The exact cause of benign prostate enlargement is unknown, but research suggests that hormones probably play an important role in the condition'sdevelopment.
Hormones are powerful chemicals that can have a wide range of effects on the cells of the body.
One theory is that as some men get older, the levels of a type of hormone called dihydrotestosterone (DHT) increases, which may stimulate the growth of the prostate.
Another theory suggests that two hormones, testosterone and oestrogen, play a role. Younger men produce high levels of testosterone and much smaller levels of oestrogen. But as men get older, their levels of testosterone decrease, which means they then have a higher proportion of oestrogen in their body. It's been suggested that the relative increase in oestrogen may stimulate prostate growth.
Research has shown that rates of benign prostate enlargement are higher among men with high blood pressure and diabetes . However, both diabetes and high blood pressure are associated with the natural ageing process, so there may not be a direct connection between the three conditions.
Read about benign prostate enlargement (BPE), also known as benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), which is a common condition that affects men over 50 years of age.
The symptoms of benign prostate enlargement are caused by the enlarged prostate placing pressure on the bladder and urethra (which carries urine from the bladder to the penis).
The exact cause of benign prostate enlargement is unknown, but research suggests that hormones probably play an important role in the condition's development.
To find out whether your prostate gland is enlarged, you'll need to have a few tests. Some tests will be carried out by your GP and others will be carried out by a urologist.
If you have an enlarged prostate, your recommended treatment plan will be determined by how severe your symptoms are.
Benign prostate enlargement can sometimes lead to complications, such as a urinary tract infection (UTI) or acute urinary retention (AUR).