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Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH)

A benign (not cancer) condition in which an overgrowth of prostate tissue pushes against the urethra and the bladder, blocking the flow of urine.

PubMed Health Glossary
(Source: NIH - National Cancer Institute)

About Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH)

Urinating frequently, getting up in the night to go to the toilet, and the feeling that your bladder is never really empty are all typical signs of a benign enlarged prostate. This condition affects 1 in 5 men between the ages of 50 and 60, and is even more common in older men.

Many men adapt and cope well with these symptoms. For some men, though, it is a big problem: they might have to go to the toilet so often that they no longer get enough sleep at night, and feel exhausted during the day. That can cause problems in their personal lives and at work.

Although a benign enlarged prostate can be very bothersome, it is usually not dangerous. If treatment is needed, there is generally no reason to rush into anything. So you can take your time to consider the pros and cons of the various treatment options before deciding which treatment to have... Read more about Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia

What works? Research summarized

Evidence reviews

Naftopidil for the treatment of benign prostatic hyperplasia

Benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) can cause bothersome lower urinary tract symptoms such as increased frequency, urgency, night‐time urinations, straining and hesitancy. BPH is common in older males and its symptoms can affect quality of life. This review of eight trials evaluated naftopidil for the treatment of BPH. Current evidence is sparse. We did not identify any placebo‐controlled trials. Naftopidil had a similar short‐term efficacy and adverse‐effect profile compared to low‐dose tamsulosin, and better efficacy than phytotherapy (eviprostat). Adverse effects of naftopidil were few, most commonly dizziness and hypotension. Prior to wide‐spread use, more long‐term, randomized, controlled studies compared to standard therapy are needed.

Extracts from the African prune tree (Pygeum africanum) may be able to help relieve urinary symptoms caused by enlarged prostate (benign prostatic hyperplasia)

Benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), enlargement of the prostate gland, is common in older men. An enlarged prostate can interfere with urination, increasing the frequency and urge, or causing problems emptying the bladder. Both surgery and drugs are used to try to treat BPH. However, using herbal medicines to try to relieve the symptoms of BPH is becoming common. Pygeum africanum is one of several popular herbal remedies for BPH. The review found that pygeum africanum is well tolerated, cheaper than many prescription medicines used for BPH, and provides moderate relief from the urinary problems caused by an enlarged prostate.

Serenoa repens for benign prostatic hyperplasia

Benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) is the nonmalignant enlargement of the prostate gland that is caused by an increase in volume of epithelial (top layer of tissue that line cavities and surfaces of the body) and stromal (connective tissue) cells. This increase in cells can, over time, create fairly large, discrete nodules in the periurethral region of the prostate, and in turn can restrict the urethral canal causing partial or complete blockage.

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Summaries for consumers

Naftopidil for the treatment of benign prostatic hyperplasia

Benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) can cause bothersome lower urinary tract symptoms such as increased frequency, urgency, night‐time urinations, straining and hesitancy. BPH is common in older males and its symptoms can affect quality of life. This review of eight trials evaluated naftopidil for the treatment of BPH. Current evidence is sparse. We did not identify any placebo‐controlled trials. Naftopidil had a similar short‐term efficacy and adverse‐effect profile compared to low‐dose tamsulosin, and better efficacy than phytotherapy (eviprostat). Adverse effects of naftopidil were few, most commonly dizziness and hypotension. Prior to wide‐spread use, more long‐term, randomized, controlled studies compared to standard therapy are needed.

Extracts from the African prune tree (Pygeum africanum) may be able to help relieve urinary symptoms caused by enlarged prostate (benign prostatic hyperplasia)

Benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), enlargement of the prostate gland, is common in older men. An enlarged prostate can interfere with urination, increasing the frequency and urge, or causing problems emptying the bladder. Both surgery and drugs are used to try to treat BPH. However, using herbal medicines to try to relieve the symptoms of BPH is becoming common. Pygeum africanum is one of several popular herbal remedies for BPH. The review found that pygeum africanum is well tolerated, cheaper than many prescription medicines used for BPH, and provides moderate relief from the urinary problems caused by an enlarged prostate.

Serenoa repens for benign prostatic hyperplasia

Benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) is the nonmalignant enlargement of the prostate gland that is caused by an increase in volume of epithelial (top layer of tissue that line cavities and surfaces of the body) and stromal (connective tissue) cells. This increase in cells can, over time, create fairly large, discrete nodules in the periurethral region of the prostate, and in turn can restrict the urethral canal causing partial or complete blockage.

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Terms to know

Bladder
The organ that stores urine.
Hyperplasia
An abnormal increase in the number of cells in an organ or tissue.
Prostate
A gland in the male reproductive system. The prostate surrounds the part of the urethra (the tube that empties the bladder) just below the bladder, and produces a fluid that forms part of the semen.
Urethra
The tube that carries urine from the bladder to the outside of the body.

More about Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia

Photo of an adult man

Also called: Benign adenoma of prostate, Benign enlargement of prostate, Benign fibroma of prostate, Benign myoma of prostate, Benign prostatic hypertrophy, Hyperplasia of prostate, Nodular hyperplasia of prostate gland, Prostatic area hypertrophy, Prostatic hypertrophy, Prostatic hyperplasia, Benign enlarged prostate, BEP

Other terms to know: See all 4
Bladder, Hyperplasia, Prostate

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