Does an Enlarged Prostate Affect a Man

Does an Enlarged Prostate Affect a Man Sexually?

Benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) is a condition that affects older men and causes the prostate gland to enlarge. This enlargement results in a variety of urinary symptoms. One of the effects of BPH is sexual dysfunction, which can be frustrating and inconvenient. However, there are effective treatments available to manage this condition.

How does BPH affect sexual health?

When the prostate gland enlarges, it can physically obstruct other urinary organs and tissues in the body due to reduced space. The prostate applies pressure to the bladder and the urethra which supports the passage of urine and other bodily fluids such as semen and sperm as they exit the body. Because of this characteristic, the ability to ejaculate may become affected.

Erectile dysfunction (ED) is a medical condition in which men are unable to produce or maintain a strong enough erection for the sake of sexual intercourse. With this problem, it’s difficult to have a healthy sex life as the condition interferes with being able to have sex successfully.  It’s important to note that ED does not come from BPH directly. However, it may be the result of medication for BPH. For example, there have been links to certain anti-testosterone medications and ED.

Men who are dealing with BPH may experience a reduced sex drive due to the medications they take to treat the condition. These medications are called 5-alpha reductase inhibitors (5-ARIs), which work by reducing the amount of testosterone in the body.

An enlarged prostate can cause pain during ejaculation, leading to a decrease in the pleasure experienced during sexual intercourse. Some men may feel a burning sensation during or after ejaculation, pain in or around their penis, bladder, or backside, or pain while urinating immediately after ejaculation. Although the pain may be temporary for some men, others may experience it for up to a day.

Men who have been diagnosed with BPH and are being treated with medication may experience low sperm count. Low sperm count is a condition in which there are fewer than 15 million sperm per milliliter of semen. BPH can make it difficult for couples to conceive, and those who experience it should have their primary care physician analyze their semen to monitor the amount and status of the sperm present more closely.

Retrograde ejaculation is a condition in which semen travels to the bladder instead of exiting the body through the penis after ejaculating. This is a frequent and common side effect of patients with BPH who underwent a procedure called transurethral resection of the prostate (TURP). More than half of patients developed this issue due to damaged nerves and muscles surrounding the top of the bladder. Though this condition does not make sexual intercourse painful, it does pose the potential risk of interfering with being able to conceive.

Symptoms of BPH

BPH comes with many uncomfortable symptoms that shouldn’t be ignored, but rather treated. Here is a list of BPH symptoms men in their early 50s and older may experience.

Treating BPH Symptoms

Fortunately, there are many different treatment options for an enlarged prostate. Patients can implement different lifestyle modifications for BPH such as a healthy diet, exercise, and stress management. However, another great option is a minimally invasive image-guided procedure called prostate artery embolization (PAE). PAE utilizes a catheter through an artery to prevent blood from feeding the prostate, reducing its overall size, and relieving the patient of their uncomfortable symptoms. This option comes with fewer risks than regular surgery and enables patients to recover more quickly. 

Make an appointment with American Prostate Centers

If you are facing sexual-related issues due to your BPH diagnosis, you can seek reliable medical advice from a team of experienced specialists at American Prostate Centers. No patient should have to suffer through their disease alone or without having their questions and concerns addressed. Contact us today to schedule an appointment with one of our affiliated physicians and speed up your recovery from BPH.

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