BPH and the Incidence Erectile Dysfunction

Erectile Dysfunction, also known as ED or impotence, is a serious concern for anyone who has experienced it, and the risks of developing chronic ED increase with age. Estimates from a recent publication suggest roughly 18 million men in the US are affected by erectile dysfunction1. Anecdotal evidence in the form of advertising for and sales of Erectile Dysfunction drugs shows how prevalent the issue is.

A 2003 study considered over 12,000 responses to a survey on Lower Urinary Tract Symptoms (LUTS) and sexual problems in men 50 and over. BPH is a major cause of LUTS. The study concluded that the severity of LUTS was relative to the incidence and severity of sexual dysfunction. Interestingly, the incidence and severity of LUTS were independent risk factors for sexual dysfunction. Ten years later, a literature review study3 concluded that there is ample evidence to support BPH being a risk factor in the development of sexual dysfunction.

While studies are now beginning to shed light on the correlation between these two independent and very disruptive conditions, less is known on epidemiology. Meaning, we don’t quite have a firm grasp on why BPH causes ED.

Interestingly, some of the most common treatments for BPH including surgery and medications come with the significant chance of sexual dysfunction. Other treatments, such as Transurethral Microwave Thermotherapy (Cooled ThermoTherapy) and Transurethral Needle Ablation (Prostiva RF) offer BPH sufferers a treatment option with fewer sexual side effects, for those that qualify.

1 Selvin E, et al. Prevalence and risk factors for erectile dysfunction in the US. Am J Med. 2007 Feb;120(2):151-7. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17275456

2 Rosen R, et al. Lower urinary tract symptoms and male sexual dysfunction: the Multinational Survey of the Aging Male (MSAM-7). Eur Urol 2003; 44: 637–49. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/14644114

3 Glina S, Glina F. Pathogenic mechanisms linking benign prostatic hyperplasia, lower urinary tract symptoms and erectile dysfunction. Ther Adv Urol. Aug 2013; 5(4): 211–218. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3721438/