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Diagnosing BPH

Symptoms of BPH/Enlarged Prostate

While some men with an enlarged prostate/BPH experience no symptoms, many others may experience a variety of urinary symptoms that can range from mild and barely noticeable to severe and life-altering.

Some of the More Common Symptoms Men With BPH Experience Include:

  • Recurring, sudden need to urinate
  • Increasingly frequent urination, especially at night
  • Weak or interrupted urine stream
  • Difficulty starting urination
  • Urine leakage (urinary incontinence)
  • Inability to completely empty the bladder

Men experiencing any of these urinary symptoms should have a thorough evaluation performed by a urologist as other conditions such as a urinary tract infection, prostatitis (inflammation of the prostate), prostate cancer and diabetes can cause similar symptoms.

Diagnosing BPH

Your doctor will take a complete medical history and perform a physical exam as well as a digital rectal exam (DRE). Your urologist may order a prostate specific antigen (PSA) test. Elevated PSA levels can indicate BPH, prostatitis (prostate inflammation) or prostate cancer. Through this comprehensive evaluation, your urologist will determine whether your urinary symptoms are indeed caused by BPH and the next steps to treating your urinary symptoms.

Additional Tests to Make the Most Accurate Diagnosis May Include:

  • Uroflow: Measures the flow and force of your urine stream and is often performed in patients who have an obstruction or other problems with urination
  • Bladder Ultrasound (post-void residual): A non-invasive ultrasound test that assesses the ability of the bladder to empty
  • Cystoscopy: A small telescope is used to look inside the bladder to assess your internal prostate size and your bladder for stones, tumors, and signs of obstruction or other abnormalities that may cause your symptoms
  • Urodynamics: A procedure which helps determine whether a blockage of the prostate is the cause of your urinary symptoms
  • Transrectal ultrasound: Ultrasound to assess prostate size. This test is also useful to assess bladder function.