BPH Medications and Sexual Dysfunction: Something to Consider

BPH Medications and Sexual Dysfunction: Something to Consider 645d524b6c3dc.png

BPH Medications and Sexual Dysfunction: Something to Consider

Some treatment methods for an enlarged prostate can increase problems with sexual dysfunction, and in some cases, even cause them.

Though prescription drugs are often very good at improving the symptoms of Benign Prostate Hyperplasia- such as urinary issues, they can come with their own set of problems. Because of this, some men may resort to surgery, however, that too comes with its risks regarding sexual function.

Some surgical procedures for men with an enlarged prostate can increase the risk of inadvertently damaging structures around the penis which can lead to erectile dysfunction and other problems.

But before we get to that, let’s take a look at some of the common BPH medications and the effect they can have on sexual health.

We’ll start with the commonly prescribed 5-Alpha reductase inhibitors and the impact these medications that are used to shrink the prostate and reduce BPH symptoms can have on sexual health.

5-Alpha reductase inhibitors show promising results in their ability to shrink the prostate and reduce benign prostate hyperplasia symptoms.

These medications work by inhibiting the 5-alpha reductase enzyme from converting some of the body’s testosterone into dihydrotestosterone- which can cause further prostate growth. Unfortunately, one of the most common side effects of 5-alpha reductase inhibitors is sexual problems.

Several clinical trials have looked at the problem of side effects caused by the 5-alpha inhibitor finasteride, also known by the brand name Proscar.

These studies found that sexual adverse effects occur at the rates of 2.1% to 3.8%, erectile dysfunction (ED) being the most common, followed by ejaculatory dysfunction and loss of libido.

Another common 5-alpha reductase inhibitor, dutasteride (Avodart), has neem known to cause a multitude of adverse effects concerning sexual function. 3.4 to 15.8% of men treated with dutasteride experience erection problems, loss of libido, and reduced semen volume.

Most of these sexual issues caused by 5-alpha inhibitors are believed to be due to their effect on decreasing levels of dihydrotestosterone which is a natural sex hormone and is essential for normal sexual function.

Another type of medication that is commonly prescribed to treat the symptoms of an enlarged prostate is alpha-blockers.

Alpha-blockers, such as tamsulosin ( Flomax) doxazosin (Cardura), and terazosin (Hytrin) work by relaxing the bladder neck, and prostate muscles. Unfortunately, they can also cause erectile issues such as decreased ejaculation. Men who take these medications may also experience lower sperm count, decreased sperm volume, and lower sperm movement.

According to a 2008, Cochrane systematic review that looked at the sexual side effects of Flomax for BPH, 63% of users reported some form of side effect from the medication. The side effects of tamsulosin that were reported the most included erectile dysfunction, reduced libido, and something called retrograde ejaculation or a dry orgasm- where the semen exits into the bladder rather than out of the penis.

Combination medication therapies, such as dutasteride and tamsulosin ( brand name Jalyn), can also cause sexual problems.

Clinical trials found that the most common adverse reactions reported were impotence, decreased libido, breast disorders (including breast enlargement and tenderness), ejaculation disorders, and dizziness.

In fact, studies have found that ejaculation disorders occurred significantly more in subjects receiving coadministration therapy (11%) compared with those receiving dutasteride (2%) or tamsulosin (4%) as monotherapy.

The Bottom Line:  Issues with sexual dysfunction that are caused by certain BPH treatment medications should be taken into consideration.

These issues can be very upsetting and have a detrimental effect on a man’s private life and relationships. Therefore it’s important to discuss any risk of sexual problems that can come alongside your preferred treatment method for BPH.

There are many options out there for treating an enlarged prostate, so it’s important to be open and honest about your concerns and work with your doctor to find the best treatment option with the lowest risks of sexual side effects, such as Prostate Artery Embolization.

To learn more about this state-of-the-art procedure, please call and set up a consultation today.

Request An Appointment

Mon-Fri: 8am-5pm
Weekends: Closed

* All required fields.Please only include non-medical responses.

Accessibility Toolbar