Radical Cure Article

How does BPH cause worsening of sexual function?

BENIGN prostate hyperplasia (BPH) is a common condition seen in middle-aged and elderly men. It is an enlargement of the prostate gland, which - although not cancerous - may cause problems, as it may impede the flow of urine out of the bladder.

 
It may also cause bleeding during urination, and predispose to infection of the urine.
 
If urine is totally obstructed from passing out of the bladder, it will cause a build-up of pressure and urine in the bladder, which when severe, may cause back-pressure, as well as reflux of urine into the kidney. This will eventually cause renal failure.
 
BPH and sex
 
Aside from all the problems described above, BPH may also affect a man’s sexual life. Multiple studies have shown that BPH and sexual dysfunction are inter-related. Sexual dysfunction refers to sexual problems, such as erectile dysfunction (unable to maintain satisfactory erection of the penis for sexual intercourse), ejaculatory dysfunction (failure to expel semen), and low sexual desire. BPH has been found to be a risk factor for erectile dysfunction, independent of age. BPH has also been found to be a stronger predictor of sexual dysfunction compared to diabetes, heart disease or hypertension. In fact, erectile function has been shown to deteriorate in tandem with worsening symptoms of BPH.
 
How does BPH cause worsening of sexual function?
 
There are a few theories, which include the nitric oxide/cyclic guanosine monophosphate pathway, rhokinase, overactivity of the autonomic pathway, and pelvic organ atherosclerosis. All these theories have one thing in common - failure of relaxation of the smooth muscle. Relaxation of the smooth muscle in the erectile tissue of the penis is needed for engorgement of the penis with blood. Similarly, relaxation of the smooth muscle in the prostate and bladder neck is needed for urine to pass out of the bladder through the penis. When there is failure of relaxation of the smooth muscle in the penis, this leads to erection difficulties; while in the prostate and bladder neck, urination difficulties occur.
 

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