ED Basics

Does an Enlarged Prostate Affect a Man Sexually?

March 18, 2021

The quick and easy answer is that an enlarged prostate can definitely impact men and their sexual health. If that's all you were looking for, you can go on with your day, but the ways in which an enlarged prostate can affect a man's sexual health is quite interesting and worth a read. 

The prostate is a uniquely male structure in the human body that works in a unique way. Because the urethra is dual purpose and is the common pathway for semen and urine, the prostate acts as the traffic controller, ensuring that both are routed correctly and do not occur simultaneously. Additionally, the prostate is a crucial component in the creation of seminal fluid. 

To fully answer the question as to how an enlarged prostate can impact a man sexually, it is important to compare the different dimensions surrounding sexual health and how an enlarged prostate affects these components of sexual functioning. Below is a deeper look into an enlarged prostate and its effect on male sexual health. 

Pain

While pain is not a component of sexual health, it is a large contributing factor to how an enlarged prostate affects men and their sexual functioning. Pain in the genitourinary area can have a detrimental impact on the ability of a man to perform sexually. 

A great analogy is to think of having sex as a sporting event. If you have an injury or are in pain in an essential part of your body like your legs or arms, you will most likely not perform at your optimal capabilities. If the pain is severe enough you may not even have a drive to play. 

In the analogy above, the pain due to the injury is analogous to the pain felt from an enlarged prostate. The sporting event is the act of sex and how well you do in the sport is analogous to your sexual performance. Imagining your manhood as the key player to your ability to achieve sexual pleasure is a safe assumption, and when pain is present rather than pleasure, it becomes easier to see how an enlarged prostate can affect your prostate. 

Below is a deeper look into the pain that can be associated with an enlarged prostate. 

Pain While Urinating

As previously stated, the prostate is an essential structure that acts as the traffic controller for semen and urine. When sexually aroused, the prostate occludes the urethra to inhibit urine flow and only allows semen. After resolution, the prostate releases its hold on the urethra and allows you the ability to urinate. The process of prostate releasing can take time and is one of the reasons it can be difficult urinating when aroused or immediately following ejaculation.

Because of its close ties to the urethra and involvement in holding back urine, when inflamed, the prostate can cause pain upon urination. Having painful urination can definitely impact the ability to perform and most likely decreases libido and the prospect of having sex with your partner. 

Painful Ejaculations

An even larger deterrent to sex is that inflamed prostates can sometimes cause painful ejaculations. What is supposed to be a moment of bliss turns into something that causes you physical pain. This is a large part of why an enlarged prostate can affect a man sexually. 

One of the main incentives for sex is the positive experience and want to feel good. When an enlarged prostate causes ejaculation pain, it can act as a negative reinforcement where men could subconsciously learn to not like sex because when they ejaculate, pain ensues. 

Generalized Pelvic Pain

In addition to causing pain upon the excretion of fluid through the urethra, an enlarged prostate can cause generalized pelvic pain. Like the other pain described above, having pain within and near your genitalia can lead to discomfort and a general disinterest in participating in sex. Generalized pelvic pain is usually a unique pain that can signal that you have prostatitis, a swelling of the prostate due to inflammation. This condition can be caused by infections of the prostate and typically require medical attention to treat. 

Libido

Libido is a term utilized to describe the drive to have sex. Libido is a psychological component of natural sexual functioning, and low libido is considered to be a sexual dysfunction. Typically people have a drive and desire for sex throughout life. While the urge to have sex peaks in young adulthood and tapers off as you get older, the vast majority of the population enjoys a healthy sex life well into their later years. 

While ED seems to take the headlines for sexual dysfunction, low libido is an aspect of sexual health that not only affects more men, but more people in general as both men and women can face low libido. 

There are many aspects that go into libido and the desire or want to have sex. Socioeconomic factors along with biological and physical factors play a role in having a good libido.

