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Interactive Tool: How Bad Are Your Urinary Symptoms From Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH)?

What does this tool help you learn?

This tool asks about your urinary symptoms from benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) and gives you a score based on how severe your symptoms are. BPH is an enlarged prostate gland. As the prostate gets bigger, it may cause problems when you urinate. Your score on this tool may help you think about if and how you want to treat the problem.

The tool is based on the American Urological Association (AUA) Symptom Index.footnote 1 The index is also called the International Prostate Symptom Score.

Lerner LB, et al (2021). "Management of lower urinary tract symptoms attributed to benign prostatic hyperplasia: AUA Guideline part II, surgical evaluation and treatment." Journal of Urology, 206(4): 818-826. DOI: 10.1097/JU.0000000000002184. Accessed January 10, 2022. [Erratum in Journal of Urology, 207(3): 743. DOI: 10.1097/JU.0000000000002388. Accessed June 15, 2022.]

Lerner LB, et al (2021). "Management of lower urinary tract symptoms attributed to benign prostatic hyperplasia: AUA Guideline part I, initial work-up and medical management." Journal of Urology, 206(4): 806-817.DOI: 10.1097/JU.0000000000002183. Accessed January 10, 2022. [Erratum in Journal of Urology, 206(5): 1339. DOI: 10.1097/JU.0000000000002231. Accessed June 15, 2022.]

What does your score mean?

Your score gives you an idea of how bad your symptoms are. It will fall into one of these ranges:

  • Mild (0 to 7)
  • Moderate (8 to 19)
  • Severe (20 to 35)

By itself, your score doesn't mean that you do or don't need treatment. But it is a useful way for you and your doctor to look at and talk about your symptoms and watch them over time.

People differ in how bothered they are by urination problems. Despite your score, you may not be troubled by your symptoms at all. Or you may feel that your symptoms are having a big impact on your life.

What's next?

BPH can be a bother, but it's usually not a serious health problem. If you are concerned about your symptoms, talk to your doctor about your options. They may include:

  • Small changes to your lifestyle and urination habits, plus regular checkups to make sure that the problem is not changing or getting worse.
  • Medicines to help reduce your symptoms.
  • Surgery to help correct the problem and reduce your symptoms.

The main thing that helps you decide if and how to treat your symptoms is how much the symptoms bother you, not what your score is.

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  1. McVary KT, et al. (2010). Guideline on the management of benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH). In American Urological Association Guideline: Management of Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH), pp. 2–34. Linthicum, MD: American Urological Association Education and Research. Available online: http://www.auanet.org/content/guidelines-and-quality-care/clinical-guidelines.cfm?sub=bph.


Current as of: November 15, 2023

Author: Healthwise Staff
Clinical Review Board
All Healthwise education is reviewed by a team that includes physicians, nurses, advanced practitioners, registered dieticians, and other healthcare professionals.



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