If you’ve been diagnosed with benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), you may be wondering if it will affect your ability to father children. The good news is that most men with BPH can father children without any problems. However, there are a few factors that can affect fertility in men with BPH. In this blog post, we’ll discuss what BPH is, how it affects the body, and how to treat it in order to improve fertility. We’ll also answer some common questions about the relationship between BPH and fertility. So if you’re concerned about your ability to have children after being diagnosed with BPH, read on!
What is BPH?
Benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) is a noncancerous enlargement of the prostate gland. The prostate is a small, walnut-sized gland that surrounds the urethra (the tube that carries urine from the bladder to the outside of the body). As men age, it’s common for the prostate gland to enlarge. This can cause urinary symptoms such as frequency, urgency, and difficulty urinating. BPH is a very common condition, affecting more than 50% of men over the age of 60.
How does BPH affect the body?
There are a few ways that BPH can affect the body and, as a result, fertility. Besides causing a variety of urinary symptoms, there are some factors associated with BPH that can affect fertility in men. These include:
Impaired Sexual Function
First, BPH can cause impaired sexual function. For starters, this is because the enlarged prostate gland can block the urethra and prevent semen from being ejaculated properly. Instead retrograde ejaculation can occur, which is when semen enters the bladder instead of the penis during orgasm. This is one of the most common causes of infertility in men with BPH. In some cases, BPH can also contribute to erectile dysfunction, which can also affect fertility.
Medication Side Effects
There are a variety of medications available to help treat BPH symptoms. While these medications are effective in managing symptoms, however, they can cause side effects that can impact fertility. For example, alpha-blockers can cause decreased ejaculation, while alpha reductase inhibitors can cause erectile dysfunction or reduced sex drive. Both types of medications can also lead to lower sperm count, decreased sperm volume, and lower sperm movement.
Certain BPH treatments also come with a higher risk of postsurgical complications that can impair fertility. For example, Harvard Medical School notes that 50-75% of men who have undergone transurethral resection of the prostate (TURP) experience sexual side effects after surgery. The most common is retrograde ejaculation, however some men also experience erectile dysfunction.
Treating BPH to Improve Fertility
Fortunately, there are a number of things that can be done to treat BPH and improve fertility. If you’re trying to conceive, it’s important to talk to your doctor about the best treatment option for you. In some cases, medications may be effective in treating BPH without impacting fertility. If surgery is necessary, there are a number of new surgical techniques that have a lower risk of causing sexual side effects. In addition, there are a variety of fertility treatments available that can help men with BPH father children.
In this blog post, we’ve discussed the relationship between BPH and fertility. While BPH can cause a number of problems that can affect fertility, it’s important to remember that most men with BPH are still able to father children without any difficulty. If you’re concerned about your ability to conceive after being diagnosed with BPH, talk to your doctor about the best treatment option for you.