When you have prostatitis, it means your prostate gland is inflamed. Chronic prostatitis means the inflammation recurs often, or the condition has been going on for a prolonged period of time. The two most common types of chronic prostatitis are bacterial prostatitis and chronic pelvic pain syndrome.
Either of these two types can damage a man’s sexual function. And the sad thing is that sexual dysfunction as a consequence of chronic prostatitis is often not prioritized during treatment of chronic prostatitis. Find out how chronic prostatitis damages your sexual health.
Whether its chronic bacterial prostatitis or chronic pelvic pain syndrome, the symptoms are often similar. Because the prostate gland is inflamed, the inflammation can cause pressure on the organs near the prostate such as the bladder. The seminal vesicles and the urethra are also located very close to the prostate, so they may also be affected.
Thus, when chronic prostatitis occurs, problems with urinating often follow. For instance, you might feel a burning sensation when you urinate or you may constantly feel the urge to urinate. When you’re about to start urinating, urine may not issue forth right away. And when it does, the flow could be uneven as you experience pain while urinating.
Since urine and semen come out through the same channel which is the urethra, you could also experience painful ejaculations. In fact, this is one of the most common symptoms of chronic prostatitis.
Because the condition is also often accompanied by pain in the lower back or abdomen, fever, and chills, it can be mistaken as a case of urinary tract infection. Hence, it’s best to have yourself checked right away so that a proper diagnosis is made.
When bacteria from your urine enters your prostate gland, it can cause an infection leading to chronic bacterial prostatitis. If this is the case, a treatment of antibiotics is usually prescribed for chronic prostatitis. Depending on the severity of the problem, the medication may need to be taken for several weeks or even months.
Hospitalized men who are using catheters could also develop chronic bacterial prostatitis if the catheter is contaminated. There are also instances wherein the bacterial infection can lead to stones forming in the prostate. This can then lead to recurring urinary tract infections which can complicate the treatment of chronic bacterial prostatitis.
However, chronic pelvic pain syndrome is more problematic because specialists are not certain what’s causing the condition. Treating the problem can be quite challenging and specialists often target the symptoms instead.
Chronic pelvic pain syndrome may develop due to several factors. These include sexually transmitted diseases and when the nerves or muscles affecting the prostate are not functioning properly.
Chronic pelvic pain syndrome may also be due to a blockage in the urethra. There are also instances wherein uric acid causes irritation in the prostate gland causing it to get inflamed.
Because there are various factors that can contribute to the development of chronic pelvic pain syndrome, specialists often approach the treatment based on the type of cause. However, the problem with this is that the effects of chronic prostatitis on the patient’s sexual health are often left unprioritized during the treatment.
Effects On Sexual Health
Treatments for chronic pelvic pain syndrome are often divided into different types, depending on the focus of the treatment. For instance, the treatment may be organ-specific, meaning it is focused n the prostate gland. The treatment could also focus on neurologic and systemic factors if the perceived cause is an abnormality in the nerve functions or an immune system attack.
However, the sexual dysfunction and psychosocial effects of chronic pelvic pain syndrome can get overlooked by specialists during the treatment. This is unfortunate, considering that sexual dysfunction greatly affects the patient’s quality of life.
The reality is that men with chronic pelvic pain syndrome often experience erectile dysfunction. Other forms of sexual dysfunction may also be present such as premature and painful ejaculation as well as decreased libido.
In truth, if you have chronic prostatitis, ejaculations can be extremely painful, and some men would just rather avoid having sex if it means they have to go through the same pain again. Painful ejaculations can deprive a man of the pleasures of sex, hence the decreased desire for sex.
According to a recent study, more than sixty percent of men suffering from chronic pelvic pain syndrome also develop a form of sexual dysfunction. Almost a third develop erectile dysfunction. The prevalence of premature ejaculation is even higher at 40%.
What’s even more alarming is that the number of men developing sexual dysfunction associated with chronic pelvic pain syndrome has been increasing over the years. This just goes to show the need for specialists to also consider sexual dysfunction when they treat chronic prostatitis.
According to the study, regular ejaculations can help treat chronic pelvic pain syndrome. However, men suffering from sexual dysfunction are robbed of the opportunity to maximize this natural treatment for chronic prostatitis. The authors also pointed out that abstinence from sex, coitus interrupts, as well as delaying ejaculation can present risk factors for chronic prostatitis.
Several factors may help explain why men with chronic prostatitis also develop sexual dysfunction. Chronic prostatitis often affects the levels of nitric oxide in the vascular endothelial cells. This dysfunction can then affect the penile blood flow, which can then cause problems with erections.
When chronic prostatitis causes the formation of stones in the prostate, it can also lead to erectile dysfunction. In a study involving more than 350 men with chronic prostatitis, the researchers found that almost 50% had measurable calcifications or stones in their prostate glands and that these men had lower erectile function and intercourse satisfaction scores.
Another study showed that psychological problems linked erectile dysfunction and chronic pelvic pain syndrome. The study involved 600 patients diagnosed with chronic pelvic pain syndrome or type III chronic prostatitis. Of these, 30% experienced painful ejaculations, another 30% experienced premature ejaculation and 19% had erectile dysfunction.
The patients also suffered from various psychological problems. These included anxiety and depression, obsessive-compulsive disorders, as well as interpersonal sensitivity. Moreover, depression and anxiety were significantly correlated with both chronic pelvic pain syndrome and erectile dysfunction.