PAE and Sexual Function

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Prostate artery embolization does not carry the same risk of sexual dysfunction as other treatment methods for an enlarged prostate.

Prostate surgeries such as transurethral resection of the prostate, also known as TURP, can result in damage to the nerves and muscles surrounding the bladder. This, in turn, can result in a condition where during ejaculation, the semen flows backward into the bladder.

This backward flow of semen is known as retrograde ejaculation, which is estimated to affect as many as 65-75% of men following the TURP procedure.

So does prostate artery embolization carry any risk of sexual problems?

Of course, there are many factors that can contribute to erectile problems and sexual dysfunction, but the procedure of prostate artery embolization usually is not one of them.

A study published in the International Journal of Clinical Practice, called “Sexual and functional outcomes of prostate artery embolization: A prospective long-term follow-up, large cohort study” took a further look at the effect that prostate artery embolization can have on sexual function.

This particular study involved 147 patients with a mean age 72.5 years, that were treated with PAE.

The researchers followed up with each patient 12 months after the PAE procedure and measured their International Prostate Symptom Score (IPSS), IPSS quality of life (QoL), prostate volume determination, and Sexual Health Inventory for Men (SHIM). They also accessed ejaculatory function and medication utilization.

The data from the 12-month follow-up showed that the mean IPSS and QoL scores significantly decreased, and all the objective parameters (mean Qmax, PVR, and prostate volume) reported a significant improvement.

Not only that, but at 12 months antegrade ejaculation was preserved, and they even reported a slight improvement in IIEF scores (International Index of Erectile Function).

126 of the patients were also followed up with 18 months after PAE, and it reported significant improvement of all the variables evaluated (even for PSA values and IIEF scores). No major complications occurred.

Another study, published in The Journal of Sexual Medicine reviewed the records of 83 consecutive patients undergoing PAE.

Multidisciplinary follow-ups included the same measurements taken during the previous study such as IPSS, QoL, and IIEF scores.

The results of their research determined that of the 83 patients, none of them developed retrograde ejaculation. They also found that for those taking medication prior to PAE, many no longer needed it.

The study concluded that

“PAE represents a novel treatment strategy for symptomatic BPH that significantly reduces symptom burden, prostate volume, quality of life, and medication utilization. As our data suggest, PAE may actually improve sexual function for many patients.”

Not only does PAE have the advantage over TURP, in that it is associated with a decreased risk of urinary complications and sexual side effects such as retrograde ejaculation and erectile dysfunction, but it has even more advantages as well.

These advantages, include, but are not limited to: PAE requires no hospitalization, no general anesthesia, and a much faster recovery period than prostate surgery.

To find out if PAE could help you, please call and set up a consultation today.

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