Tests For BPH

NHS

To find out whether your prostate gland is enlarged, you'll need to have a few tests. Some tests will be done by a GP and, if needed, others will be carried out by a doctor who specialises in urinary problems (urologist).

GP examination and tests

A GP will ask about your symptoms and concerns, and their impact on your quality of life. You may be asked to complete a chart that records how much liquid you usually drink, how much urine you pass, how often you have to pee on a daily basis and whether you have any leakage.

The GP may do a physical examination. They may examine your stomach and genital area. They may also feel your prostate gland through the wall of your bottom (rectum). This is called a rectal examination.

The GP may order a blood test to check that your kidneys are working properly. They may advise you to have a prostate-specific antigen (PSA) blood test.

You may be offered a urine test, for example to check for sugar (glucose) or blood in your pee. This is to see if you have diabetes or an infection.

Referral to a urologist

The GP may refer you to a urologist or other appropriate specialist if:

  • previous treatments have not helped your urinary problems
  • a urinary infection does not go away or comes back regularly
  • you cannot fully empty your bladder
  • you have kidney problems
  • you have stress incontinence, which is when urine leaks out at times when your bladder is under pressure; for example, when you cough or laugh
  • your prostate-specific antigen (PSA) level is raised
  • your prostate feels abnormal when you have a rectal examination

You should also see a specialist if the GP is concerned that your symptoms could be caused by cancer, although for most men this is not the cause. To help find out what might be causing your symptoms and decide how to manage them, you should be offered extra tests to measure:

  • how fast your urine flows
  • how much urine is left in your bladder after you have peed

You may also be offered other tests, depending on your symptoms or the treatment you and your doctor are considering.

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