As men age, the prostate gland, a small walnut-sized organ in the male reproductive system, tends to grow in size. This condition, known as benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), is extremely common and impacts more than half of men in their 60s and up to 90% of men in their 80s. While BPH is not cancerous and does not increase the risk of prostate cancer, it can cause a range of urinary symptoms that can significantly alter a man’s quality of life.
If you are living with your grandparents, you may have noticed your granddad frequently hitting the loo at night. The chances are, it is due to an enlarged prostate.
Symptoms of the medical condition include frequent urination, especially at night, weak urine flow, difficulty starting and stopping urination, and the urge to urinate even after the bladder is empty. These symptoms can be caused by the enlarged prostate putting pressure on the urethra, the tube that carries urine and semen out of the body. This pressure can slow or block the flow of urine, leading to discomfort and inconvenience.
Now that we had a clear grasp of the medical condition, there is another concern that pops up. Does it affect a man sexually?
After all, the prostate is a part of the male reproductive system and plays an important role in reproduction. Its main function is to produce and secrete a fluid that becomes part of semen and helps to protect and nourish sperm. The fluid produced by the prostate is also what helps to increase the volume of semen and also provides a slightly alkaline environment that protects sperm from the acidic environment of the female reproductive tract.
So prostate is central and an enlarged prostate affects the normal functioning of the prostate—so the concern is valid. But does it affect one’s sexuality? If yes, how? Let’s find out.
Enlarged Prostate and sexuality
To be honest, it does. An enlarged prostate may have an impact on a man’s sexual performance. For instance, in some cases, sexual dysfunction can occasionally result from the urinary symptoms of an enlarged prostate, such as difficulty starting and stopping urination, weak urine flow, and frequent urination.
Alpha-blockers and 5-alpha-reductase inhibitors, two drugs commonly used to treat an enlarged prostate, can also have adverse effects on sexual function, including decreased libido, erectile dysfunction, and decreased ejaculate volume.
However, it’s important to note that not all men with an enlarged prostate will experience sexual problems, and there are treatments available to help manage these symptoms. So, if you’re concerned about how an enlarged prostate is hurting your sexual performance, consult with your doctor to establish the best course of action for you.
It’s understandable that you may be worried about an enlarged prostate and its potential effects on your health, but it’s important to remember that there are many treatment options available that can help to manage the condition and alleviate its symptoms.
By working closely with your healthcare provider and following their recommended treatment plan, you can help to keep your prostate healthy and prevent any potential complications.
So, if an enlarged prostate is affecting you or your loved one’s sexual function, there are several solutions that can help, including:
➡️ Treating the underlying cause of sexual dysfunction.
➡️ Switching to a different medication (if your BPH medicines are affecting you) is less likely to cause these side effects.
➡️ Psychotherapy can help to address these underlying issues and improve sexual function.
➡️ Using a vacuum erection device to achieve and maintain an erection
➡️ Using penile injections to achieve the same target as a vacuum erection device.
➡️ Penile implants.