June 2nd, 2014
If you have an enlarged prostate also known as BPH (benign prostatic hyperplasia) you may be worried about your sexual health (webmd.com). Research has shown that there is indeed a link between erectile dysfunction and BPH. But medical science has yet to determine the reason. Urology professor at Southern Illinois University School of Medicine Kevin T. McVary, MD says of this issue, “It’s a complicated story, but men who get BPH often get ED. And men with ED get BPH.” If you are having sexual issues know that treatment is available. When the prostate enlarges it squeezes the urethra—the vessel that carries urine and semen out of the body. Symptoms of BPH include needing to urinate often or feeling like you do, having a weak urine stream, difficulty beginning and ceasing urination and having to urinate several times a day, even having it wake you up in the middle of the night. The more pronounced the symptoms of BPH the worse generally the sexual side effects. Issues people with BPH experience include difficulty maintaining an erection, less satisfaction during sex and decreased libido.
The risk factors for diabetes and heart disease are often the same for ED and BPH. So eating right, exercising and managing stress not only help you reduce your risk of these dangerous diseases, you are also more likely to be healthy sexually. As Dr. McVary puts it, “It’s very convenient that a heart-healthy lifestyle is identical to an erectile-friendly lifestyle.” Urologist Y. Mark Hong, MD suggests eating a natural diet and limit or eliminate processed foods. Fatty fish and other foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids contain anti-inflammatory properties which may also aid in this. Eating vegetables like cauliflower, kale and broccoli is also good for prostate health. Dr. Hong also advises men to share their health issues and concerns with their partner. It can help immensely if they know what you are going through. They will be more understanding of the issue and will support you and be there for you. One easy treatment is erectile dysfunction medication. These also reduce the symptoms of BPH. According to Dr. McVary, “When men with BPH take them on a daily basis, their symptoms improve.” These medications may not be suitable however if you’ve had multiple heart attacks, angina, strokes or high blood pressure. Medicines originally used to cope with BPH caused sexual issues. These drugs are alpha blockers and 5-alpha-reductase inhibitors. Besides medications, there is also surgery. Talk to your physician or urologist if you think you are suffering from BPH.