Many men experience a frequent or urgent need to urinate after the age of about 50. The culprit is an enlarged prostate gland, a common condition medically known as benign prostatic hyperplasia.

If symptoms are mild, a simple way to reduce trips to the toilet is to limit fluid intake, health experts say. About 1.5 litres a day – no more – is advisable, according to Germany’s Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care (IQWiG).

To avoid having to get up in the middle of the night, it’s best not to drink any beverages for an hour or two before going to bed. This especially goes for those containing caffeine or alcohol, which have a diuretic effect.

An enlarged prostate gland can hinder excretion of urine by compressing the urethra, a tube that passes through its centre and transports urine from the bladder to the penis.

If symptoms diminish the quality of life or complications develop, such as urinary tract infections due to inability to fully empty the bladder, men can consult their family doctor or a urologist about possible treatment with medications.

About seven in 10 men who see a doctor about an enlarged prostate gland opt for this treatment, the IQWiG says. – dpa