Benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) means your prostate is getting bigger2
In men whose Prostate grows, it typically doubles in size between the ages of 21 and 50, and doubles again between 51 and 80.2

Because the prostate surrounds the urethra, if it gets too big, urination can become difficult.2

BPH does not affect all men, but the older you get, the more likely it becomes.1

BPH is a progressive disease. If the symptoms are not managed, they are likely to get worse. In the most severe cases, this can eventually lead to acute urinary retention, which is a medical emergency or can potentially need surgery.1

The prostate is a gland situated just below the bladder, between the root of the penis and the anus.2

It surrounds part of the urethra, the tube in the penis that carries urine from the bladder.2

Normally it is about the size of a walnut, but it can grow larger as you age.2
BPH should not be confused with prostate cancer, although the two conditions can coexist.
Symptoms of BPH can include:1,2
Difficulty with starting the flow of urine
BPH is not the only possible cause for these symptoms, so it’s important to see a doctor about them and have them assessed properly. For example, other conditions can also cause frequent daytime urination and would need to be ruled out.
Always tell your doctor if you notice changes to your pattern of urination.
If your doctor agrees that you have BPH, a number of treatment options available.
Moderate or
severe BPH
Mild BPH3
For mild symptoms that aren’t causing too much trouble, your doctor may simply recommend some lifestyle changes that can help you urinate less often, such as:
Reducing fluid intake at specific times
Limiting consumption of alcohol and caffeine
Switching to medications that have fewer urinary effects, if needed
Avoiding constipation
Moderate or
severe BPH
Moderate or severe BPH1,2

Moderate or severe BPH can have consequences for your sleep, work or social life, and may eventually lead to outcomes such as hospitalisation or surgery as the prostate continues to enlarge.1 Your doctor may prescribe medicines that will help to relieve your symptoms.

The three most common classes of medication, among other options that may be suggested by your doctor, are:
Your doctor may prescribe either single or combination medications for management of BPH. For example, a combination of an alpha-1 blocker and a 5-alpha-reductase inhibitor could be used to address both immediate symptoms and future risk of the disease becoming worse.1

None of these medications cure BPH. However, you will need to take them regularly because if you stop, your symptoms are likely to return and you could be at risk of potential complications from the disease.

Your doctor will decide which treatment is better for you, based on your clinical profile and individual characteristic of your disease. We have described the most common medical treatments, but your doctor can provide more information on all available treatments for BPH.

All medications have the potential for unwanted side effects. Talk to your doctor about the likely benefits of treatment and the possible risks.
Alpha-1 blockers relax muscles in the prostate and bladder, helping urine flow more easily.3

They act quickly, within one or two weeks, and usually improve symptoms noticeably. However, they do not reduce the size of the prostate.1
5-alpha-reductase inhibitors slowly shrink the prostate by blocking the formation of a more active testosterone that causes prostate enlargement. They need to be taken for around 6 months before any benefits are seen. Taken long-term, they can reduce the risk of acute urinary retention – an emergency condition in which you can no longer urinate voluntarily – and surgery.3
PDE 5 inhibitors are most commonly used as a treatment option for erectile dysfunction, but can also help relieve the symptoms of BPH, by relaxing muscles in the prostate, bladder and urethra.3