Alternate Names : BPH, Benign prostatic hypertrophy (hyperplasia), Prostate – enlarged
The prostate is a male reproductive gland that produces the fluid that carries sperm during ejaculation. It surrounds the urethra, the tube through which urine passes out of the body.
An enlarged prostate means the gland has grown bigger. Prostate enlargement happens to almost all men as they get older. As the gland grows, it can press on the urethra and cause urination and bladder problems.
An enlarged prostate is often called benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) or benign prostatic hypertrophy. It is not cancer, and it does not raise your risk for prostate cancer.
Overview, Causes, & Risk Factors
The actual cause of prostate enlargement is unknown. Factors linked to aging and the testicles themselves may play a role in the growth of the gland. Men who have had their testicles removed at a young age (for example, as a result of testicular cancer) do not develop BPH.
Similarly, if the testicles are removed after a man develops BPH, the prostate begins to shrink in size.
Some facts about prostate enlargement:
- The likelihood of developing an enlarged prostate increases with age.
- BPH is so common that it has been said all men will have an enlarged prostate if they live long enough.
- A small amount of prostate enlargement is present in many men over age 40 and more than 90% of men over age 80.
- No risk factors have been identified other than having normally functioning testicles.
Pictures & Images
Male reproductive anatomy
The male reproductive structures include the penis, the scrotum, the seminal vesicles and the prostate.
Benign prostatic hypertrophy (BPH) is a non-cancerous enlargement of the prostate gland, commonly found in men over the age of 50.
Prostatectomy – series
The prostate gland is an organ that surrounds the urinary urethra in men. It secretes fluid which mixes with sperm to make semen. The urethra carries urine from the bladder, through the prostate gland to the penis.
TURP – series
The prostate gland is an organ that surrounds the urinary urethra in men. It secretes fluid that mixes with the sperm to make semen.
Review Date : 8/10/2009
Reviewed By : Reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc. Also reviewed by Scott Miller, MD, Urologist, private practice, Atlanta, Georgia.
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