If your enlarged prostate isn’t causing problems, you may decide to wait and see if your symptoms get worse before having treatment. An enlarged prostate usually develops slowly, and your symptoms may never get any worse.
There are simple changes you can make to your lifestyle that might help your symptoms.
Drink less alcohol, caffeine, artificial sweeteners and fizzy drinks - These can irritate the bladder and make urinary symptoms worse.
Drink less in the evening - Try to drink less in the late afternoon and evening, so you’re less likely to get up in the night. But make sure you drink enough during the day – 1.5 to 2 litres (3 to 4 pints) a day.
Empty your bladder before leaving the house - Remember to use the toilet before long journeys, and find out where there are public toilets before leaving home.
Double voiding - After you urinate, wait a few minutes and then try to go again. This can help to empty your bladder properly. But take care not to strain or push.
Check your medicines - Ask your doctor whether any medicines you take, such as anti-depressants or decongestants (medicines for a blocked nose), may be making your urinary symptoms worse.
Eat more fruit and fibre - This will help you avoid constipation (difficulty emptying your bowels), which can put pressure on the bladder and make urinary symptoms worse.
Keep a healthy weight - If you’re overweight, this can make your symptoms worse. Talk to your doctor if you’re worried about your weight. They can help you think about ways to lose weight healthily.
Exercise regularly - Regular exercise may help your symptoms. If you’re not usually very active, speak to your doctor before starting any kind of exercise plan. They can talk with you about exercising safely.
Bladder retraining - This technique can help you hold on for longer when you need to urinate. Ask your doctor or specialist nurse for more information.
Urethral massage - You might hear this called urethral milking. After you urinate, press gently upwards at the base of your scrotum (the skin around your testicles) with your fingertips. You should be able to feel your urethra. Keep pressing gently as you move your fingers forward from the base of your penis to the tip. This will squeeze out any urine that’s left in your urethra and prevent dribbling. Ask your doctor or specialist nurse for more information.
Absorbent pads or urinary sheaths - Absorbent pads and pants can be worn inside your underwear, or instead of underwear. They soak up any leaks. Urinary sheaths look like condoms with a tube attached to the end, which drains urine into a bag. The sheath fits tightly over your penis and you can strap the bag to your leg, under your clothes. Ask your doctor or specialist nurse for more information.