Your doctor will ask questions to rate the severity of your urinary symptoms. The doctor will perform a digital rectal exam to feel the size, shape and consistency of the prostate gland. Usually, a sample of your urine will be examined for blood or evidence of infection.
Occasionally, your doctor may order tests, such as an ultrasound, to measure the amount of urine in your bladder, or a cytoscopy, in which a lighted tube is inserted through the penis into the bladder. Special tests also can be done to evaluate the muscles and nerves in the bladder, especially if you are having trouble with leakage of urine.
Symptoms from an enlarged prostate are not always related directly to the size of the gland. Many men with an enlarged prostate don't have any symptoms. In other men, the symptoms are mild and worsen slowly enough that they never develop serious problems. About one-third of men with enlarged prostates have symptoms that continue to worsen, and require treatment.