What is it the prostate gland?

The prostate is a walnut-sized gland that forms part of the male reproductive system. The gland is made of two lobes, or regions, enclosed by an outer layer of tissue. As the diagram shows, the prostate is located just below the bladder, where urine is stored. The prostate also surrounds the urethra, the canal through which urine passes out of the body.

What is Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia1 ?

  • Prostatic enlargement or BPH is one of the most common diseases found in aging men. It is associated with urinary symptoms that affect the quality of life by interfering with daily activities and normal sleep patterns.
  • BPH commonly presents with obstructive (or ‘voiding’) and irritative (or ‘storage’) lower urinary tract symptoms. Lower urinary tract symptoms, as defined by the International Continence Society, reflect changes in voiding patterns that lead a patient to seek medical attention.
  • The prevalence of BPH increases with age. (Histologic) BPH is present in approximately 8% of men aged 31 to 40, 50% of men aged 51 to 60, 70% of men aged 61 to 70, and 90% of men aged 81 to 90. The prevalence of lower urinary tract symptoms secondary to BPH in the U.S. population is 41% in black men and 34% in white men.

Prostate gland enlargement BPH varies in severity among men and tends to gradually worsen over time. Prostate gland enlargement symptoms include:

  • Weak urine stream
  • Difficulty starting urination
  • Stopping and starting while urinating
  • Dribbling at the end of urination
  • Frequent or urgent need to urinate
  • Increased frequency of urination at night (nocturia)
  • Straining while urinating
  • Not being able to completely empty the bladder
  • Urinary tract infection
  • Formation of stones in the bladder
  • Reduced kidney function

Benign prostatic hyperplasia
Paolone DR – Clin Geriatr Med – 01-MAY-2010; 26(2): 223-39
Etiology, epidemiology, and natural history (includes Figures)
Bushman W – Urol Clin North Am – 01-NOV-2009; 36(4): 403-15, v
Benign prostatic hyperplasia: Symptoms, symptom scores, and outcome measures
Thorner DA – Urol Clin North Am – November, 2009; 36(4); 417-429
BPH: Physical Findings
Wein: Campbell-Walsh Urology, 10th ed.