Prostate problems? Here’s how to still enjoy sex

The prostate continues to grow as a man ages. This means older men tend to have larger prostates than younger men. Enlargement of the prostate that is not the result of cancer is called benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH).

Prostate issues can affect your sex life physically, and impact how you feel about sex and yourself. It may take some time to adjust to changes in your sex drive and how this affects your self-esteem and sexual relationships.

However, it’s important to recognise that prostate issues don’t have to signal the end of satisfying sexual experiences. With the right approach and mindset, you can continue to enjoy intimacy and pleasure.

Understanding prostate problems

Before delving into strategies for maintaining a fulfilling sex life, it’s essential to grasp the nature of prostate problems and their potential impact on sexual function. Conditions such as BPH, prostatitis, and prostate cancer can affect urinary function, libido, and erectile function to varying degrees. 

An enlarged prostate can impact your ability to urinate. These effects include:

  • a frequent need to urinate
  • a feeling of not emptying the bladder
  • intense urges to urinate
  • a weak urine stream
  • problems starting or stopping urination.

Prostate issues can also cause sexual problems. Some common sexual side-effects include:

  • erectile dysfunction (ED)
  • reduced sexual satisfaction
  • problems maintaining an erection
  • decreased libido.

The relationship between BPH treatments and sexual function is also worth noting. Some medications prescribed for an enlarged prostate, such as alpha-blockers and 5-alpha-reductase inhibitors, can lead to sexual side-effects such as reduced sex drive and difficulties with erection.

While these challenges can certainly present obstacles, they do not need to ruin your sex life or rule your sexual experiences. Here’s how to still enjoy sex with prostate problems.

Communicate with your partner

Open and honest communication between each other forms the cornerstone of navigating intimacy amidst prostate issues. It’s crucial to discuss any concerns, fears, or limitations openly and without judgement. By sharing feelings and experiences, couples can foster understanding, empathy, and intimacy, laying the foundation for a mutually satisfying sex life.

Embrace assistive devices and medications

There are a range of assistive devices and medications that can improve or strengthen your erections, including:

Oral medications

  • Sildenafil (Viagra)
  • Tadalafil (Cialis)
  • Vardenafil (Levitra)
  • Avanafil

These medications work by increasing blood flow to the penis, helping to achieve and maintain an erection when sexually aroused. 

Penile injections

  • Alprostadil

Alprostadil can be administered via injection directly into the base or side of the penis. This method typically produces an erection within five to 20 minutes and can last for up to an hour. While injections may be intimidating for some individuals, they can be highly effective and are often used when oral medications are not suitable or effective.

Penile implants

  • inflatable penile implants
  • malleable penile implants

For individuals with severe ED who do not respond to other treatments, surgical implantation of a penile prosthesis may be an option. Inflatable implants consist of two cylinders implanted within the penis, connected to a pump placed within the scrotum. When the pump is activated, fluid is transferred from a reservoir to the cylinders, creating an erection. 

Malleable implants are semi-rigid rods that are manually bent into position for intercourse and always remain firm.

Vacuum erection devices (VEDs)

VEDs consist of a plastic cylinder that is placed over the penis, creating a vacuum that draws blood into the penis, resulting in an erection. A constriction band or tension ring is then placed around the base of the penis to maintain the erection during intercourse. VEDs are non-invasive and can be used in conjunction with other treatments or medications.

It’s important for individuals experiencing erectile dysfunction to consult with a healthcare provider to determine the most appropriate treatment option based on their medical history, preferences, and underlying causes of erectile dysfunction.

Prioritise your overall health

Maintaining your overall health and wellbeing is crucial to having a fulfilling sex life. Incorporating regular exercise, a balanced diet, adequate sleep, and stress management techniques can improve energy levels, mood, and libido. 

These steps are not an instant fix, but they may improve your blood flow and nerve functioning.

Exploring alternative forms of intimacy

Prostate problems may necessitate exploring alternative forms of intimacy beyond traditional penetrative sex. Engaging in sensual activities such as massage, kissing, cuddling, and mutual exploration can deepen emotional connection and foster intimacy. Experimenting with different techniques and erogenous zones can help reignite passion and pleasure.

Seek professional support

Navigating the complexities of sex and intimacy while managing prostate issues may require professional guidance and support. Consulting with healthcare providers, sex therapists, or counsellors experienced in addressing sexual concerns can provide valuable insights, strategies, and reassurance. These professionals can offer personalised advice tailored to individual needs and circumstances.

Were you aware of these tips on how to enjoy sex with prostate problems? Are there any other tips you would add to the list? Let us know in the comments section below.

Also read: Here’s what happens to your penis as you age

Disclaimer: This article contains general information about health issues and is not advice. For health advice, consult your medical practitioner.

Ellie Baxter
Ellie Baxter
Writer and editor with interests in travel, health, wellbeing and food. Has knowledge of marketing psychology, social media management and is a keen observer and commentator on issues facing older Australians.
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