Signs and Symptoms of Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH), Enlarged Prostate

Common symptoms of benign prostatic hyperplasia include the following:

  • Blood in the urine (hematuria), caused by straining to void
  • Dribbling after voiding
  • Feeling that the bladder has not emptied completely after urination
  • Frequent urination, particularly at night (i.e., nocturia)
  • Hesitant, interrupted, or weak urine stream caused by decreased force
  • Leakage of urine (i.e., overflow incontinence)
  • Pushing or straining to begin urination
  • Recurrent, sudden, urgent need to urinate

In severe cases of BPH, acute urinary retention (the inability to urinate) can result from holding urine in for a long period of time, alcohol consumption, a long period of inactivity, cold temperatures, allergy or cold medications containing decongestants or antihistamines, and some prescription drugs (e.g., ipratropium bromide, albuterol, epinephrine).

Any of these factors can prevent the urinary sphincter from relaxing and allowing urine to flow out of the bladder. Acute urinary retention causes severe pain and discomfort. In some cases, catheterization may be necessary to drain urine from the bladder.

Publication Review By: Stanley J. Swierzewski, III, M.D.

Published: 09 Jun 1998

Last Modified: 31 Aug 2015