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What is Benign Prostate Enlargement?

Find out more about enlarged prostate symptoms and treatments

Have you been experiencing urination problems and are wondering about the cause? Here you can read more about the symptoms of Benign Prostate Enlargement (BPE).

You get a brief overview of what it is, how an enlarged prostate can be treated, and – most importantly – why it’s critical to seek help at an early stage. Use the short links below.

Going to the toilet often at night?

Nightly visits to the toilet are something that many men experience as they get older, and it's a common symptom of Benign Prostate Enlargement (BPE).

Other symptoms are a slow or disrupted flow, an urge to urinate often and even having trouble holding it. You may have one or more these symptoms.

Often the signs of an enlarged prostate don't reveal themselves overnight but happen gradually over time. 

Many men live with enlarged prostate symptoms

BPE happens to 50% of all men over 50 years and it gets even more frequent with increasing age. If you are one of them, it’s important to remember that you are not alone, and there is help available.

Many men with symptoms worry that it could be prostate cancer, and might be reluctant to seek help, but BPE and prostate cancer are two completely different conditions.

It may feel reassuring to know that BPE does not develop into prostate cancer. Hopefully a more serious diagnosis can be ruled out after an examination.

What is an enlarged prostate?

When the prostate becomes enlarged, it puts pressure on the bladder and the urethra. And if the outlet is obstructed you may find it difficult to start to urinate, feel a frequent need to go to the toilet and have incomplete bladder emptying, with increased risk of urinary tract infection.

Why this happens is not completely known, but the balance of hormones in your body changes as you get older, and this may cause your prostate gland to grow. The more severe the symptoms are, the higher the risk of negative impact on your overall well-being. If the obstruction makes it extremely difficult to urinate – and if left untreated – it can cause serious and permanent damage to the bladder or kidneys.

Image description: A: Normal Prostate B: Enlarged Prostate 1. Bladder 2. Normal prostate 3. Normal urethra 4. Enlarged prostate 5. Compressed urethra

BPE Illustration

Find the best treatment for an enlarged prostate – you have options

There are various treatment options available, depending on the severity of symptoms. The options range from medication to shrink the prostate, to removal of prostate tissue in surgery.

At any stage, or as a long-time solution, your doctor might recommend symptom relief with the use of a catheter. This is a good option as it empties the bladder completely every time. Resulting in that you won’t have to go to the toilet in the middle of the night or have to worry about embarrassing leaks.

Intermittent Catheterization (IC) mimics nature’s way

If your bladder is holding you back, IC is the second-best way to urinate, as it mimics the natural course of events. IC is an easy technique to learn, and it can be practiced everywhere. You use a disposable catheter, and it only takes a few minutes. It helps you to completely empty your bladder and puts you in control of your own well-being. 

It is, in essence, very different from an indwelling catheter which remains in place for many days or weeks while draining urine from the bladder continuously.



Waterfall BPE Image

Don’t wait to get help

Symptoms caused by Benign Prostate Enlargement can, beside the physical issues, also have a negative effect on your personal relationships and your sexual health. It can prevent you from fully enjoying your social life and even lead to isolation.

Contact your healthcare professional and let them help you solve your bladder problems.The earlier it happens, the sooner you’ll get the chance to improve your quality of life.

“If somebody’s worried about going to the doctors because they’re worried about using a catheter – don’t be. It’s not painful, it’s easy to use and it’s helping you."

Alan, 58, United Kingdom
LoFric Origo User for 18 months

Can an enlarged prostate affect a man sexually?

Listen to what Erik Sagen has to say about the most common queries concerning enlarged prostate symptoms in the film below. When to seek help, how to bring up the topic with your family, if it can affect your sexual health, and what you can expect from the treatment.