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Does an Enlarged Prostate Affect a Man Sexually?

Prostate growth is a natural result of getting older. Many men, as they age, will develop a condition called benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), or an enlarged prostate, which can cause uncomfortable symptoms.

What are BPH Symptoms? 

The prostate surrounds part of the urethra – the tube through which urine leaves the body. BPH, or an enlarged prostate, can result in this tube getting blocked. The block can cause problems with peeing, such as:1 

  • Weak stream  
  • Frequent urination  
  • Urgent need to urinate 
  • Needing to wake up at night to pee 
  • Pain during urination or after ejaculation  

BPH symptoms can get in the way of life. For example, you might become worried with finding a bathroom when you are away from home. Or you may become scared of leaving an embarrassing wet mark on your clothes if you cannot get to a bathroom in time.   

Enlarged Prostate and ED 

Living with an enlarged prostate can be even more difficult if you experience erectile dysfunction, or ED. ED happens when the penis can’t get hard enough to maintain an erection to allow sexual intercourse.2 More than 50% of men over 40 suffer from some degree of ED.3 Like BPH, ED can lower quality of life for both you and your partner. Learn more by visiting EDcure.org.  

Can an Enlarged Prostate Cause ED?  

While an enlarged prostate does not cause ED, some BPH treatments may affect the ability to keep an erection, so it’s important to talk to your doctor to understand possible BPH treatment side effects.  

Certain BPH medications may cause decreased sex drive and ED as a side effect.4 For instance, studies have shown a connection between certain anti-testosterone drugs and ED.5 If BPH symptoms continue even after medication therapy, your doctor may suggest a surgical treatment to remove the extra prostate tissue causing your BPH. However, surgical treatment also comes with side effects. A common surgical treatment, transurethral resection of the prostate (TURP), has also been shown to cause ED in a small percentage of men.5  

You and your doctor may discuss a minimally invasive BPH treatment option, Rezūm™ Water Vapor Therapy. Rezūm Therapy treats the cause of BPH by using the natural energy stored in water vapor to remove the extra prostate tissue that is causing urinary issues – while preserving sexual function. A five-year clinical study showed that men who had treatment with Rezūm Therapy for their BPH did not suffer any procedure-related ED.6 It also showed that the quality of life improved for those men who had Rezūm Therapy.6 Learn more about how Rezūm Therapy works.  

What Can You Do? 

It’s important to talk to a doctor if you have any symptoms of BPH and ED. Find a doctor here to discuss how to manage BPH and learn about your possible treatment options.  

Risks

For risks associated with Rezūm Water Vapor Therapy, click here to discuss with your doctor. 

Do you have BPH?

Take our BPH quiz to gain insight into the severity of your symptoms and help kick-start the conversation about BPH with a doctor.

I Want to Learn More

Sign up to receive information and learn how Rezūm Water Vapor Therapy helps patients with their BPH.

Find a Doctor

Use our Doctor Finder to get in direct contact with urologists who specialize in using Rezūm Water Vapor Therapy to treat BPH. 

References:

  1. Benign Prostatic Enlargement/Hyperplasia. Cleveland Clinic. https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diseases/9100-benign-prostatic-enlargement-bph. Accessed May 17, 2021.  
  2. Erectile dysfunction. NIH: National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/erectiledysfunction.html. Accessed May 2015. 
  3. Feldman HA, Goldstein I, Hatzichristou DG, et al. Impotence and its medical and psychosocial correlates: results of the Massachusetts Male Aging Study. J Urol. 1994 Jan;151(1):54-61. 
  4. Beckman TJ, Mynderse LA. Evaluation and medical management of benign prostatic hyperplasia. Mayo Clin Proc. 2005 Oct;80(10):1356-62. 
  5. Sex and the Prostate: Overcoming erectile dysfunction when you have prostate disease. Harvard Health Blog. https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/sex-and-the-prostate-overcoming-erectile-dysfunction-when-you-have-prostate-disease-20090331100. Accessed May 17, 2021. 
  6. McVary KT, Gittelman MC, Goldberg KA, et al. Final 5-year outcomes of the multicenter randomized sham-controlled trial of Rezūm water vapor thermal therapy for treatment of moderate-to-severe lower urinary tract symptoms secondary to benign prostatic hyperplasia. J Urol. 2021 Apr 19. Online ahead of print. 

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