The Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH) quiz is used to determine the severity of symptoms related to BPH. The BPH symptom assessment does not provide a diagnosis and is not meant to replace other tests. Rather, it’s used as a starting point for men to understand the severity of urinary symptoms caused by BPH. After you’ve taken the quiz, you’ll receive your IPSS score.
What is the International Prostate Symptom Score (IPSS)?
The International Prostate Symptom Score (IPSS) was created in 1992 by the American Urological Association and originally contained 7 questions related to BPH symptoms. The 8th question was adopted by the World Health Organization’s International Consultation to help determine a patient’s quality of life should their current symptoms continue.
The scoring is as follows:
- 0-7 – Mildly symptomatic
- 8-19 – Moderately symptomatic
- 20-35 – Severely symptomatic
Physicians may perform the IPSS multiple times to track the severity of symptoms and compare progression over months and years.
What is BPH?
Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH) is the medical term for an enlarged prostate. For men over 40, hormonal changes increase the number of cells in a man’s prostate gland, causing the prostate to grow. ‘Benign’ means that this condition is not cancerous – however, BPH can cause uncomfortable symptoms that can impact a man’s quality of life. BPH affects almost all men over 50.
The prostate gland surrounds the urinary tube (urethra). As the prostate grows, it pushes against the urethra which can constrict urine flow. However, the size of the prostate is not indicative of the degree of urinary symptoms. Common symptoms of BPH include:
- A weak or slow urinary stream
- A feeling of incomplete bladder emptying
- Difficulty starting urination
- Frequent urination
- Urgency to urinate
- Getting up frequently at night to urinate
- A urinary stream that starts and stops
- Straining to urinate
- Continued dribbling of urine
- Returning to urinate again minutes after finishing
What happens after taking the BPH quiz?
Once you’ve received your IPSS score, you can better understand the degree of your symptoms and speak with your physician about the next steps. You may be advised to undergo additional testing to diagnose whether BPH is present, including:
- Urine Flow Study – A special device is used to measure the amount and speed of urine flow, which can help physicians detect whether BPH is associated with reduced urine flow.
- DRE Exam – The Digital Rectal Exam (DRE) involves a physician inserting a gloved finger inside the rectum to feel the size, shape, and stiffness of the prostate.
- PSA Test – The Prostate Antigen (PSA) test measures the amount of PSA in your blood (a protein that increases with age and prostate size).
Only your doctor can diagnose whether your symptoms are caused by BPH. If BPH is present, your doctor will speak to you about treatment options that can help manage symptoms and improve your quality of life.