King Charles III is set for a stint in hospital next week as he seeks treatment on an enlarged prostate.

Buckingham Palace released a statement on Wednesday (January 17) announcing the King would be in hospital for a short period next week for a "corrective procedure" on his prostate. 

Buckingham Palace said in a statement: "In common with thousands of men each year, The King has sought treatment for an enlarged prostate.

"His Majesty’s condition is benign and he will attend hospital next week for a corrective procedure.

"The King’s public engagements will be postponed for a short period of recuperation."

The news came just hours after it was revealed the Princess of Wales, Princess Kate, had been admitted to hospital for abdominal surgery. 

What is an enlarged prostate?

A benign prostate enlargement (BPE) is “the medical term to describe an enlarged prostate, a condition that can affect how you pee”, according to the NHS.

The prostate is a small gland in the pelvis, found between the penis and the bladder.

The NHS website said BPE is common in men aged over 50.

"It's not a cancer and it's not usually a serious threat to health", the NHS added.

"Many men worry that having an enlarged prostate means they have an increased risk of developing prostate cancer. This is not the case."

What are the causes of a benign prostate enlargement?

The causes of an enlarged prostate are largely unknown, but there are two risk factors that make it more likely.

One is age – you’re more likely to get it if you’re over the age of 50 – and the other is hormone levels.

Prostate Cancer UK added: “The balance of hormones (oestrogen and testosterone) in your body changes as you get older. This may cause your prostate to grow."

Bournemouth Echo: Find out what an enlarged prostate is, what causes it and more.Find out what an enlarged prostate is, what causes it and more. (Image: Alamy/PA)

What are the symptoms of an enlarged prostate?

The most common symptom of an enlarged prostate are changes in how you pee.

If the prostate becomes enlarged, it can place pressure on the bladder and the urethra (the tube that urine passes through), the NHS said.

This can affect how you pee and may cause:  

  • Difficulty starting to pee
  • A frequent need to pee
  • Difficulty fully emptying your bladder

The symptoms can vary in severity from mild to "very troublesome".

Around one in three men over the age of 50 has urinary symptoms, Prostate Cancer UK said, and the most common cause of this is an enlarged prostate.

Other urinary symptoms, according to Prostate Cancer UK, included:

  • A weak flow when you urinate
  • Dribbling urine after you finish urinating
  • A sudden urge to urinate – you may sometimes leak before you get to the toilet

BPE complications

Benign prostate enlargement can sometimes lead to complications, according to the NHS, including:

  • Urinary tract infection (UTI)
  • Chronic urinary retention
  • Acute urinary retention

Bournemouth Echo: If you think you have any symptoms of benign prostate enlargement you are advised to visit your GP.If you think you have any symptoms of benign prostate enlargement you are advised to visit your GP. (Image: Alamy/PA)

How is benign prostate enlargement diagnosed?

You might be able to undergo tests for an enlarged prostate at your GP surgery – such as a urine test – but you might also be sent to a urinary specialist at hospital.

The NHS says some tests might need to be done to rule out other conditions with similar symptoms, such as prostate cancer.

You can find out more about BPE diagnosis on the NHS website here.

Treatment for an enlarged prostate

Treatment for an enlarged prostate will depend on how severe your symptoms are and usually falls into three categories lifestyle, medication and surgery.

If you have mild symptoms, you do not usually need immediate treatment, according to the NHS, and your doctor arrange with you if and when you need check-ups.

Lifestyle changes, the NHS said, include:

  • Drinking less alcohol, caffeine and fizzy drinks
  • Limiting your intake of artificial sweeteners
  • Exercising regularly
  • Drinking less in the evening

Medicine may be recommended to reduce the size of the prostate and relax your bladder in moderate to severe cases.

Bournemouth Echo: King Charles will be heading to hospital for treatment on an enlarged prostate next week.King Charles will be heading to hospital for treatment on an enlarged prostate next week. (Image: Aaron Chown/PA)

While surgery is usually only recommended for moderate to severe symptoms that have not responded to medicine.

If you are experiencing any symptoms or suspect you might have an enlarged prostate, see your GP.

If you suffer from any more serious symptoms – including suddenly not being able to pee at all or severe lower tummy pain, it could suggest acute urinary retention and you should go to your nearest A&E.