Lower urinary tract symptoms (LUTS) caused by benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) can reduce your quality of life. When you have to wake up several times at night just to urinate, it affects your sleep quality, which in turn leads to various other health problems.
What’s worse is that the medications usually prescribed to reduce symptoms of LUTS have various adverse sexual effects. LUTS is actually often accompanied by erectile dysfunction, especially among elderly men. Find out which LUTS medications can exacerbate your sexual problems.
Lower Urinary Tract Symptoms
Men with bladder and prostate disorders often experience a group of symptoms that affect their urine storage as well as their urination. These symptoms, generally referred to as lower urinary tract symptoms or LUTs, include weak or intermittent urine flow, hesitating or straining when urinating, and incomplete emptying of the bladder.
Men who have LUTS often experience frequent urges to urinate, frequent urination, as well as nocturia or frequently waking up at night to urinate. Symptoms related to impaired storage of urine such as nocturia are often associated with bladder dysfunction related to benign prostatic hyperplasia.
Alpha-blockers are among the most commonly prescribed medications for men with benign prostatic hyperplasia or enlarged prostate. Also referred to as alpha-adrenergic antagonists, this class of medications works by keeping certain muscles relaxed. They also help your small blood vessels to stay open and dilated.
Among the different types of alpha-blockers, alfuzosin, doxazosin, terazosin, tamsulosin, and silodosin are usually used to treat lower urinary tract symptoms related to BPH. Although similar in effectiveness, the structures of these medicines are different. They also have different impacts on sexual function.
Tamsulosin and silodosin are associated with ejaculation disorders such as a reduced amount of ejaculated semen and dry ejaculation or retarded ejaculation. Tamsulosin is also known to have adverse effects on the libido and erectile function.
As a class of medications, alpha-blockers are highly associated with retrograde ejaculation. These medications work by making the smooth muscles of the bladder neck and the prostate relax so that urine can flow unimpeded.
Before you ejaculate, your bladder neck normally contracts so as to force your semen to flow out of your penis through the urethra and to prevent the semen from flowing to the bladder. However, when alpha-blockers keep your bladder neck relaxed, it’s no longer able to block your semen from going to your bladder, resulting in retrograde ejaculation.
The main problem with retrograde ejaculation is that it prevents you from impregnating your partner through natural means. When there’s no semen coming out of your penis when you ejaculate, it means there’s no sperm available to fertilize your partner’s egg cell.
In addition, retrograde ejaculation can also diminish your ejaculatory experience. The sensations that you feel when semen is pumped out of your penis through your urethra are part of your ejaculatory experience. When you don’t feel your semen being forced out through your urethra, it can make you feel as if your orgasm was incomplete.
Also referred to as 5-alpha reductase inhibitors, 5-ARIs are a class of medications that are used to treat androgenetic alopecia as well as benign prostatic hyperplasia. These medications may be used alone or they may be prescribed in combination with alpha-blockers.
The growth of the prostate gland, whether normal or abnormal, is largely driven by the actions of DHT or dihydrotestosterone. Your body, whenever triggered by 5-alpha reductase, converts testosterone into dihydrotestosterone. By inhibiting the actions of 5-alpha reductase, 5-ARIs help reduce serum and intraprostatic dihydrotestosterone concentrations.
5-ARIs, whether used alone or in combination with other medications, are considered effective in slowing the progression of BPH as well as in reducing urinary symptoms. Unfortunately, 5-ARIs are associated with high incidences of ejaculatory disorders, erectile dysfunction, and reduced libido.
In fact, there’s a higher incidence of adverse sexual effects in men using 5-ARIs than in men who are using alpha-blockers only. Finasteride and dutasteride, two commonly prescribed 5-ARIs, are both linked to reduced libido, impaired ejaculation function, and erectile dysfunction.
As many as 10% of patients taking finasteride experience reduced sexual desire. The incidence of ejaculatory disorders in men taking finasteride is reported to be around 8%, while the reported incidence of erectile dysfunction is around 16%.
Dutasteride, on the one hand, is associated with a lower incidence of adverse sexual effects as compared to finasteride. Among men using dutasteride, the reported incidence of erectile dysfunction is 5%-6%, around 7% for ejaculatory disorders, and 3%-4% for reduced libido. Dutasteride has also been reported to cause breast enlargement or tenderness.
Treatment with finasteride in combination with doxazosin has been reported to cause worsening sexual function. Research indicates that when 5-ARIs are used in combination with alpha-blockers, the risks of ejaculatory disorders increase by three-folds.
A 2016 review on the effects of 5-ARIs on sexual function indicated that in men with BPH, the relative risks of developing sexual dysfunction when taking 5-ARIs increased by more than 2.5 times. The relative risks for erectile dysfunction were 1.55 times higher, and 1.69 times higher for reduced libido.
Improving Your Sexual Function
When you’re dealing with a sexual problem such as a reduced sexual drive or erectile dysfunction, a natural remedy that can help improve your sexual function is always a good thing. All-natural male sex enhancement supplements just might be the remedy that you’re looking for.
Containing natural ingredients like maca and Tongkat Ali, it can help revive your dying libido so that you can fully enjoy your sexuality. Aside from improving your libido, maca and Tongkat Ali can help boost your energy so you can have the sexual stamina you need for intense and passionate sex.
It also contains horny goat weed and Tribulus terrestris. Working in synergy with Tongkat Ali and maca, horny goat weed and Tribulus terrestris enable you to achieve and maintain fully rigid erections so you won’t need to worry anymore about not being able to get it up.
The herbal ingredients contained in it are scientifically proven to have pro-erectile properties. Safe and effective, it can make sex a lot more pleasurable for you.