Prostate gland enlargement 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

The size of your prostate doesn't necessarily mean your symptoms will be worse. Some men with only slightly enlarged prostates have significant symptoms. On the other hand, some men with very enlarged prostates have only minor urinary symptoms.

Only about half the men with prostate gland enlargement have symptoms that become noticeable or bothersome enough for them to seek medical treatment. In some men, symptoms eventually stabilize and may even improve over time.

When to see a doctor

If you're having urinary problems, see your doctor to check whether your symptoms are caused by an enlarged prostate and find out what tests or treatment you may need. If you're unable to pass urine at all, seek immediate medical attention.

If you don't find urinary symptoms too bothersome and they don't pose a health threat, you may not need treatment. But you should still have your symptoms checked out by a doctor to make sure they aren't caused by another problem such as prostate cancer.

Dec. 06, 2011