostate first that encircles around the urethra or plumbing that channels urine out of the body. As the prostate grows, it may begin to squeeze part of that plumbing and restrict the flow of urine.

The chances of developing BPH affect men as they age with more than half of men over age 50 to have BPH. Symptoms include a weak urine flow and a feeling of being unable to empty the bladder completely or the need to urinate frequently, especially at night.

“BPH measurement” is a term often used in connection with a blood test to check the levels of PSA (prostate specific antigen) in a patient’s blood. PSA is a specific substance produced by the cells of tissue surrounding the prostate. Individuals with an enlarged prostate gland produce larger amounts of PSA.

PSA levels can also glean insight into the size and weight of the prostate. While BPH is not a form of cancer, the PSA blood test can also allows doctors to check for prostate cancer, which can cause symptoms similar to those of an enlarged prostate.

Doctors will want to know about other health problems you may have and what medications you are taking as well as a history of prostate issues in your family. You may also be asked to complete a questionnaire that will ask you about behavioral issues.

Doctors might also check the size and the firmness of the prostate manually with a digital rectal exam as well as using a urinalysis to check for a urinary tract infection that might also cause similar symptoms.

Close collaboration between your primary care doctor and urologist offers the key to the successful management of BPH.