Does prostatitis cause erectile dysfunction?

Dr. Mehmet Oz, MD
Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease)
Prostatitis can be a tough condition to cope with. To make matters worse, there's some evidence that prostatitis may cause erectile dysfunction in addition to its miserable symptoms.

Prostatitis occurs when the prostate becomes inflamed. (If you need a quick primer: The prostate is a walnut-sized gland that produces semen and performs other functions.) Men with prostatitis can develop a range of symptoms, from excruciating pain in the groin to difficulty urinating.

Some men who have prostatitis insist that the condition makes it difficult or impossible to have erections. A limited amount of evidence suggests they may be right. Three-quarters of men with prostatitis in one study said they had sexual problems. About one-quarter had erectile dysfunction. Another third had difficulty ejaculating. The rest had both problems.

Prostatitis can be difficult to treat, but antibiotics and other medications may help. Tell your doctor if you have experienced pain in your pelvic area or urinary problems.

Prostatitis may indirectly cause erectile dysfunction. In this disorder, the prostate becomes inflamed. Sometimes the reason is a bacterial infection. In others the cause is unknown. The most common symptom is frequent or painful urination, but fever and a variety of other symptoms may occur, including painful ejaculation. Because of this discomfort and the stress and anxiety it causes, men may become less interested in sex and have more difficulty getting an erection.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.