Erectile Dysfunction (ED) is the inability in men or AMAB to get or maintain an erection.
It is a prevalent sexual dysfunction among men. There is a study published on The National Library of Medicine website. It shows the prevalence of ED in about 322 million men by 2025.
There are several causes of Erectile Dysfunction, including psychological factors and physical factors.
But can a swollen prostate cause Erectile Dysfunction?
Enlarged prostate (Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia) and Prostatitis are serious physical conditions.
They may also play a role in causing ED. This article will help you understand how can a swollen prostate cause ED.
Table of Contents
Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH)
The prostate typically grows throughout the lifespan of a person.
BPH, or enlarged prostate, is one of the most common prostate problems among men or AMAB.
In BPH, the prostate can enlarge without being cancerous.
An enlarged prostate can cause bladder, urinary tract, or kidney problems. It may block or cause difficulty during urination or ejaculation.
The enlarged prostate presses against the bladder. It makes it difficult for the urine to pass through.
As a result, the bladder walls may also become thicker. It may lead to a weakened bladder and difficulty emptying it completely.
This can cause urinary tract infections, blood in the urine, and bladder damage.
Identifying one cause for an enlarged prostate or BPH is difficult.
Men go through two main phases of prostate growth in their lives. The first phase is during puberty, and the second is around 25.
In the first stage, the prostate usually doubles in size. In the second stage, the prostate starts to grow around 25 and continues mostly during a man’s life.
Testosterone levels in a man decrease as they age, while estrogen levels remain the same. This hormonal imbalance may cause the prostate cells to grow.
Some older men or AMAB also have higher levels of Dihydrotestosterone (DHT).
It is a more potent form of Testosterone that can increase your prostate cells’ size.
Prostatitis is a group of conditions that affect the prostate gland. People with Prostatitis may have an infection, pain, and /or inflammation.
They may have difficulty or pain during urination. They may also experience pain in the pelvic region, groin, or genitals.
There are four types of Prostatitis.
- Acute Bacterial Prostatitis is a bacterial infection of the prostate gland. It may have sudden and adverse symptoms.
- Chronic Bacterial Prostatitis is a recurring bacterial infection with less severe symptoms.
- Chronic Prostatitis/ Pelvic Pain Syndrome involves constant pelvic pain. Infection may be the cause of this pain.
- Asymptomatic Inflammatory Prostatitis has no symptoms of Prostatitis. But it involves signs of an inflamed prostate.
The cause of Prostatitis depends on the kind of Prostatitis you are dealing with.
Strains of bacteria may cause acute Bacterial Prostatitis. Such bacteria may spread from the urinary or reproductive system.
Chronic Bacterial Prostatitis usually has the same cause as Acute Bacterial Prostatitis (ABP).
The causes of Chronic Prostatitis and Asymptomatic Inflammatory Prostatitis are not well understood.
Multiple factors may collectively play a role in causing the symptoms, such as inflamed prostate and pelvic pain.
How can a swollen prostate cause Erectile Dysfunction
Conditions like BPH and Prostatitis can affect the quality of your life.
BPH can result in several complications, including
- Urinary tract infections
- bladder damage
- blood in the urine
- difficulty emptying the bladder
Kidney damage, bladder stones, and pain before or after ejaculation may also have a link to BPH.
According to research, the incidence of BPH and Erectile Dysfunction increases with age. This suggests that the two might be related i.e. enlarged prostate and ED are also related.
Let us know about alpha-1 adrenergic (a-1 adrenergic) receptors. This will help in understanding how can a swollen prostate cause Erectile Dysfunction.
A-1 Adrenergic receptors play an essential role in mediating smooth muscle.
The relaxation and contraction of the corpus cavernosum smooth muscle cause an erection.
There is a disturbance in the autonomic control of the smooth muscle due to BPH.
The a-1 adrenergic receptors become active by noradrenaline (a neurotransmitter). Noradrenaline increases the tone of the smooth muscle.
It results in the contraction of the penile tissue.
Erectile Dysfunction favors the contraction of the smooth muscle, causing detumescence. It also makes it difficult for the smooth muscle to relax, which is responsible for erections.
Common symptoms of Prostatitis involve pain in the pelvic region, groin, or genitals. Sometimes the pain can last for three months or more.
Such pain can also induce Erectile Dysfunction in men or AMAB.
Can swollen prostate treatments cause Erectile Dysfunction
Treating a swollen prostate can involve the use of medications or even surgery.
But this treatment can come at a price. The treatment may result in adverse side effects like Erectile Dysfunction.
Treatment of BPH may include using medicines like alpha-blockers and 5-alpha-reductase inhibitors. They can have adverse effects like erection problems.
Prostate cancer treatments and hormonal therapies may also cause ED. Radiation therapy can damage nerves resulting in erection problems.
You can reduce such ED symptoms with treatment. Treatment options may include medications, injections, surgical procedures, and exercises.
Common ED pills include Sildenafil, Tadalafil, Vardenafil, and Avanafil.
Your doctor may suggest these medications combined with exercise and a healthy lifestyle.
You may need injections and surgical procedures in case of severe ED symptoms.
It is essential to consult your doctor before taking any medicines or treatments
Prostate problems such as Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia and Prostatitis are common among men.
An enlarged or swollen prostate may commonly characterize them.
You may wonder how can a swollen prostate cause Erectile Dysfunction.
A common problem associated with a swollen or enlarged prostate is Erectile Dysfunction. Other issues, such as bladder or urinary problems, may also be related.
Swollen prostate treatment can also cause erection problems. However, medications can reduce such ED symptoms.
You should consult a doctor before taking any treatment or medicine.
AMAB: Assigned male at birth.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can an inflamed prostate cause Erectile Dysfunction?
Inflamed prostate is a common symptom of Prostatitis. In severe cases of Prostatitis, it can directly cause ED.
Other symptoms of Prostatitis involve pain before or after ejaculation. It may also cause pain in the groin, genitals, or pelvic region.
Can you take Viagra if you have an enlarged prostate?
You should consult your doctor before taking any medicines. Viagra or any other ED pill can be taken if you have an enlarged prostate.
For some, it may even reduce the symptoms of Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia.
Can you still get an erection if your prostate is removed?
Erectile Dysfunction is a common complication in prostate removal surgery.
But the new nerve-sparing prostatectomy technique may allow men to recover erectile function.