What does 'benign prostatic enlargement' mean?
Benign prostatic enlargement (BPE) is the medical term for an enlarged prostate. It means an increase in the size of the prostate that isn't caused by cancer.
You might also hear it called benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH). Hyperplasia means an increase in the number of cells. It is this increase in cells that causes the prostate to grow.
An enlarged prostate is very common in men over the age of about 50. It is the most common cause of urinary symptoms in men as they get older. Possible symptoms include:
- a weak flow when you urinate (pee)
- a feeling that your bladder hasn't emptied properly
- difficulty starting to urinate
- dribbling urine after you finish urinating
- needing to urinate more often, especially at night
- a sudden urge to urinate – you may sometimes leak before you get to the toilet.
Having an enlarged prostate is not the same as having cancer. Read more about the symptoms, diagnosis and treatment of an enlarged prostate.
Last updated August 2015
To be reviewed August 2017