Request An Appointment(618) 998-8500

what is BPH?

What is BPH?

What is the prostate?

The prostate is a walnut-shaped gland. It is part of the male reproductive system that makes fluid that goes into semen. The prostate is located below the bladder in front of the rectum. The prostate grows throughout a man’s life. Though it is not entirely clear why the prostate becomes enlarged, scientific studies suggest the enlargement may be due to hormone levels changing as men age. 

What is BPH?

BPH is short for “benign prostatic hyperplasia”. BPH can also be referred to as prostate gland enlargement, benign enlargement of the prostate (BEP, BPE), benign prostatic hypertrophy, and/or benign prostatic obstruction. BPH occurs when the prostate gland enlarges, and it is noncancerous (benign).

The enlarged prostate presses against and constricts the urethra. This thickens the bladder wall and weakens the ability to fully empty the bladder. The inability to empty the bladder and narrowing of the urethra cause many of the common BPH symptoms. 

A normal prostate is on the left. One with BPH is on the right. 1

Urethra diagram showing BPH symptoms

Are you at risk?

Researchers have not found a way to prevent BPH. Factors increasing your risk for developing BPH include:

  • Aging – BPH is the most common prostate problem for men over the age of 50.
  • Family history – having family members who also suffer from BPH increases your risk.
  • Lifestyle – a physical lifestyle may lower your risk for BPH. Obesity and a sedentary lifestyle may increase your risk.
  • Erectile Dysfunction (ED) – Research suggests there is a connection between ED and BPH. 2
  • Medical conditions – Type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and circulatory diseases increase the risk of BPH.

Do you believe you are experiencing symptoms of BPH? 

Take the BPH Symptoms Quiz


Male anatomy, location of the prostate

Dr. Lawrence Hatchett is here to serve you online, after hours, and weekends as your concierge urologic surgeon.

Check out the links below for more information

No Scalpel Vasectomy