About ED & BPH (erectile dysfunction & benign prostatic hyperplasia)

About ED

ED is a medical condition that causes problems getting or maintaining an erection. It affects approximately 18 million men in the United States, but is treatable in most cases. ED is more common in older men, but can happen at almost any age.

Not all men experience ED in the same way. ED may be mild in severity, resulting in occasional problems, or more severe, with erection problems that happen often—or always. Problems may include:

  • You can't get an erection at all
  • You get an erection, but it's not hard enough for penetration
  • You get an erection, but you can't maintain it until sexual activity is over

Increased risk factors for ED

  • High blood pressure (hypertension)
  • Diabetes (high blood sugar)
  • High cholesterol
  • Nerve diseases (such as Parkinson's disease A disorder that kills or damages nerve cells in a part of the brain that controls how muscles move. Symptoms may include shaking, stiffness, slow movement, and poor balance and coordination. or multiple sclerosis)
  • Surgery or injury (especially prostate A gland in a man’s body located near the base of his penis. The prostate secretes a fluid that makes up the main portion of the fluid (semen) that a man ejaculates during an orgasm., bladder, or rectal surgery)
  • Abnormal hormone levels (testosterone or thyroid)
  • Lifestyle factors (like smoking, drinking alcohol in excess, being overweight, not being physically active, or using recreational drugs)
  • Side effect of some medications (including high blood pressure medication and antihistamines)
  • Emotional or personal issues (such as ongoing stress or relationship problems, depression, or anxiety about sexual performance)

About BPH

BPH is a medical condition in which the prostate A gland in a man’s body located near the base of his penis. The prostate secretes a fluid that makes up the main portion of the fluid (semen) that a man ejaculates during an orgasm. becomes enlarged and can cause problems associated with urination. ED and BPH are separate conditions, but they often coexist, and both are treatable.

Symptoms of BPH* can increase with age and may include:

  • Needing to go frequently or urgently
  • Stopping or starting during urination
  • Needing to push or strain during urination
  • Having a weak urine stream
  • Incomplete emptying of the bladder
  • Needing to go excessively at night
*Treatment of individual symptoms may vary.

Causes of the urinary symptoms of BPH

When everything is working normally, the bladder stores urine until it is full, then empties all of the urine at once. The urine leaves the body through a thin tube called the urethra, which is surrounded by the prostate gland.

With BPH, the prostate gland enlarges and can eventually interfere with urination by partially blocking the urethra.

Want more information?

To help you learn more about ED and BPH, here’s a list of well respected associations and Web sites that provide important information you can use when deciding how to treat your condition.