Your doctor many identify an enlarged prostate as part of a regular physical exam or you may first notice the symptoms yourself then inform your doctor. The most common tests for diagnosing an enlarged prostate include:
- Digital rectal examination (DRE): This examination allows your doctor to feel the prostate gland and determine its general size and condition.
- Urine flow study to measure how quickly the urine is flowing. A reduced flow can suggest bladder outlet obstruction or decreased bladder contractility.
- Urine pressure study to measure the pressure in the bladder as you urinate.
- Urinalysis to check for blood or infection.
- Urine culture to look for infection.
- Prostate-Specific Antigen (PSA) blood test to rule out prostate cancer.
- Cystoscopy – during this procedure, your doctor inserts a small tube (called a cystoscope) through the opening of the urethra in the penis. The cystoscope is fitted with a small camera that allows your doctor to determine the size of the prostate gland and identify any blockage. This is important in deciding if surgery is warranted.