Having an enlarged prostate certainly does not help with your libido. The inflammation of the prostate structure can place a hindrance to both the physical and biological aspects of having sex. Because of this, an enlarged prostate could have a detrimental impact on your libido. 

Erectile Dysfunction

Erectile dysfunction is the most common male sexual dysfunction and perhaps one of the easiest to seek treatment for. Also known as male impotence, ED a sexual dysfunction that involves the inability to attain or maintain an erection. Where libido is a mental block you sexual acts, ED provides a more immediately apparent issue. It should be noted that there is an interplay between the sexual functioning of a man and that a low libido could lead to ED or ED can lead to low libido. Whatever the causative agent, it is important to get to the bottom of the issue and seek treatment. 

The enlargement of the prostate can lead to ED because of the pain associated with the genital area, as well as the fact that some treatments of an enlarged prostate can indirectly cause ED. One such scenario is the impacts of having prostate cancer and its associated treatments. 

Treatment of Enlarged Prostate and ED

While an enlarged prostate can cause ED, there are treatment options available to you to facilitate normal sexual function. Luckily many forms of enlarged prostate-associated erectile dysfunction are treatable, and by tackling the underlying problem of an enlarged prostate, many men can restore or greatly improve their sexual performance. 

Prostatitis

Prostatitis is a condition where the prostate becomes inflamed. This can be due to numerous causes, but one of the most common is infection. The urethra is often only thought of as an exit, but in reality, some bacteria and other foreign invaders can enter your body through the long tube structure. When foreign invaders enter through the urethra, one of the first structures that these invaders get to is the prostate. So these foreign invaders set up shop in the prostate and lead to infection. 

Typically these infections are bacterial, and a simple course of antibiotics prescribed by your primary care physician can remedy the enlarged prostate and greatly improve your sexual performance over that when you have prostatitis. 

Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia

Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia, also known as BPH, is a generally benign condition that results in gradual prostate enlargement in men. There is typically no specific trigger to BPH, and it typically increases in occurrence with age. There are many targeted drugs that can help manage BPH, but one of the best treatments for those with ED and BPH is Cialis

Prostate Cancer

Cancer occurs when a cell begins dividing at an unregulated rate and begins developing into a mass of cells known as a tumor. Both genetics and environmental factors play a role in the risks of developing cancer, and sadly some treatments for prostate cancer can cause erectile dysfunction. 

To treat prostate cancer, doctors can utilize a wide range of treatments, including chemotherapy, radiation, and surgery. All of these treatments can pose a concern to your ability to properly function sexually without assistance. Because of the prostate's close link with the penis and sexual response, it makes the treatment of this kind of cancer particularly harmful to your sexual health.

It is important that men take control of their care and ensure they are proactive with their prostate and sexual health. A survey conducted in 2000 found that nearly a quarter of men were likely to wait as long as possible to seek care. This pseudo macho mindset could be extremely dangerous, especially in the case of prostate cancer. The longer it goes undiagnosed and untreated, the more likely it is to be more serious, damaging, and even life-threatening.

Conclusion

In summary, an enlarged prostate can have a negative impact on a man's ability to perform in the bedroom. The fact that the prostate is tied to both the urological and sexual function of the penis makes the inflammation and enlargement a problem for both needs of the penis. Because of this, pain associated with improper prostate functioning, in addition to the ways certain causes of prostate enlargement are treated, can lead to sexual dysfunction like erectile dysfunction. 




SOURCES

https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/sex-and-the-prostate-overcoming-erectile-dysfunction-when-you-have-prostate-disease-20090331100

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK279291/#:~:text=The%20prostate's%20most%20important%20function,then%20expelled%20outwards%20during%20ejaculation.

https://urology.ucsf.edu/patient-care/adult-non-cancer/male-sexual-and-reproductive-health/prostatitis#:~:text=Many%20men%20experience%20pain%20in,ejaculation%3B%20and%20fever%20and%20chills.