Check Up : What's causing his erectile dysfunction?
Jas is a 33-year-old man who contacted Check Up by email.
He has been experiencing erectile dysfunction (ED) for some months now and visited his general practitioner, who said he has prostatitis, which has affected his ability to have an erection.
Jas said he sometimes produces white urine, which concerns him greatly, and sometimes sperm leaks from the penis for a while after sex.
He is now taking some long-term antibiotics, and he asks Check Up if prostate infection can really affect his nature so adversely.
Yes, there is some evidence that prostatitis can cause erectile dysfunction. Prostatitis occurs when the prostate gland becomes inflamed.
The white urine may well be sperm in the urine, a phenomenon which can occur with prostate inflammation. This condition can be associated with several uncomfortable symptoms, including:
• Groin pain
• Back pain
• Pain with urination
• Scrotal pain
• Difficulty with passing urine stream
• Frequency of urination
• Difficulty with attaining erection
• Weak erections
• Difficulty with ejaculation
With other men, symptoms are milder and may only involve some discomfort in the groin region. Prostatitis can be difficult to treat, and even after antibiotic treatment, it can become a chronic condition.
The condition can be worsened through playing active sports, or running on a full bladder.
Like most men, there is a danger of adverse psychologically related sexual symptoms which can develop and overlay the original problem.
Men are very susceptible where issues concern the functioning of their genitals. The fact that the mind is focused on the adverse symptoms is likely to make matters even worse as the sex drive can then be affected psychologically.
Treatment usually involves taking antibiotics and anti-inflammatory medications for many weeks to months to eliminate infection and reduce inflammation.
Some men can also obtain some relief with treatments which decongest the prostate gland (medications which are normally used to treat prostate enlargement). Saw Palmetto can also be combined with other treatment modalities for quicker resolution of the condition.
Sometimes prostatitis can be caused by a sexually transmitted infection but many cases are not sexually transmitted.
Even with the best treatment, prostatitis can recur. This is so especially when the prostatitis is not caused by an infection.
If the prostate specific antigen (PSA) is checked during active prostatitis, the blood levels might be elevated.
This does not indicate prostate cancer, and the PSA levels will fall once the prostatitis is resolved.
The link to ED is thought to be that the nearby cavernosal nerves which help with penile erection function, but which lie on top of the prostate gland, also become inflamed with the prostatitis.
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