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About prostate enlargement

What does an enlarged prostate mean?

Prostate enlargement is the widening of the prostate gland and surrounding tissues, believe to be related to hormonal changes with age.1–3

It is a common condition – about half of all men aged between 51 and 60 years, and up to 90% of men over 80 years have an enlarged prostate.1

It is important to remember that an enlarged prostate is not cancer and having an enlarged prostate does not put you at a higher risk of prostate cancer.2

An enlarged prostate can affect the way you urinate,2 so the symptoms can be unpleasant and disruptive to daily life. However, it is rarely a serious health threat.3


Did you know?

The terms benign prostate enlargement (BPE), benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), prostate gland enlargement and enlarged prostate all refer to the same condition.4,5

Recognise the symptoms of prostate enlargement

The prostate is usually the size of a golf ball in adults, but it can grow to the size of an orange.1 As the gland enlarges, it can squeeze the urethra, blocking the flow of urine out of the bladder.1,2 This can cause waking up at night to urinate, a weak urine stream, or a need to push and strain.1,4

Over time, the bladder may also weaken and lose the ability to empty fully, causing urine to remain there.1 This can lead to bladder, urinary tract and kidney problems.1 All of these symptoms can affect how you pass urine such as causing difficulty starting to urinate, dribbling, waking up on a regular basis during the night to urinate and the frequent need to urinate.1,2

It may also result in you not being able to pass urine at all. This is called retention and needs to be treated immediately at the nearest emergency department.1

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Understand your symptoms and make the most of your urology consultation.


Did you know?

Symptoms caused by an enlarged prostate are often described as lower urinary tract symptoms (LUTS).1,2


Understanding the causes of prostate enlargement

The prostate goes through two main growth periods during your lifetime.1 The first is during puberty when it doubles in size. The second occurs in men around 25 years of age and continues throughout a man’s life.1 This means that the prostate can get larger with age. BPH is considered when the prostate is large enough to cause problems.1

Age, hormones, a family history of BPH, lifestyle and chronic disease (including heart and circulatory disease) can increase the risk of an enlarged prostate.3

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24 million

This is the number of men estimated to suffer with LUTS in Europe.6 An enlarged prostate is the most common cause of LUTS7

Don’t delay, take the first step

If you are experiencing symptoms, don't hesitate to reach out to a doctor. Discussing your symptoms with a medical professional is crucial for accurate diagnosis and the development of a personalised treatment plan. It's also important to differentiate between symptoms of an enlarged prostate and those of prostate cancer. By engaging in open conversations with your doctor, you can address your concerns and explore appropriate treatment options.5,6

Remember, your well-being is important, and taking proactive steps towards addressing your symptoms can make a significant difference to your quality of life. Don't wait any longer – take charge of your prostate health now.

Available treatments

Talk to your urologist about the differences between procedures, including minimally invasive procedures, and their potential benefits and risks. Their advice can help you make the choice that best fits your needs and wishes.


1.Urology Care Foundation. Benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH). September 2023. Available at: [Accessed September 2023].

2.NHS. Benign prostate enlargement: overview. June 2023. Available at: [Accessed September 2023].

3.NIDDK. Prostate enlargement (benign prostatic hyperplasia). September 2014. Available at: [Accessed September 2023].

4.EAU Patient Information. Benign prostatic enlargement. November 2022. Available at: [Accessed September 2023].

5.Gravas S, Cornu JN, Gacci M, et al. EAU guidelines on management of non-neurogenic male LUTS. March 2023. Available at: [Accessed September 2023].

6.Lerner LB, McVary KT, Barry MJ, et al. Management of lower urinary tract symptoms attributed to benign prostatic hyperplasia: AUA Guideline Part II—surgical evaluation and treatment. J Urol. 2021;206(4):818–826.

7. NICE. Lower urinary tract symptoms in men: management. June 2015. Available at: [Accessed September 2023].

The Rezūm System is intended to relieve symptoms, obstructions, and reduce prostate tissue associated with benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH). It is indicated for men with a prostate volume 30cm3. The Rezūm System is also indicated for treatment of prostate with hyperplasia of the central zone and/or a median lobe.  Potential risks associated with Rezūm Water Vapor Therapy include but are not limited to dysuria, hematuria, hematospermia, decrease in ejaculatory volume, suspected urinary tract infection (UTI), urinary frequency, and retention or urgency.
The GreenLight™ laser system is intended for incision/excision, vaporization, ablation, hemostasis, and coagulation of soft tissue, including photoselective vaporization of the prostate for benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH). The laser system is contraindicated for patients who: are contraindicated for surgery, contraindicated where appropriate anesthesia is contraindicated by patient history, have calcified tissue, require hemostasis in >2mm vessels, have uncontrolled bleeding disorders, have prostate cancer, have acute urinary tract infection (UTI), or severe urethral stricture. Possible risks and complications include, but are not limited to, irritative symptoms (dysuria, urgency, frequency), retrograde ejaculation, urinary incontinence, erectile dysfunction, hematuria - gross, UTI, bladder neck contracture/outlet obstruct, urinary retention, perforation - prostate, urethral stricture.

The Lumenis Pulse 120H System  is intended to relieve symptoms and obstructions and reduce prostate tissue associated with BPH  It is contraindicated for patients who are unable to receive endoscopic treatments or are intolerant to prolonged anesthesia, as well as for resection or excision of large vascularized organs.  Holmium lasers are intended solely for use by physicians trained in the use of the Ho:YAG (2.1 μm) wavelength.  Incorrect treatment settings can cause serious tissue damage.  The laser should be used only on tissues that are fully observable.  Possible risks and complications include, but are not limited to, irritative symptoms (dysuria, urgency, frequency), retrograde ejaculation, urinary incontinence, erectile dysfunction, hematuria - gross, UTI, bladder neck contracture/outlet obstruct, urinary retention, perforation - prostate, urethral stricture. You should talk with your doctor about benefits and risks before moving forward with any treatment option.

Boston Scientific acquired the global surgical business of Lumenis Ltd. Some registered names of products manufactured and sold by Boston Scientific may contain the term “Lumenis”. Lumenis is a registered trademark of Lumenis is a website sponsored by Boston Scientific.

This material is for informational purposes only and not meant for medical diagnosis. This information does not constitute medical or legal advice, and Boston Scientific makes no representation regarding the medical benefits included in this information. Boston Scientific strongly recommends that you consult with your physician on all matters pertaining to your health.

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