Erectile Dysfunction And The Prostate: What's The Relationship?

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Written by the UPGUYS Editorial Team Published on March 21, 2022

Did you know that 49.4% of Canadian men between ages 40 and 88 experience ED? In the United States, 52% of men experience some form of erectile dysfunction as well. Complete ED usually increases from 5% to 15% in men between the ages of 40 and 70.

Erectile dysfunction and prostate problems are common for men, especially as they get older. While the cause of ED can be physical or psychological, one factor that is often overlooked is the role of the prostate.

We're going to explore the relationship between ED and the prostate. We'll also take a look at what men can do to improve their sexual health. Keep reading to find out more.

In this article, we're going to cover the following:

  • Does and How Are Erectile Dysfunction and Prostate Problems Connected?
  • The Kinds of Prostate Problems That Can Cause Erectile Dysfunction
  • Symptoms of Erectile Dysfunction Caused by Prostate Problems
  • Can You Take Erectile Dysfunction Medications if You Are Taking Prostate Problems Medications?
  • Does Prostate Disease Medication Cause Erectile Dysfunction?
  • How to Treat Erectile Dysfunction Caused by Prostate Diseases?
  • Improving Symptoms and Prevention
  • FAQs About Erectile Dysfunction and Prostate Diseases

Does and How Are Erectile Dysfunction and Prostate Problems Connected?

There is a clear link between erectile dysfunction and prostate problems. In fact, many experts believe that erectile dysfunction is one of the earliest signs of prostate trouble.

It's a common complication of various prostate diseases, including prostate cancer, benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), and prostatitis. Urinary tract issues are also often caused due to an enlarged prostate.

In fact, up to 50% of men that have prostate cancer treatment like brachytherapy experience erectile dysfunction long-term.

The prostate is a small gland located just below the bladder. It's about the size of a walnut and plays a role in both sexual health and urination. When the prostate becomes enlarged, it can put pressure on the urethra.

It can also interfere with both urinary and sexual function. This pressure can cause problems such as difficulty starting or stopping urination, a weak urine stream, dribbling or leaking after urination, and most commonly, erectile dysfunction.

In fact, at least 50% of men that are 50 or older often show symptoms of BPH. The chances of showing symptoms increases by 10% every ten years as a person ages.

Additionally, urinary tract issues that are often caused by frequent urination and other problems caused by an enlarged prostate show the possibility of association with erectile dysfunction. Stress is also shown to cause an overactive bladder and be a contributor to ED.

What Kinds of Prostate Problems Can Cause Erectile Dysfunction?

Erectile dysfunction and prostate enlargement issues are two completely different problems. They usually will come with different symptoms, as well as different causes, and at one point, different treatments. When men reach middle age, the prostate will often start to enlarge.

Any form of enlargement can cause a range of difficulties with urination. The prostate itself causes issues, not for sex, but urination in particular. A few common prostate issues could cause erectile dysfunction.

Treatments that are meant to treat benign prostatic hyperplasia can cause ejaculatory or erectile dysfunction issues. BPH is a non-cancerous enlargement of the prostate

Some of these treatments that could present these causes could be:

  • Alpha-blockers
  • 5 Alpha reductase inhibitors
  • Anti testosterone drugs
  • Transurethral resection of the prostate (TURP)

5 Alpha reductase inhibitors show a potential for risk association that could impact erectile physiology. These inhibitors provide a drop in median serum dihydrotestosterone levels between 60% and 93% within at least two years.

While it's possible that alpha-blockers could contribute to ED, they often don't cause issues with erections. Some men often see improvement in their condition after taking the medication. Anti testosterone drugs could cause lower amounts of testosterone.

This is what often will lead to issues when it comes to maintaining an erection or getting one at all. TURP is a common surgical treatment that's used to correct an enlarged prostate. Some patients that undergo this treatment can develop erectile dysfunction.

Symptoms of Erectile Dysfunction Caused by Prostate Problems

There are many symptoms of erectile dysfunction that can often be caused by prostate problems. Some of these symptoms include:

  • Difficulty getting or maintaining an erection
  • Inability to ejaculate or experience orgasm
  • Reduced sexual desire
  • Pain during sex
  • Problems with urination (e.g., difficulty starting or stopping the flow of urine, a weak stream, and a feeling of not being able to empty the bladder fully)

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, it is crucial to see a doctor to determine the cause. Many prostate problems can get treated. This may improve your erectile function.

If your erectile dysfunction's caused by a psychological problem, such as anxiety or depression, treatment will focus on managing those conditions.

However, if your erectile dysfunction is due to a physical problem, such as prostate cancer or enlarged prostate, treatment will address that condition.

It is important to remember that not all men who experience problems with their prostate will also experience difficulties with erectile function. And not all men who have difficulty getting or maintaining an erection have prostate problems.

However, if you are experiencing any of the symptoms of erectile dysfunction caused by prostate problems, it is important to see a doctor to determine the cause and get appropriate treatment.

If you are having difficulty getting or maintaining an erection, you should always talk to your doctor. Your doctor will be able to help you determine the underlying cause and find the best treatment for you.

Can You Take Erectile Dysfunction Medications if You Are Taking Prostate Problems Medications?

Actually, yes. Taking medication for erectile dysfunction may also be useful in treating the symptoms of something like benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH).

In fact, there is a medication that's used to treat both problems with an erection as well as issues that have occurred from an enlarged prostate.

Let's take tadalafil for example. This medication can treat both issues, and it can also treat pulmonary hypertension. This medication is more well-known as Cialis or at Adcirca.

It might also be beneficial to know that some men who have an enlarged prostate and erectile dysfunction often experience alleviation of their symptoms after erectile dysfunction medications.

