Benign prostatic hyperplasia - also called BPH - is a condition in men in which the prostate
gland is enlarged and not cancerous. Benign prostatic hyperplasia is also called benign
prostatic hypertrophy or benign prostatic obstruction.
The prostate goes through two main growth periods as a man ages. The first occurs early in
puberty, when the prostate doubles in size. The second phase of growth begins around age 25
and continues during most of a man's life. Benign prostatic hyperplasia often occurs with the
second growth phase.
As the prostate enlarges, the gland presses against and pinches the urethra. The bladder wall becomes thicker. Eventually, the bladder may weaken and lose the ability to empty completely, leaving some urine in the bladder.