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Government of Jamaica

Illnesses Covered

Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia

Benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) is a non-cancerous enlargement of the prostate gland.

The prostate gland is a gland found only in men. It is shaped like an unopened ackee and is located below the bladder and in front of the rectum. It surrounds the urethra which is the tube that takes urine from the bladder to the outside of the body.

In many men, the prostate gland may begin to grow or enlarge after the age of 40 or middle age and may continue to grow for the rest of their lives. As the prostate enlarges, it puts pressure on the urethra. This increasing pressure on the urethra leads to troublesome urinary symptoms which may lead to surgery on the prostate. BPH does not usually lead to cancer and is not life threatening. However, since the prostate is enlarging you need to keep your appointments so your doctor can assist you in controlling your symptoms.

Signs & symptoms

  • It is hard to start passing urine
  • It is difficult to empty your bladder completely and because of this, you may dribble when you think you have finished passing urine
  • The urine stream is weak and may start and stop
  • You pass urine more often, especially at night
  • You feel the need to urinate more often
  • You get sudden strong urges to urinate
  • Your urinary problems become more and more troublesome
  • You may find that you have one or more of these symptoms if you have an enlarging prostate or BPH.

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