If you are a man who has benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) and associated lower urinary tract symptoms (LUTS), chances are you’re also experiencing some sexual dysfunction. Unfortunately, along with the urinary urgency, dribbling, and getting up five times a night to go to the bathroom, sexual dysfunction is also associated with BPH/LUTS.
But are you getting the attention and treatment you need to take care of your sexual issues? An international team of researcher from Italy, Spain, and France report that urologists and primary care physicians seem to “under-recognise” the sexual problems that affect men who have BPH/LUTS.
The researchers noted that although men with BPH are prescribed the currently recommended alpha-blockers and 5-alpha reductase inhibitors to treat their BPH and LUTS symptoms, these medications can come with a big price: loss of libido, ejaculatory disorders, and erectile dysfunction.
In short, the very medications used to relieve BPH/LUTS may be exacerbating sexual dysfunction. If you are thinking, “this is unfair,” and “something needs to be done,” the investigators are on a similar wavelength.
That’s why they recommend physicians use validated questionnaires to fully evaluate sexual dysfunction in men who are being treated for BPH/LUTS. In addition, they believe physicians should offer men counseling regarding the possible sexual side effects of medications taken for BPH/LUTS, and also consider lifestyle interventions such as weight loss and increased exercise to help improve risk factors for sexual dysfunction.
If you are a man with BPH/LUTS and you are experiencing sexual dysfunction issues, it may be time to talk to your doctor about your current treatment program and how it may be affecting your sexual function. It may be time for a change.
Mirone V et al. Current benign prostatic hyperplasia treatment: impact on sexual function and management of related sexual adverse events. Int J Clin Pract 2011 Sep; 65(9):1005-13