The prostate is a glandular organ of the mammalian male reproductive system. The prostate gland sits at the base of the bladder surrounding the urethra, which is the urinary canal that connects the bladder to the penis. Enlargement of the prostate-- benign prostatic hyperplasia or BPH--is a common condition in older men that typically results in a narrowing of the urethra. BPH often makes urination difficult and sometimes painful. In addition, BPH and its associated treatments sometimes results in adverse sexual side effects.
Some men who suffer from BPH also experience a decrease in sexual desire. While the experts are not exactly sure whether the cause of decreased libido is a physical or psychological manifestation, according to a report published in the March 2009 issue of "Urology," it should be considered a legitimate symptom. Additionally, the medications used to treat BPH include 5-alpha-reductase inhibitors that have been shown to be effective at reduction of prostate size and improving urine flow. Unfortunately, these drugs have also been shown to decrease the libido in those taking the medication.
BPH sufferers will sometimes experience abnormal ejaculation. These ejaculation problems are typically in the form of retrograde ejaculations. Retrograde ejaculations describe the reverse expulsion of semen up into the bladder rather than out through the penis. The fluid is later expelled through normal urination. According to UrologyHealth.org, this problem has also been reported as a side effect to BPH medications like 5-alpha-reductase inhibitors.
Impotence is another prevalent symptom for men who suffer from BPH. Impotence, described as the lack or inability to achieve or maintain an erection for sexual activity, has been implicated in at least half of those diagnosed with BPH according to a study published in the March 22, 2007 issue of "The International Journal of Impotence Research." As with other symptoms like decreased libido and abnormal ejaculation, this symptom appears to be either stimulated or exacerbated by medications used for the treatment of BPH. Depending upon the individual, there may be certain medications that can be used in conjunction with BPH medications to remedy sexual problems associated with impotence.
- "Urology"; Association of Sexual Dysfunction With Lower Urinary Tract Symptoms of BPH and BPH Medical Therapies: Results From the BPH Registry; Raymond C. Rosen et al.; March 2009
- ProstateDisease.org: Prostate Disease and Sexual Concerns
- UrologyHealth.org: Medical Management of BPH
- "The International Journal of Impotence Research"; Physician perceptions of sexual dysfunction related to benign hyperplasia (BPH) symptoms and sexual effects related to BPH medications; A Seftel et al.; March 2007