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Sometimes it might be easy to tell when you’re facing problems with your sexual organs.
Having a challenging time getting erections? That’s likely due to erectile dysfunction (ED). Finding it difficult to control urination frequency? That’s likely caused by an overactive bladder.
Having an active bout of either of these conditions is hard enough. However, when these two conditions occur simultaneously, it can be even more debilitating.
That said, it may come as a surprise to you that these two conditions do frequently coexist, particularly if certain conditions are met.
If you’re dealing with this type of dilemma and want to understand why, this article will give you insights into the connection between these two conditions. We’ll also provide some tips on how to treat ED and an overactive bladder.
Let’s get started.
Understanding Erectile Dysfunction: Causes and Impacts
Erectile dysfunction (ED) is a sexual dysfunction disorder marked by a persistent inability to hold and form an erection. It affects tens of millions of men in the US alone, and it can cause great distress among sexually active individuals.
The causes of ED are multifactorial. It can occur as a result of physiological changes in the body that come with aging. It may also occur as a result of chronic conditions damaging organs that facilitate the formation of an erection. In some cases, it could even be a result of psychological distress.
Regardless of the cause, erectile dysfunction is a debilitating male sexual dysfunction that can cause great distress. If left unchecked, it can even be a marker for future health complications, particularly endothelial dysfunction and cardiovascular disease.
The Mechanics of an Overactive Bladder
An overactive bladder (OAB) is a condition wherein an individual feels a sudden and uncontrollable urge to urinate. This can cause men to urinate more frequently than normal, or experience an unintentional loss of urine called urgency incontinence.
Normally, the bladder stores urine in the kidneys, which eventually gets released by the combined efforts of the muscles, nerves, and reflexes. This happens when the bladder feels half-full, and under normal circumstances, you can control this feeling for some time with specific muscles called detrusor muscles.
However, when you have an overactive bladder (OAB)–this mechanism can falter. This can cause the following symptoms to appear:
- Sudden urge to urinate
- Urinary incontinence
- Painful urination (urinating with a burning sensation)
Just like in ED, an OAB can also stem from various sources, including:
- Abdominal trauma
- Nerve damage
- Obese or overweight
- Recreational vice abuse
Among all the symptoms above, one of the most common risk factors that can worsen bladder health is the presence of harmful bacteria from a urinary tract infection.
These urinary tract infections cause your bladder wall to become highly active and trigger early expulsion among many other lower urinary tract symptoms. In turn, this can spur frequent urination and a slew of other overactive bladder symptoms.
Can a UTI Cause Erectile Dysfunction?
There’s an established connection between urinary tract symptoms (LUTS) and sexual function. In one study, men who had urinary tract infections had a greater chance of developing erectile dysfunction.
The opposite is also true; in another study, 72% of men who had erectile dysfunction also had frequent urinary tract infections.
One reason behind this link is the fact that UTIs can cause an enlarged prostate. Patients with benign prostatic hyperplasia are more likely to develop prostate problems that can disrupt the normal functioning of erections. Urine also can’t pass easily under these conditions.
Another reason behind this is the physical and mental pain of a UTI infection. When getting an erection proves to be challenging, being in the mood for sex becomes even more difficult. This can lead to psychogenic erectile dysfunction.
That said, there’s no direct evidence that suggests UTI causes erectile dysfunction. They can occur together, but neither condition has been proven to cause the other.
How Are ED and Overactive Bladder Connected?
Erectile dysfunction (ED) and overactive bladder (OAB) both fall under sexual health. As an extension, there is some connection between them. However, they don’t have a direct, causal relationship.
Here are ways in which ED and OAB are connected:
- Neurological connections: If there’s a problem in the central nervous system, such as when patients suffer conditions like Parkinson’s disease, stroke, or spinal cord injuries, it could affect both erectile and bladder function.
- Vascular health: Erections require good blood flow to form, and so does the bladder. When there’s a dysfunction in the blood vessels or blood pressure, this could affect both organs.
- Mental health: Having OAB can cause great emotional distress. This can lead men to avoid having sex in fear of having an episode.
- Aging problems: When you get older, urinary symptoms and erectile symptoms become more prominent. This can cause these organs to become more inefficient.
- Prostate cancer and treatment: Cancer of the prostate gland can cause OAB, and treating prostate cancer can also cause ED.
If you have any problems with your erectile or bladder function, it’s important to get the right treatment for it.
Treatment for Overactive Bladder
If you’re facing an overactive bladder, you can look into these treatment plans below to improve your condition.
- Bladder training techniques
- Pelvic floor muscle exercises (Kegels)
- OAB medications like Tolterodine and Trospium
- Nerve stimulation therapies
- Undergoing weight loss programs
- Intermittent catheterization
Be sure to talk with a doctor and get their approval before undergoing these treatments.
Treatment for Erectile Dysfunction
If you have sexual dysfunctions like ED, there are clinical and natural remedies to help you overcome your condition.
Be sure to get approval from a doctor before undergoing any major lifestyle changes.
Consult Orlando, Florida’s Leading Male Health Clinic for Medical Guidance
Dealing with OAB and ED simultaneously is tough for sexually active men. That said, it’s not something that you’re cursed with for a lifetime.
Many clinics like the medical professionals at Orlando’s Premier Men’s Medical Center are equipped with cutting-edge medical equipment and expert doctors to help you overcome your health conditions.
Schedule a consultation with us today, your initial consultation and first treatment are completely free.