Animation: prostate enlargement

View our animation to see the effects of prostate enlargement, a problem that commonly affects older men.

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The prostate is a walnut-shaped gland that sits under the bladder and surrounds the urethra — the tube through which urine and semen leave the body.

As a man gets older, his prostate gland grows. This is known as benign prostatic hypertrophy, or BPH. It rarely causes problems before the age of 40.

Sometimes the enlarged prostate can compress the urethra, partially blocking the flow of urine.

Here are some symptoms that may be caused by BPH.

  • Difficulty with starting to urinate.
  • A feeling that there is urine still in the bladder after urinating.
  • The flow of urine seems weak.
  • Urine dribbling after the main flow has finished.
  • More frequent urination.
  • Needing to pass urine in the night (nocturia).
  • Incontinence.
Last Reviewed: 21 May 2010


1. Webber R. Benign prostatic hyperplasia. Clinical Evidence [online] 2006 [cited Apr 1]. URL: (accessed 2010. May 25)
2. Andrology Australia [website]. Prostate enlargement or BPH (updated 2010, Mar12). Available at: (accessed 2010, May 25)
3. National Kidney and Urologic Diseases Information Clearinghouse [website]. Prostate enlargement: benign prostatic hyperplasia (updated 2006, June). Available at: (accessed 2010, May 25)
4. Urological Society of Australia. Benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) [accessed 2010, May 25]. Available at:
5. Mayo Clinic [website]. Prostate gland enlargement (updated 2009, Dec 11). Available at:


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