Severe lower urinary tract symptoms (LUTS) caused by benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) make men more likely to suffer from erectile dysfunction (ED), according to a Bosnian study that urges all men investigated for BPH to also be assessed for sexual problems.
The study, “Correlation of Subjective Symptoms in Patients with Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia and Erectile Dysfunction,” appeared in the journal al Medical Archives. It showed that the degree of ED correlates with the degree of LUTS.
Researchers at Bosnia’s Cantonal Hospital Dr. Irfan Ljubijankić and the University Clinical Center of the Republic of Srpska recruited men, aged 40 to 60 years old, into three study groups. The men did not receive BPH treatment during the study,
The groups differed in their LUTS symptoms, assessed by the International Prostate Symptom Score (IPSS), with 50 men each in the low, medium and high symptom scores groups.
The men also answered questions about their erectile function, which the research team assessed using the International Index of Erectile Dysfunction (IIEF-5). This tool examines various aspects of erection, including the safety of achieving an erection and if the erection is sufficient to complete a sexual act. A low score indicates more severe problems.
Although the age ranges were similar in the three groups, average age increased with increasing symptom severity. Impotence problems also became more severe as LUTS symptoms increased, with significant differences between the groups.
Scores of urinary tract symptoms and erectile dysfunction were also correlated.
The study found prostate volume to be associated with erection problems. The earlier study had a nearly identical setup, and included 150 men, aged 40 to 60, divided into three groups of 50 men each, with increasing prostate volume.
It is not clear if the study group in the newer study is composed, at least in part, of the same individuals. The researchers also did not disclose measures of IPSS scores in the earlier article, and so it’s unclear if the men with larger volumes also had more severe symptoms. Nevertheless, physicians already know that prostate volumes and the severity of symptoms do not always correlate.