Prostate Home > BPH Diagnosis

When diagnosing benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), your doctor will perform tests, ask a number of questions about your symptoms, and perform a physical exam. Several tests are available to help your doctor make a diagnosis. Among the most common tests used in making a BPH diagnosis include a digital rectal exam, prostate specific antigen (PSA) test, and a rectal ultrasound.


BPH Diagnosis: An Overview

In order to make a benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) diagnosis, your doctor will ask a number of questions, including questions about:


  • Current symptoms
  • History of any medical conditions
  • Current medications
  • Family history of any medical conditions.


He or she will also perform a physical exam to look for signs or symptoms of BPH. If your doctor finds that your prostate is enlarged, he or she may refer you to a urologist (a doctor who specializes in problems of the urinary tract and the male reproductive system) for more tests.


Tests Used to Diagnose BPH

Several tests help the doctor identify the problem and decide whether surgery is needed. The tests vary from patient to patient, but the following are the most commonly used tests to diagnose BPH and other problems in the urinary tract:


  • Digital rectal exam
  • Prostate specific antigen test (PSA test)
  • Rectal ultrasound
  • Urine flow study
  • Cystoscopy.

Digital Rectal Exam (DRE)

This exam is usually the first test performed. The doctor inserts a gloved finger into the rectum and feels the part of the prostate next to the rectum. This exam gives the doctor a general idea of the size and condition of the gland.

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Last reviewed by: Arthur Schoenstadt, MD
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