Have you found yourself waking up multiple times in the middle of the night, urgently needing to go to the bathroom? This may signify an enlarged prostate, a common occurrence in men as they get older.
What is the Prostate?
The prostate is a gland responsible for producing some of the fluid that is released from the body during ejaculation. It also surrounds the urethra, which is the tube that urine passes through when leaving the body.
The prostate gland grows as a man ages, but it is typically around the size of a walnut. However, in many men, it can grow to the size of a tennis ball or larger.
Prostate enlargement is a typical occurrence in men as they get older. In fact, it is so common that it is generally accepted that all men will have an enlarged prostate if they get old enough.
Another name that you may hear associated with an enlarged prostate is benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH). No matter the name, though, the enlarged prostate is not cancerous and does not increase the risk of prostate cancer.
Enlarged Prostate and Sexual Dysfunction
In addition to symptoms associated with urination, it is also possible for those with an enlarged prostate to suffer from erectile dysfunction (ED).
ED is a condition where a man’s penis does not become hard enough to maintain an erection during sexual intercourse. This is not a one-time occurrence but instead something that frequently occurs without any other known cause, such as drinking or stress.
There are many factors and systems that are involved in an erection, meaning a problem with any of them can cause erectile dysfunction. For example, sometimes, the cause of ED is a circulatory problem, whereas, with other men, the reason is due to psychological stress.
This shows that having ED does not immediately mean it is due to an enlarged prostate. In fact, an enlarged prostate does not cause ED at all, and instead, the treatment used for an enlarged prostate may cause ED.
One type of medication used to treat an enlarged prostate is anti-testosterone drugs. However, these have been linked to erectile dysfunction in some cases.
Another treatment option for enlarged prostate is transurethral resection of the prostate. This surgery, though, has also been shown to cause erectile dysfunction in a small percentage of those who undergo it.
With this knowledge, there is a connection between an enlarged prostate and sexual dysfunction. To preserve sexual function and avoid ED during the treatment of the enlarged prostate, it is important to consider all the treatment options carefully.