What is benign prostatic hyperplasia?
Benign prostatic hyperplasia, known as BPH, is an enlargement of the prostate gland. You might hear BPH
called prostate gland enlargement or bladder outlet obstruction.
BPH is not cancer. It does not cause cancer. It is not a life-threatening condition. But BPH commonly
causes symptoms that can affect quality of life. And, while rare, it can cause serious health issues in later
stages of the disease.
The prostate is a walnut-sized gland at the base of the bladder. See Figure 1. It makes fluid that helps carry sperm
during ejaculation. The tube that carries urine from the bladder is called the urethra. It passes through the center of
With BPH, the prostate becomes enlarged. This makes it harder for urine to pass through the prostate. See Figure 2.