Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH)

Medically reviewed by Carina Fung, PharmD, BCPPS

BPH diagnosis

In order to diagnose benign prostatic hyperplasia, your healthcare provider will likely begin by reviewing your personal and family medical histories and conducting a physical exam.

This exam usually involves:

  • Examining physical signs of BPH, including discharge from the urethra, a swollen or tender scrotum, and enlarged or tender lymph nodes in the groin
  • Performing a digital rectal exam

A digital rectal exam15, also called a rectal exam, is a physical examination of the prostate gland. Most healthcare providers perform rectal exams as part of routine physical check-ups for men 40 years of age and older.

When performing this exam, a healthcare provider uses a gloved, lubricated finger to feel the part of the prostate located next to the rectum. This exam helps your provider determine whether the prostate is enlarged or tender or if it has any physical abnormalities that warrant further tests.

Other tests that may be used to check prostate and urinary health include:

  • Urinalysis: Urinalysis involves collecting a sample of your urine and sending it to a lab for testing. This test can be used to indicate the presence of a urinary infection.
  • PSA test: This test is used to measure the concentration of a protein produced by the prostate’s cells called PSA in the bloodstream. Benign prostatic hyperplasia can cause your PSA level to be elevated.
  • Urodynamic tests: Urodynamic tests are used to determine how well the bladder and urethra store and release urine. In this test, a variety of procedures may be used to take measurements of things like urinary retention (postvoid residual measurement) and the rate at which the bladder releases urine (uroflowmetry). Depending on the specific tests used, you may or may not require local anesthesia.
  • Cystoscopy: During a cystoscopy, a cystoscope (a tube-like instrument with a camera or lens on its end) is used to look inside the urethra and bladder. This test may be used to detect blockages or stones in the urinary tract.
  • Transrectal ultrasound: In this test, a device called a transducer bounces sound waves off of organs to produce images of their structure. Urologists most frequently use transrectal ultrasound to examine the prostate gland for abnormalities, such as tumors.
  • Biopsy: A biopsy is a procedure in which a small sample of prostate tissue is collected to be analyzed for the presence of cancer.

Your healthcare provider is the best person to see if you experience any of the signs or symptoms of BPH. They will be able to diagnose and properly treat your condition.

Disclaimer: The information on this site is generalized and is not medical advice. It is intended to supplement, not substitute for, the expertise and judgment of your healthcare professional. Always seek the advice of your healthcare professional with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard seeking advice or delay in seeking treatment because of something you have read on our site. RxSaver makes no warranty as to the accuracy, reliability or completeness of this information.

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