Sexual Function or Dysfunction

Sexual Function or Dysfunction 645d50af68c18.png

Sexual Function or Dysfunction

Some treatment methods for benign prostate hyperplasia carry the risk of causing sexual dysfunction. However, not all treatment methods carry this same risk.

One of the most common and longest-running treatment methods for BPH is transurethral resection of the prostate, also known as TURP. While another, the newer method has been increasing in popularity, called prostate artery embolization, or PAE.

Though both of these treatment methods are effective in relieving the symptoms associated with an enlarged prostate, TURP carries a higher risk of sexual dysfunction.

In fact, while prostate artery embolization has been shown to actually improve erectile function following the procedure, TURP can come with long-term sexual complications some of which can be permanent.

The most common erectile complication that affects as many as 65-75% of men following the TURP procedure, is something known as “retrograde ejaculation”.

Retrograde ejaculation is caused by damage to the nerves or muscles surrounding the neck of the bladder, which can happen during prostate surgeries such as TURP.

When these muscles or nerves are damaged, semen no longer travels out of the body through the urethra, but rather it flows back into the bladder during ejaculation.

Though retrograde ejaculation can make an orgasm less pleasurable for men, it isn’t necessarily harmful. Except when it comes to fertility.

Due to the backward flow of semen, retrograde ejaculation can interfere with a man’s ability to get a woman pregnant.

Though there are other ways to achieve a pregnancy, such as fertility treatments, those methods can be incredibly expensive and are not an option for everyone.

Therefore, for men that are interested in having children the natural way, the TURP complication of retrograde ejaculation is problematic.

It is also important to point out that some estimates suggest that up to 10% of men who undergo the TURP procedure experience erectile dysfunction. Erectile dysfunction is defined as when a man has difficulty getting and maintaining an erection (erectile dysfunction).

Though sometimes this problem is temporary and only happens during the recovery period, for some, it can be a permanent condition.

Fortunately, there are other procedures to treat BPH that do not carry the same risk for sexual dysfunction and erectile issues. In our next article,  we will look at the effect that PAE can have on sexual function.

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