Symptoms of benign prostate enlargement 

The symptoms of benign prostate enlargement are caused by the enlarged prostate placing pressure on the bladder and urethra (which carries urine from the bladder to the penis).

This can affect urination in a number of ways. For example, it can:

  • make it difficult for you to start urinating
  • weaken the flow of urine or cause "stopping and starting"
  • cause you to strain to pass urine
  • cause you to need to urinate frequently
  • cause you to wake up frequently during the night to urinate
  • cause a sudden urge to urinate, which can result in urinary incontinence if you can't find a toilet quickly enough
  • cause you to not be able to empty your bladder fully
  • cause blood in the urine (haematuria)

In the later stages, benign prostate enlargement can cause urine retention and other complications such as bladder stonesbladder infections and kidney damage.

When to seek medical advice

See your GP if you notice any problems with, or changes to, your usual pattern of urination. Even if the symptoms are mild, they could be caused by a condition that needs to be investigated.

Any blood in the urine must be investigated by your GP to rule out other more serious conditions.


Page last reviewed: 03/03/2015

Next review due: 03/03/2017