Men with BPH have a larger-than-normal prostate. Some 9 in 10 men will have it by the time they’re in their 80s. Even with those chances, you still might ask: Are there things I can do to prevent it? The short answer is no. For most men, your prostate’s just going to grow, and it might lead to benign prostatic hyperplasia, as it’s formally known. But it still helps to know when you’d want to see your doctor, what makes you more likely to get it, and how you can keep the symptoms at bay.
When Should you See a Doctor?
Growth of this gland, which is just below the bladder, is typical. But problems when you pee aren’t. Even if you don’t think it’s a big deal, it’s worth getting checked out if you have common BPH symptoms, such as:
- Dribbling when you finish peeing
- A hard time starting a stream
- Having to pee a lot — 8 or more times a day
- Waking up several times a night to pee
- A weak urine stream or you pee in stops and starts
Some problems with urine flow can be more serious. See your doctor or go to the emergency room right away if you:
- Can’t pee at all
- Feel intense pain or discomfort in your lower belly
- Have blood in your pee
- Keep needing to pee right away, it hurts to pee, and you have fever and chills
You may have a greater chance of an enlarged prostate based on your:
- Age. BPH is more common the older you get and doesn’t usually affect men younger than 40.
- Family history. If your dad or your brothers have the condition, you have a higher chance of getting it, too.
- Ethnicity. This affects black and white men more often than Asian men. Black men may get symptoms at a younger age.
Some health conditions can also raise the odds you’ll get BPH, such as:
- Diabetes, heart disease, and problems with blood flow
- Erectile dysfunction