Urinary symptoms related to benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) are a common cause of patients visiting their family doctor. It is estimated that 10–20% of men would need some intervention - medical or surgical - on their prostate glands before the end of their days. Fortunately, in the last three decades or so, our understanding of the pathophysiology of BPH, i.e. the way BPH causes its deleterious effects has vastly improved. As a result, the management of these problems has also undergone a sea change. Whereas earlier, the treatment of BPH was exclusively in the domain of the surgeon or urologist, it is now, at least initially, the equal prerogative of the family physician. To discharge this responsibility competently, the physician should be thoroughly familiar with our present state of knowledge about BPH.