As they get older, many men experience what are referred to as “obstructive urinary symptoms” (or “lower urinary tract symptoms”). These include:
- Decreased urinary flow (poor stream)
- Having to wait for the flow of urine to start
- An interrupted flow
- A feeling of incomplete emptying
- Waking at night to pass urine
- Passing urine more frequently during the day
- Feeling like you urgently need to pass urine
These symptoms are most often caused by obstruction of the urethra by an enlarging prostate gland. This is a normal part of the ageing process: most men will experience some enlargement of the prostate gland from age 50 onward.
Benign prostatic hyperplasia: an enlarged prostate disrupts normal bladder function.
The condition is called benign prostatic hyperplasia or BPH, and simply means a non-cancerous enlargement of the prostate gland.
Many men present concerned that their symptoms of benign prostatic bladder neck obstruction may be indicative of early prostate cancer: early prostate cancer does not cause symptoms of bladder dysfunction. The decision to investigate and treat should be made on the basis of how severe your symptoms are rather than a fear of cancer.