Benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) is a disease which affects men due to an abnormal enlargement of the prostate. The prostate is a gland the size of a walnut which is part of the male reproductive system and it is located near the bladder and rectum, surrounding the urethra. As the prostate enlarges, it may squeeze or obstruct the urethra, which is a tube responsible for transporting urine and semen to be expelled from the body.
The majority of men may live with BPH without experiencing any symptoms, and being assessed by an urologist decreases the possibility of complications. However, if the disease is not treated and the symptoms ignored, BPH may result in acute or chronic urinary retention, an inability to empty the bladder completely. When acute, it is a complete incapacity to urinate that happens suddenly and lasts only a short time, being potentially life-threatening. In the case of chronic urinary retention, it is a long-lasting medical condition, as patients can urinate, but cannot completely empty all of the urine from the bladder.