Ask the experts… benign prostate enlargement

Last month, talkhealth teamed up with a team of specialists from Guy's and St Thomas' Foundation Trust and Kings College Hospital to answer your questions on benign prostate enlargement and treatment options. 

With the condition on our radars more than ever due to King Charles's admittance to the hospital earlier this year, we wanted to cut through the noise and ensure you have real answers to your queries.

I am still having to visit the loo to pee at least twice a night and sometimes up to six or seven times. What more can I do to try and get a full night's rest/sleep?

I would recommend that the doctor who is assessing your prostate, considers an up-to-date scan of your urinary tract to ensure there is nothing irritating your bladder such as stones.

Also, did you know that fluid redistribution from accumulation in your legs at the end of the day (when you lie down at night) can mean your bladder will become full and lead to frequent urination at night? There are strategies your doctor can consider to address this depending on your medical history.

If you still have persistent symptoms, a Urologist should assess you.

Do some people need re-treating for prostate enlargement after some years?

Yes, all surgical approaches may need re-treating. How often depends on how much tissue is surgically removed, an individual’s rate of prostate regrowth and most importantly any symptomatic recurrence that may not respond to medical therapy.

What are the general symptoms to look out for to suggest there is a prostate issue?

Lower urinary tract symptoms can be divided into storage (can't start, can't go and can't finish- hesitancy, slow flow and dribbling/incomplete emptying) and voiding (frequency, urgency, and nocturia-night-time voiding).

The former are usually due to an enlarged prostate (BPH), the latter either BPH or primary bladder problems

Prostate cancer rarely causes many specific symptoms until it is quite advanced.

Can my GP tell me immediately if there is a chance of me having a benign or malignant prostate?

No, your GP can find out your age-specific reference PSA level. If the PSA is above the normal range, then a Urologist will determine whether your prostate harbours lesions that could possibly represent cancer. This is following your initial consultation and is on the basis of an MRI scan of the prostate, rather than only a rectal exam.

My husband is reluctant to go to the doctor, even though he is using the loo more. What can I do?

This is a very important topic. Some men can be apprehensive to see their doctor but keep encouraging your relatives to see theirs. I compare this to the MOT status of your vehicle. It may be that nothing is abnormal or requires treatment. It may require a simple change in fluids consumed (tea/fizzy drinks) at the end of the day. However, seeing a GP or a Urologist is important to determine the cause.

Information contained in this Articles page has been written by talkhealth based on available medical evidence. The content however should never be considered a substitute for medical advice. You should always seek medical advice before changing your treatment routine. talkhealth does not endorse any specific products, brands or treatments.

Information written by the talkhealth team

Last revised: 7 March 2024
Next review: 7 March 2027