If you experience the symptoms of BPH, see your doctor.
Expect questions about your urinary flow problems, how long the symptoms have been present, and any prior genitourinary surgery or procedures.
The most common symptoms of BPH involve changes or problems with urination. In medical articles, they are often grouped together and referred to as LUTS, which stands for lower urinary tract symptoms. They include
- a hesitant, interrupted, or weak urine stream
- urgency, leaking, or dribbling
- a sense of incomplete emptying
- more frequent urination, especially at night.
Note that while many men with BPH have LUTS, there are other causes of LUTS, so not all men with LUTS have BPH.
You will probably be asked about your health habits and the medications you are taking. Medications that have antihistamine effects can cause urinary symptoms because they affect the muscle in the wall of the bladder. If you are taking blood pressure medication, swapping out a diuretic such as furosemide (Lasix) for a nondiuretic such as an ACE inhibitor can help with a variety of urinary symptoms.
Your doctor may also ask you to complete a questionnaire, such as the American Urological Association Urinary Symptom Score, to help evaluate the severity of your BPH.
It also includes several other laboratory tests, such as a urinalysis, which allows your doctor to rule out bacterial infections and look for untreated diabetes, which can produce frequent urination, particularly at night.
Your urinary symptom score
To evaluate the severity of your benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), your doctor may ask you to complete a questionnaire like the one below:
Choose one number to respond to questions 1 to 7, and then calculate your total urinary symptom score. Question 8 is separate and indicates how bothered you are by the condition.
Urinary symptom scores of 0 to 7 indicate mild symptoms. Scores of 8–19 are considered moderate. And scores of 20 or greater are severe. If you have moderate to severe symptoms, and if your answer to question 8 is a 3, 4, or 5, you may want to discuss treatment (either medical or surgical) with your physician.