Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia

BPH (also referred to as benign prostatic hypertrophy) is a condition in which the prostate gland becomes very enlarged and may cause problems associated with urination. Learn more about BPH, or enlarged prostate ›

BPH and Other Common Prostate Problems

Many men have problems with the prostate at some time in their lives. The prostate gland is part of the male reproductive system. It’s located just below the bladder. The prostate surrounds the urethra (the tube that carries urine out of the body). When problems occur in the prostate, the bladder and urethra are often affected as well. Urinary symptoms can result. The most common prostate problems are described below.

Learn more about BPH and other prostate problems

Urinary Tract Infections in Men

Men can get different kinds of urinary tract infections (UTIs). Knowing which kind of infection you have may help you prevent future UTIs.


Prostatitis is infection of the prostate. A urinary tract infection is a common cause of prostatitis. But it is not the only cause. You may have a frequent need to urinate, fever, or burning when you urinate. Or you may have a tender prostate, or a vague feeling of pressure. Prostatitis is treated with a range of medications, depending on the cause.

Learn more about urinary tract infections in men

Anatomy of the Prostate Gland

The prostate gland is about the size of a walnut and surrounds the neck of a man’s bladder and urethra - the tube that carries urine from the bladder. It is partly muscular and partly glandular, with ducts opening into the prostatic portion of the urethra. It is made up of three lobes: a center lobe with one lobe on each side.

Learn more about the anatomy of the prostate gland

Men Over 50 Need Annual Prostate Exam

Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men. It affects about 230,000 men each year. It is the number two killer, with 29,200 deaths annually. It makes up more than 30 percent of all new cancer cases in men.

"Men over the age of 50 need to have their prostate gland checked every year," says Paul H. Lange, M.D., a renowned Seattle urologist, surgeon, and researcher in the field of prostate cancer. "If you are African American or have a family history of prostate cancer, you should be checked annually beginning at age 45."

Learn why men over 50 need annual prostate exams

Diagnosing and Treating BPH

Diagnosing BPH in its earlier stages can lower the risk of developing such complications. Delay can cause permanent bladder damage for which BPH treatment may be ineffective. In addition to a complete medical history and physical examination, diagnostic procedures for BPH may include the following:

  • digital rectal exam (DRE) - a procedure in which the physician inserts a gloved finger into the rectum to examine the rectum and the prostate gland for signs of cancer.
  • renal ultrasound - a non-invasive test in which a transducer is passed over the kidney producing sound waves which bounce off of the kidney, transmitting a picture of the organ on a video screen. The test is used to determine the size and shape of the kidney and to detect a mass, kidney stone, cyst, or other obstruction or abnormality.
Learn more about diagnosing and treating BPH

Your Guide to Enlarged Prostate

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