What is Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia?

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  • Written By: Malcolm Tatum
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 30 May 2019
  • Copyright Protected:
    Conjecture Corporation
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Benign prostatic hyperplasia, or BHP, is a term that refers to an enlargement of the prostate. The condition normally begins to take place after the age of forty, if it occurs at all. Not all males experience prostate enlargement, and for many men the prostatic hyperplasia does not produce any debilitating health issues. When the degree of growth of the prostate is not causing a great deal of discomfort and does not demonstrate any traits associated with development of prostate cancer, the condition is considered to be benign. As long as the annual prostate exams indicate no abnormalities such as excessive growth or changes in the surface of the prostate, the benign hyperplasia is not likely to cause any real problems for the male.

When there are some minor symptoms present with benign prostatic hyperplasia, they can often be addressed with a combination of diet changes and prescription medication. This is especially true if the slight increase in size of the prostate interferes with the process of urination. Men who begin to experience a weakened stream or are unable to achieve a sense of obtaining full relief from urinating may be suffering from pressure being placed on the urethra by the enlarged prostate. When this is the case, medication may help to prevent the pressure from being quite as severe and allow the male to regain a sense of completely emptying the bladder even if benign prostatic hyperplasia is present.


While benign prostatic hyperplasia is not considered an unusual or particularly serious medical condition, that does not mean it should not be monitored on a regular basis. A physician may recommend maintaining a schedule that includes a prostate exam more than once per calendar year as part of monitoring any further growth of the prostate. The more frequent exams may also have to do with making sure the prescription medication is providing adequate results at the current level of development.

While a state of hyperplasia does not automatically mean that an infection or the development of cancer is imminent, it is always a good idea to begin more frequent monitoring once the diagnosis of benign prostatic hyperplasia is delivered. This is especially true if there is a family history of prostate cancer present, or if the male in question is Caucasian or of African descent. Men in these two racial groups are more likely to develop prostate issues than men of Asian descent.



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