Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia

The most common noncancerous prostate disease is Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH).

Patients who suspect they have BPH should see a doctor because there are many other diagnoses and conditions that can mimic BPH. Such conditions include certain kinds of bladder or prostate cancer, stones in the urinary tract, and abnormal function of the bladder muscle due to a neurological disorder.

Certain over-the-counter cold, sinus, or allergy medications can cause the same symptoms.

The most common symptoms of BPH are:

  • Frequent urination
  • Hesitancy, difficulty getting the urine stream going
  • Intermittent urination, when the stream is interrupted
  • Nighttime urination, when the patient wakes up at night
  • Urgency or inability to suppress the need to urinate
  • Weak urinary stream while voiding

Aside from causing such symptoms and problems with urination, BPH can also cause other problems in the urinary tract.


The diagnosis of BPH does not necessarily mean that you have to be treated. Sometimes the symptoms actually improve or wax and wane over time. In other cases, the symptoms get worse year after year, and you will eventually need to ask your physician about treatment.

However, it is very important that prostate cancer is ruled out as the cause of these symptoms.

Twenty years ago, the only treatment doctors could offer was a surgical intervention called transurethral resection of the prostate, or TURP.

Now, patients can choose from a host of different interventions. Medication, minimally invasive surgery, nonsurgical therapies, thermotherapy, traditional surgery, and "watchful waiting" are all possible treatments offered by UT Southwestern Medical Center physicians to address BPH.