Does Prostate Disease Medication Cause Erectile Dysfunction?

ED is oftentimes a side effect of medications specific to hormone therapy for men that have been diagnosed with prostate cancer. This is also if cancer has already spread beyond the prostate itself. These medications would be Zoladex or Lupron.

How to Treat Erectile Dysfunction Caused by Prostate Diseases?

Erectile dysfunction is a condition that affects many men and can be caused by a variety of factors. Some common causes of ED include health conditions like diabetes and heart disease, lifestyle choices like smoking and drinking, and psychological issues.

But have you gathered that prostate diseases can also lead to ED? And that the medications for prostate disease often play a part in it as well?

There are a few different ways that prostate diseases can cause ED. For one, the prostate gland can put pressure on the urethra, which is the tube that carries urine out of the body. This pressure can make it difficult, or in some cases impossible, for a man to get an erection.

Additionally, some prostate diseases can cause damage to the nerves and blood vessels around the penis, which can lead to problems getting and maintaining an erection.

Physicians will usually assess a patient to determine if there are any underlying causes that are either physical or psychological. Then medications are the next option. If they don't work, assisted devices are often recommended.

If you are experiencing ED due to prostate disease, there are a few things that you can do. One is to talk to your doctor about your options for treatment. There are a variety of medications and treatments available for ED, so there is likely something that will work for you.

Improving Symptoms and Prevention

Additionally, there are several lifestyle changes you can make to help improve your symptoms:

  • Quitting smoking
  • Reducing alcohol intake
  • Getting regular exercise
  • Eating healthy

If you want to prevent erectile dysfunction, you can do the three things listed above but also consider:

  • Avoiding illegal drug use
  • Maintaining a healthy weight so that you can prevent high blood pressure or diabetes
  • Reducing levels of stress

If you are experiencing psychological issues like anxiety or depression, seek treatment from a therapist or counsellor. Medications don't often treat the psychological aspect of ED.

Instead, you'll often find that things like guided imagery are often used and very helpful. If medications are used, it will often be to help in certain cases where a chemical imbalance may be the culprit.

FAQs About Erectile Dysfunction and Prostate Diseases

There are always questions about erectile dysfunction. Let's take a look at a few of the main questions.

Is There Any Treatment for Ed Caused by Prostate Disease?

Yes, there are a number of treatments available for ED caused by prostate disease. These include oral medications, injections, and penile implants. It is important to discuss the options with your doctor so that you can find the treatment that is right for you.

With a Diagnosis of Prostate Cancer, Will I Also Experience ED?

You will likely experience some degree of ED if you're diagnosed with prostate cancer. Within the first few months of a diagnosis, it won't be abnormal to experience some form of ED.

I Am Being Treated for Prostate Cancer With Radiation Therapy. Will This Cause Me to Experience ED?

Yes, radiation therapy can at times cause ED in some men. This occurs when the radiation is aimed at the pelvis. It's still unclear why.

I Am Being Treated for BPH With Surgery. Will This Cause Me to Experience ED?

Yes, in some cases, surgery can cause ED in some men. So can other treatments and medications that are used to treat BPH.

I Have Prostatitis. Will I Also Experience ED?

You will likely experience some degree of ED if you're diagnosed with prostatitis. However, not every man who has prostatitis will experience ED, and the severity of the ED will vary from man to man. Milder cases can cause ED that could result in painful ejaculation.

I Am Being Treated for Prostatitis With Antibiotics. Will This Cause Me to Experience ED?

Yes, some medications can cause ED in some men. Some can also stall a man's ability to become aroused or to maintain arousal. Certain drugs that could cause this are Tranxene, Amitriptyline, Buspirone, and Desipramine.

Can I Take Viagra to Help With an Erection If I Have an Enlarged Prostate?

Yes, you can. Oftentimes, men find that this helps their condition after taking erectile dysfunction medication.

I Am Experiencing Difficulty Achieving or Maintaining an Erection. Could This Be Due to Prostate Disease?

Your difficulty achieving or maintaining an erection may be caused by prostate disease. You should discuss your individual situation with your doctor to determine the cause of your ED and find a treatment that may best suit you.

Pay attention to frequency so that you can tell if this is becoming a usual problem.

Why Does Prostate Disease Cause ED?

It's thought that the inflammation and swelling associated with these conditions can damage the nerves and blood vessels responsible for erections. Decreased blood flow is the common culprit. It happens when the vessels that provide blood to the penis become narrow.

Additionally, the treatments used to treat prostate diseases such as surgery and radiation therapy can also cause ED. You may also be wondering, "How does prostate surgery affect you sexually?" If a man had a radical prostatectomy, they would no longer ejaculate during an orgasm.

Key Takeaways

Erectile dysfunction (ED) and the prostate are two things that are often linked together. As a key takeaway, one of the most common problems associated with the prostate is Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH), which is a condition where the prostate becomes enlarged and can cause difficulty urinating.

Erectile dysfunction can actually have multiple causes, some of which include medications, surgeries related to prostate cancer, and some forms of prostate disease.

Treatments exist for erectile dysfunction and prostate issues. UPGUYS works to provide men with high-quality and useful information concerning erectile dysfunction. We know that our bodies are complex systems. We work to find ways to simplify the processes and approaches you take when it comes to your sexual health.

Not every treatment works for every person, and the UPGUYS team understands that. With licensed Canadian physicians that are knowledgeable about men's health, getting the proper medications, information, and overall treatment plan has never been easier.

If you're ready to up your game, check out how it all works




Disclaimer
This article is written for informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. The information provided in the articles cannot and should not replace advice from a healthcare professional. Talk to your healthcare provider about any physical or mental health concerns or the risks and benefits of any treatment or medication.